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Call to Action for IDC’s Design Community

Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) presented a talk at this year’s Interior Design Show in Toronto on the ARIDO + IDC stage, highlighting a call to arms for a revitalization project at the Jean Augustine Centre (JAC). The presentation, titled ‘Design to Make a Difference – Empowering the future through design today’ featured JAC’s Interim Executive Director, Carrie Burd, IDC CEO, Trevor Kruse, in conversation with New Age Granite & Marble Ltd. Business Development Manager, Danny Roppa.

The discussion centered around timelines, objectives, and opportunities for community partners to support the revitalization of the JAC teen room, which in its current state is unsuitable and unable to support JAC services.

The Hon. Dr. Jean Augustine’s Legacy

In December 1995, the Hon. Dr. Jean Augustine, then MP, and the first Black Canadian woman to be elected to the House of Commons, initiated and moved a motion to declare February Black History Month in Canada, with unanimous support from her colleagues.

“Black History is Canadian History” – Hon. Dr. Jean Augustine, P.C., C.M., O.Ont., C.B.E.

For decades, the history of Black people and communities in Canada was neglected in the public consciousness and curriculums. The recognition of Black History Month as a national observance by the Canadian Government, thanks to the tireless efforts of Hon. Dr. Jean Augustine, helped to rectify historical neglect.

Black History Month is an opportunity to highlight the often overlooked contributions of Black Canadians to Canadian History and culture.

About the Jean Augustine Centre

Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment was opened in June 2014 by the Hon. Dr. Jean Augustine who saw a specific need in the community to create a space where girls and young women could thrive and be supported to reach their full potential.

Located in Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Ontario, Canada, the centre offers in-person and online programming to girls and young women both locally and across Canada.

Participants come from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, with over 50% of participants from additionally underrepresented communities (Black, racialized, or LGBTQIA2S+) and many from low-income and/or single parent households.

The centre is committed to building the self-esteem of young women and girls by positively influencing their outlook on life, broadening their horizons, and helping them to empower themselves.

About the JAC project

This revitalization project will enhance service delivery by enabling programs to be fully implemented in a space that will ensure participants feel welcomed and valued and want to access JAC services.

“Through mentorship, empowerment programs, and experiential learning, the Jean Augustine Centre serves a vital role in the community for young women to become the next generation of leaders,” says IDC CEO, Trevor Kruse.

Project Details:


  • The current space is uninviting, worn down, and mismatched. It lacks amenities which deters program participants. The teens say the room “feels like a Costco.” JAC wants to provide a safe space for the teen girls to access programs and services to support their social, academic and personal development.


  • 1,178 sq. ft
  • Concrete flooring
  • Fluorescent lighting
  • Lack of amenities
  • Inefficient use of space
  • Inefficient storage


  • Community partners to support the revitalization of the JAC teen room through in-kind products, services, and labour to assist with the renovation project.
  • The space needs non-fixed equipment, such as routers for reliable Wi-Fi, projectors, workstations and laptops for programs, couches, carpets, lighting, microwave and fridge, and other amenities, and storage for materials and supplies.


  • IDC will feature design firms as project partners through social media channels, newsletters, and other means of promotion of this project, along with inclusion in the IDC 2024 Annual Report.

For more information about this initiative, please contact

Additional JAC contacts:

Carrie Burd, Executive Director (Interim)

Bryony Vander Wilp, Fundraising Coordinator