The Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions has been selected to participate in the first intake of a new initiative which will benefit nonprofits and communities across the province. Earlier this year, Toronto-based Community Researchers announced a call for proposals to award complimentary research projects to organizations across Ontario. After an extensive review of applications by the nonprofit research organization, a proposal submitted by CAFE was one of 8 projects selected for the new program.
“The CAFE research project was selected by our reviewers because the research results will be distributed throughout the live events sector,” according to Michael Harker, Executive Director of the nonprofit research organization. “The insights will benefit a large number of organizations and businesses.”
The research studies will analyze data and offer solutions to help industries navigate the pandemic and adapt to changing market conditions. To undertake the projects, Community Researchers will recruit and train eight community-minded researchers from Brock University's Centre for Sport Capacity, the Centennial College School of Hospitality, Tourism, and Culinary Arts, and The Bridge at University of Toronto Scarborough. Researchers will participate in a training program, receive support from their faculty, and earn academic credit for leading the projects.
CAFE Executive Director Christina Franc believes that prominent organizations within a sector have a responsibility to lead the industry’s research and development. “Many organizations in our industry have struggled during the pandemic and we are excited to collaborate with Community Researchers and its academic partners on this important R&D initiative.”
Harker added that the unique research initiative is the only program of its kind in Canada, delivering both short and long-term benefits in many areas. “Awarding 8 much-needed community research projects is an outstanding initiative on its own. But the Community Researchers program will also deliver sustained benefits by helping 8 young community-minded researchers build careers. Additionally, topline results from all studies will be shared extensively, benefiting sectors throughout Ontario and beyond.”
Projects will be completed by August 2021. Other organizations participating in the program include Gardens Ottawa, Parks and Recreation Ontario, and the Municipality of Port Hope. Community Researchers will offer another Call for Proposals later this year.