A big THANK YOU to all!

The 15th Annual UP Golf Classic was a phenomenal day! The Oaks provided such a fun and challenging course, delicious food and great hospitality. We enjoyed your good company and the most incredible generosity under the sun.. yup, perfect weather!

TOGETHER – 160 Sponsors, 144 Golfers, and 25 Volunteers – we raised $56,001 net for Unity Project for Relief of Homelessness in London and our Housing Stability Program. We are lucky to know you and grateful for your compassion and support.

For photo’s from the day click here

THANK YOU! On behalf of the 15th Annual UP Golf Classic Committee: Rick Odegaard, Brian Mortimer, Lucretia Geleynse, Bob Mitchell, Karen Hodge, Greg Masse, Colleen Van Loon, Andrew Mullings, Greg Masse, Stacey Evoy AND the residents, volunteers, staff and board of Unity Project for Relief of Homelessness in London.


Jackie Van Loon,

Brian Humphrey

Mike Webb

Tom Molloy

George Barber

WINNING WOMENTeam Dutch– Colleen Van Loon, Jacki Van Loon, Wilma Van Loon and Tony Van Loon

WINNING MEN – CUPE – Fred Blake, Ron Humphrey, Brian Humphrey, Wyn Geleynse

WINNING MIXED Last Minute Loops – Dean Garbutt, Jeff Crane, Anne Dunbar and Karen Hodge


Huge success for UPwithART w/ Museum London Partnership


The 9th Annual UPwithART show, in partnership with Centre at the Fork – Museum London, was an incredible success with enormous thanks to you! We successfully raised over $150,000 at Museum London on April 27th, 2019, with 70 works of awesome art on display along with our guests’ love of art, a passion to end homelessness, and genuine support for Unity Project.

This year your support of UPwithART is currently at work supporting Unity Project to adapt “Housing First” to our emergency shelter framework and helping vulnerable people (aged 16 and up) end or avoid their experience of homelessness through diverting people from shelter, obtaining safe housing, and maintaining stability within the community. With a new partnership formed with Museum London, your gift is also at work supporting children and Indigenous programming to deepen the visitor experience and advance a lively, creative cultural centre that inspires, encourages and engages the community.

We are extremely grateful for your continued support, participation and presence within the community, and together we are able to exhibit the intersection of arts, culture & social justice and the importance of them in establishing a vibrant community.

We hope you join us next year at Museum London for the cities best arty-party! 


Thank-you on behalf of the UPwithART Committee:
Silvia Langer, Brian Meehan, Anita Schipper, Sarah White, Peter Lebel, Lisa Mc Dougall, Moira McKee, David Merritt, Mitra Shreeram, Lucas Stenning,Janice Strickland, Diana Tamblyn, Ian Tripp, Lucretia Geleynse


Museum London to host, benefit from Unity Project fundraiser

Arts and social justice always were at the heart of Unity Project’s UPwithART fundraiser.

Now, that connection has been made stronger thanks to a partnership between the local organization that offers shelter and housing services and Museum London.

UPwithArt “has been one of our major events over the last few years in which we have gathered artists, collectors and people who want to support arts and support our cause of alleviating homelessness and poverty,” said Chuck Lazenby, Unity Project’s executive director.

“It has grown tremendously over the last few years . . . and that exceeds our capacity as a small organization (to manage it), so given we already had a relationship with Museum London, it just made sense for us to combine our efforts.”

As part of the event, now in its ninth edition, Unity Project auctions donated art, with proceeds of the sales going to support the organization’s homelessness relief efforts. These include an emergency shelter and supportive housing programs for people dealing with poverty and homelessness.

Last year, the event raised $101,000, an amount they are hoping to surpass in 2019, Lazenby said.

This time around, a portion of those proceeds also will go to support public programming at the museum.

For the upcoming auction, more than 75 works of art valued at more than $70,000 have been donated by artists – some of them current or former Unity Project clients – art collectors and other supporters of the project. They range in value between $50 and $2,500.

One of the donating artists is Angie Quick, who is contributing a painting to UPwithArt for the third year.
“I think this is a very important event that is very effective at what it does,” she said. “It clearly brings together so many different people within the community, and it focuses on the art, the artists and the people who it’s helping in the community and bridging those things together.”

Besides the art for sale, the event includes door prizes for advanced-ticket holders and raffle items. People can preview the art on the event’s website,, and bid on the items online if they can’t make it to the event.

Thanks to the new partnership, the event will be held this year at the museum’s recently renovated Centre at the Forks area.

Brian Meehan, the museum’s executive director, said these were the types of events they hoped they would be hosting when they decided to embark in the $2.5 million project to renew the space to include a two-storey window-wall and a terrace overlooking the Thames River.

“We really imagined this space as a community gathering place  . . . and we were thrilled to be part of that,” he said, adding he believes the new partnership could help the event grow even more than it already has.

“The people who support the Unity Project and the people who support the museum are probably two different audiences,” he said.

“So this was an opportunity to double the audience for the event and hopefully get that many more people through the door and make it even more of a success than it has been in previous years.”

The London Free Press


A Big UPwithART Thanks from Unity Project!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

The 8th Annual UPwithART show was our most successful year yet, with an enormous thanks to YOU!

The Palace Theatre was SOLD OUT with 350 people making the scene on 28 April 2018, where 65 awesome works were on display along with our guests’ love of art, passion to end homelessness, and genuine support for Unity Project. While our calculations are not quite yet complete, it certainly appears to have been another big jump from last year, grossing around $125,000!!!

Many of the pieces sold at the Buy It Now price and patrons bid high all around – our newest addition to the show, the ceramics in the Objects Gallery sold at 127% of value!  Money Now, the opportunity for folks to offer pure support for Unity Project, raised a record $30,000+!  The Raffle sold out, raising nearly $6,000 before doors even opened. Lastly, the multi-media live performance called for change, and left the audience speechless, through spoken word, music and imagery. A special thanks to Chris dela Torre, Franklin Davis Jr., Emma Wise, Cory Downing and Jason Rip.

To view the 8th Annual UPwithART photos, click here.

This year’s UPwithART supports Unity Project’s Volunteer program. Some 7500 hours are logged annually by frontline volunteers providing support to participants and staff during extremely busy and sometimes difficult days and nights.

We especially thank the 35 volunteers who supported this year’s event along with our unending gratitude to Presenting Sponsor The Mitchell & Kathryn Baran Family Foundation Gold SponsorsSiskinds | Paul Strickland, Christopher Collins and Van Simpson Portfolio Management | Scotia Wealth Management and to our Raffle Sponsor TD Bank Group

We would love to know your feedback to help us improve your UPwithART experience at the 9th Annual UPwithART and ensure it remains the best arty-party for relief of homelessness in London.

Yours truly,

Chuck Lazenby, Silvia Langer, Anita Schipper and Loretta Hachey

on behalf of UPwithART 2018 Committee:
Brian Meehan (chair), Sarah White, Wyn Geleynse, Lucretia Geleynse, Peter Lebel, Ian Tripp, Gerald Pedros, Janice Strickland, Janice Johnston, Moira McKee


Fine Art of Support

Nate Gervais knows what it’s like to be living on the street and needing a little help.

So on Saturday, the 47-year-old Londoner will be giving back to the Unity Project at the eighth annual UPwithART arty party and silent auction at the Palace Theatre.

It’s one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for shelter on Dundas Street near English Street that offers “home-like emergency shelter and transitional housing shelter” for men, women and youth aged 18 and older, as well as a life skills program.

Gervais is one of three clients paired with London artists to create art for the auction. He collaborated with Leslie Putnam. The other collaborators include artist David Merritt with Marshall Custus and Jason McLean with Don Krauskopf.

“Staff and others observed that I was always painting or drawing and carrying around art supplies and asked me if I’d do it,” said Gervais.

“My grandfather was a graphic artist and artist and, so, I was seven when I first had a palette knife in my hand and I received a lot of encouragement. I’ve always enjoyed working with other artists, especially people on the street. There are some accomplished artists on the street. The Unity Project helped me out and this is something I love and I know I’m good at. I felt I had to go through with this because art is a defining element of me.”

Working with Putnam “was a good fit” said Gervais.

“She was watching me paint things and writing things throughout the day and was picking up stuff I was discarding – sometimes even with X through it – and then we talked and she put it together,” explained Gervais of their piece titled Conversations.

“It was truly a collaborative effort.”

Gervais has struggled with mental health issues and has lived mostly in shelters and on the street for about the last seven years, but has worked previously in retail, an art store and in the construction industry. He attended Western University, Fanshawe College (for architectural technology) and San Francisco’s Academy of Art University.

When he paints or draws, Gervais said he will do portraits, drawings of anatomy and other images of the “street and urban environment.”

Putnam often has lent her talents to raising money for the Unity Project and other causes.

“It’s local and you see where your money is going,” said Putnam, adding she enjoyed working with Gervais.

“It was great to work with another artist – a talented artist – and someone you’ve never met before. It was nice to collaborate. We found a way to put our two voices together.”


UPwithART includes the four collaborative pieces, art donated by London artists, and art donated by London collectors, all to be sold in a silent auction.

Last year’s event raised more than $81,000 for the Unity Project, which organizers hope to exceed.

The event also includes door prizes, raffle items, hors d’oeuvres and a mixed media live performance including spoken word, music and imagery featuring Franklin Davis Jr., Emma Wise, Cory Downing and Jason Rip.

There also will be a winescape micro-gallery where art works on paper conceal 12 bottles of wine up for auction; an auction of ceramics; a raffle to win a Harold Town painting, Toy Horse #263, valued at $4,500; and, a door prize featuring a painting by Maurice Stubbs.

“There is something for everyone at UPwithART, whether you’re a seasoned collector and someone just beginning to collect,” said committee chair, Brian Meehan, executive director of Museum London.

“The breadth of work, the calibre of artists, the accessible prices and the party atmosphere all provide a unique opportunity through which to experience the London art scene and support a most important cause.”

By Joe Belanger
The London Free Press


Helping Canadians Without a Home: in London and beyond

For 21 years the second Tuesday of February has been dedicated to Raising the Roof’s Toque Tuesday.

Early this Toque Tuesday morning – February 6, 2018 – London & St. Thomas Association of Realtors gathered for coffee and donuts, to purchase the now iconic Raising the Roof toques and to share their thoughts on homelessness. Each realtor had the opportunity express their feelings about homelessness by filling out a “selfie sign” and have their photo taken to spread the word on social media. “Sucks,” said one. “Sad,” said another and, seeking another S-word to complete the trilogy, “Solveable!”

Unity Project’s fourth year as local partner in Raising the Roof’s Toque Campaign brought even more supporters joining with thousands of volunteers from communities across the country who are eager to lend a hand to provide long-term solutions to homelessness in Canada.

Londoners Helping Canadians without a Home

Londoners purchased some 550 of the iconic Raising the Roof toques and ball caps directly from Unity Project and friends selling on our behalf including Framing & Art Centre, TD Canada Trust – Dundas/Lyle Branch, Libro Credit Union, Lovebird Flowers, Richmore’s Pizzeria, Old East Village Grocer, Urban League of London, London District Catholic Secondary School, and Western University – Faculty of Information and Media Studies Students Council.

Many thanks to these lovely Londoners who purchased 10 or more toques each for their staff, students and members: Callon Dietz, Duo Building, UNIFOR Local 27, UNIFOR Local 302, CUPE Local 101, Neighbourhood Legal Services, Sutton Group – Pawlowski & Co., Wasdell Homes, RTraction, City of London – Mayor Matt Brown, City Councillors and Staff, Urban League of London, London & St. Thomas Association of REALTORS, Dr. Tarek Loubani, Scotia Wealth Management – Van Simpson

Purchases were also made (and can still be made) online at . Unity Project greatly appreciates the thoughtful messages people provided on their selfie signs and for keeping us posted on social media #toquetuesday, #rtrtoque and #wearingiscaring

In 2019 Unity Project aims to sell at least 2019 toques! Greater involvement is already promised from LSTAR.

“We are proud to support the Unity Project’s Raising the Roof Toque Campaign, as we work together to find solutions for homelessness,” said Jeff Nethercott, LSTAR President. “LSTAR Members have a passion for shelter and collaborating with our local charities gives us a tremendous opportunity to make a positive impact.”

Homelessness is one of the greatest issues currently facing Canada, where at least 235,000 people experience homelessness annually. Since 1997, Raising the Roof’s Toque Campaign has raised over $8 million to support over 200 homeless serving agencies across the country. Raising the Roof’s iconic toques sell for $15 and ball caps at $20 with 50% of all local sales supporting Raising the Roof’s local partners in some 50 or more communities across Canada.

Unity Project for Relief of Homelessness is the local partner in London, providing shelter and housing supports for over 600 individuals annually. Many thanks to Stephanie Monaghan who led the Toque Tuesday campaign this year for the first time.