Imagining My Sustainable Community (IMSC)
Educational Workshop for Grades 7-9

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in an effort to reach more students and be more accessible to remote communities, our award-winning IMSC program is going to be delivered completely online in 2020/2021. With the support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Digital Strategy Fund and the McConnell Foundation, we will also be taking this program across Canada starting with Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto in 2020, and Montreal and Halifax in 2021. These are challenging times, and now more than ever, we need to prepare the next generation to build strong sustainable communities. The adaption of the program will see a series of video modules and digital resources created by our professional designers that will replace their need to be in the classroom. Students will now make digital models of their sustainable building ideas using the 3D modeling software SketchUp. Individual and class reviews with professional designers will happen over Zoom with finalized designs being loaded up onto Google Earth in their proposed locations. This is so that students from different communities can see each other’s proposals and have a dialogue around building sustainable communities across Canada. The IMSC program will focus on students in grades 7 to 9 with a particular interest in fulfilling grade 9 curriculum outcomes in geography, under the unit of building sustainable communities. It is also No.9’s interest to work with more indigenous communities and, along with our partners, we will be reaching out to these communities to engage their youth in the IMSC program.

To date, over 4,000 students have participated in the IMSC program learning the role that they can play in reducing carbon emissions and building more sustainably. They have also learned that in order for communities to be sustainable they need to address social and economic equity issues and that people need to come together to become more resilient in the face of adversity.

“If our expectation is for the creative class of the next generation to drive the new green economy, then we must take on the responsibility of providing that generation with the necessary tools to do so.”

- Andrew Davies, Executive Director No.9

Creating a sustainable community

We are No.9– a non-profit using art and design to bring awareness to environmental and community concerns. Through educational school programming, we focus on youth – the generation of the future. We work with students to inspire and encourage creative thinking around city planning, environmental issues and promoting a sustainable lifestyle.

Our name comes from the nine pillars essential to building a sustainable community:

  •  Water Management
  •  Alternative Energy
  •  Green Building Design
  •  Civic Engagement and Leadership
  •  Public Art and Design
  •  Urban Agriculture
  •  Green Space
  •  Waste Management
  •  Transportation

Each of these is critical in building and achieving a sustainable community. They are also the foundation of the Imagine My Sustainable Community program.

Today’s youth and their ability to imagine is our best hope for a better future. No.9 wants to tap the unbridled potential that lies in the creative minds of the next generation to find solutions to building more sustainable communities.

Our vision is to empower youth to lead a revolution in creating sustainable communities.

Imagining My Sustainable Community is a revolutionary new program that is engaging and energizing young people in a way never before seen in Canadian public education. It delivers an experiential lesson on how communities work, and inspires and empowers them to create solutions that will improve life in their communities for years to come.

Community engagement, transportation systems, housing, sustainability, infrastructure, reconciliation – they touch us all, every day of our lives, whether we realize it or not. If today’s youth can see just how much of a role urban planning and design play in our daily lives, then they can begin to imagine their own sustainable communities. And imagination knows no bounds.

It’s not a lesson – it’s an experience.

89% of teachers are doing more hands-on activities, and offering more hands-on choices in classrooms (2011 survey of RAFT members)

99% of teachers report students are more engaged and retain more knowledge through hands-on experiences



Throughout the whole process, the No.9 Board of Directors will be actively involved, and the project will be supported by volunteers with specific roles and responsibilities, including:


A select group of visionary leaders from across Canada is integral in guiding the planning and implementation. They will have expertise and a specific interest in sustainable development, environmental education, Indigenous communities, reconciliation and community building.


Engaging youth in the philanthropic process is essential for building a sustainable community. This unique approach will help engage the next generation of partners and philanthropists. The Youth Cabinet will be empowered in their role, and will participate in material development, solicitations, and stewardship and recognition activities.


The traditional Cabinet model will be replaced by the Circle, ensuring this initiative is inclusive to all communities. Circle members will act as the primary volunteers, providing support and leadership based on their strengths. Elders, leaders, connectors, solicitors, storytellers, connectors, communicators, and those interested in governance with be sought.