Summer Hours…

Amy’s taking a bit of a break this summer to spend more time doing all the fun and exciting things she does during her time off…

Effective immediately, Harmony Centre will be open Wednesday through Friday from 10am to 2pm.

We’re still around though, and we will continue to accommodate requests outside of office hours as best we can. All of us at Harmony Centre wish you as terrific a summer as we know Amy will have!

Local painting contractor Rob Hassard was delighted when he was invited to teach an Owen Sound District Secondary School class how to paint a room. But he wanted to do it out in the field, not in a classroom. So, he put out the call, and Harmony Centre responded.

“Harmony Centre is a perfect place to teach a group to paint because it’s a charity, and this is a great way of giving back to the community in a very practical way,” he says.

Harmony Centre also has an abundance of rooms, and the Board Room was selected for the project because of its manageable size.

Hassard is excited about the project because he believes that painting is an ability that people carry with them wherever they go. “At some point in your life you’re going to have to paint a room,” he says. “If you have some basic knowledge about how it’s done, then you’re ahead of the game.”

Instruction will be provided on how to select paint, make minor repairs, prepare surfaces for painting, masking, and various techniques for applying paint.

“I hope this will inspire some young people and give them the confidence to take on projects of their own,” Hassard says.

But Rob also believes that painting is a transferable life skill that also teaches about setting goals, problem solving, and patience.

“Everything in life is a process,” he says. “Learn the process – learn to trust it – and you’re all set.”

Harmony Centre is a beneficiary of a new social impact investment program initiated by the Community Foundation Grey Bruce. Social investment is a method of indirect financial support provided to organizations that positively impact the community and the environment.

Under its new program, the Community Foundation will assume the Harmony Centre’s privately held mortgage and set the interest rate for it at below market rates. In exchange, Harmony Centre will continue to operate as a social enterprise that benefits the public by offering a non-profit hub for local performers, artists, and community groups.

By all accounts, it’s a win-win.

According to Lynda Chiotti, chair of the Harmony Centre board, this support from the Community Foundation is rooted in the shared values between these two organizations, and a common commitment to social impact.

“By working with Community Foundation Grey Bruce, we can strengthen our capacity to offer services that foster growth, sustainability, and positive change,” says Chiotti.

Kerry Lee, chair of the board of the Community Foundation echoes this sentiment, adding that this social investment pays dividends to the foundation as well.

“The interest we collect, though lower than what we might expect from conventional investments, remains a revenue stream that we can divert to other meaningful programs in support of local community projects,” she explains.

Harmony Centre, a charity run and maintained by volunteers, has emerged as a model social enterprise in Owen Sound. Every year, thousands of individuals attend performances, workshops, rehearsals, meetings, and banquets at the 150-year-old former church that was saved from an uncertain future more than a decade ago.

Created in 1994, Community Foundation Grey Bruce has a mandate to enhance community vitality by fostering open discussion about local need, sharing knowledge, and growing endowments to provide strategic granting and support to a wide range of non-profit organizations.  Community Foundation Grey Bruce established its Social Impact Investing Fund in 2022. The fund commits one per cent of the foundation’s total assets to local investments that generate a financial return and makes Grey Bruce a better place to live.

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