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Who's Hiring in Toronto? The Theatre Centre, TVO, and more

The most interesting of the opportunities we've seen this week:

For those with an interest in history, two positions of note at the moment. The provincial government is hiring a community programs officer to work at Ontario Heritage Trust to help with community outreach and communications. And the City of Toronto is hiring a museum coordinator who will be based out of the Todmorden Mills Heritage Site. The role includes strategic planning for and oversite of the four heritage sites at that location.

There are also a number of great openings at local cultural institutions. Over at TIFF they are looking for an assistant box office and call centre manager to manage daily operations year-round. A minimum of three years of customer service experience is required.

The newly re-opened Theatre Centre is seeking a manager of artist and community activation. The person who fills this post will take the lead in all outreach and communications strategy.

Ballet Jörgen Canada, meanwhile, is hiring an education coordinator to oversee all of Ballet Jörgen's and George Brown Dance's educational programs. And the Toronto Dance Theatre needs a new development coordinator; it's a post for an emerging professional with at least two years of relevant experience.

In the news realm, TVO has several openings right now. Among them are a digital media producer to work in the current affairs and documentary department, and a social media specialist to serve as both a community and a social media manager.

Finally, in the sustainability sector, Evergreen is looking for project manager for community development. It's a one year, four-day-a-week contract to oversee the implementation of urban agriculture project plans.

Do you know of an innovative job opportunity in Toronto? Let us know!

Biotech firm Xagenic closes $25.5M in new funding

Xagenic (pronounced ex-a-GEN-ic) is a medical startup dedicated to making diagnoses faster and easier for both patients and clinicians. Founded by Shana Kelley, a University of Toronto biochemistry professor, the premise is simple: allow medical professionals to diagnose of a range of illnesses on-site, wherever patients are, without needing to wait for a lab to process test results.

The product Xagenic currently has under development—described as a “molecular diagnostic platform”—can provide test results in 20 minutes.

It is promising enough that Xagenic recently announced a second closing of its Series B financing: $25.5 million, to be precise.

Among Xagenic’s investors are the Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund and BDC Capital, a subsidiary of the Business Development Bank of Canada. Clinical and analytic studies of the new platform are planned to start later this year, and the company aims to launch its product in 2015 or 2016.

Consulting firm Frost & Sullivan awarded Xagenic its 2014 award for New Product Innovation Leadership. In its announcement of the award, Forst & Sullivan said that "it is unique as a low-cost, simple, rapid sample-to-answer desktop instrument, requiring no manual sample processing or cold storage… For its portfolio of cartridge-based tests, Xagenic focuses on infectious diseases (HSV 1+2, Flu A+B, CT/NG, strep A, group B strep, trichomoniasis, HCV and upper respiratory infections) that will benefit the most from rapid on-site testing. The company also intends to apply the platform to counter a critical public health threat—antimicrobial resistance.”

In short: it’s the medical equivalent of cutting out the middleman, allowing clinicians to know right away if a patient has a certain illness and begin treatment right away. If the product’s development continues successfully, it has the potentially to significantly streamline the diagnostic process, reducing health care costs, saving clinicians time, and minimizing stress for patients waiting to hear about their test results.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Xagenic

Celestica opens microelectronics lab

Imagine you’re a company that’s involved in making products that require high-tech components—or that you have an idea for such a product, and would like to build a prototype. As technology continues to improve, especially in the realm of miniaturization, keeping pace by purchasing your own manufacturing equipment can be prohibitive—inefficient for larger companies, and impossible for smaller ones and startups.

Enter Celestica, a technology firm that manufacturers components for other tech-reliant companies, such as IBM, for instance. Last month, they opened a microelectronics lab at their Toronto headquarters to help with precisely these manufacturing challenges.

Clients who sign up to partner with Celestica—which will include both small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as startups and original equipment manufacturers—will gain the benefits of a 1,100 square foot lab in which elements like temperature and airborne particles are controlled in order to enable the manufacturing processes involved in miniaturization.

“There are very few place in Canada where companies can go to access this type of technology,” a spokesperson for Celestica told us, and the goal is to enable those companies to commercialize their products more effectively. It will especially help, the spokesperson went on, those who need to do “low-volume, high-reliability manufacturing”—which can range from companies testing out new products, to niche markets (like the aerospace industry) where there just isn’t a need for a large number of items to be produced.

The lab can facilitate the manufacture of fully-designed products, as well as offer engineering expertise to help with design for products that don’t have all their specs nailed down yet. Among the industries that most rely on the optics and photonics technology available at the lab are aerospace, renewable energy, and health care.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Celestica

Who's Hiring in Toronto: Evergreen, MaRS, and more

The most interesting of the opportunities we've seen this week:

Evergreen, the urban environmental centre, is currently looking for a site steward who will take charge of day-to-day maintenance, safety, and program support. Also for those with an interest in urban environmentalism, the Toronto Wildlife Centre—which helps injured and abandoned animals recover—is looking for someone to provide administrative and fundraising support.

Elsewhere in the environmental sector, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, a charity that works for the sustainability of our Great Lake, has two opportunities: they are seeking a marketing and public engagement manager to develop strategies for engaging individuals, sponsors, and non-profit partners, and they are also looking for a writer to contribute to the organization's online and written materials.

Finally, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is hiring a digital media assistant to work on newsletters, blogs, social media, and other online communications.

Innovation hub MaRS is seeking to fill multiple posts right now. First up is a software engineer with UNIX dev-ops or systems administration experience, to coordinate multiple systems via a Switchyard service bus. Elsewhere in the organization, they are looking for innovation curriculum leads for three- to six-month contracts in a variety of learning modules.

ShopLocket, which helps retailers develop an online presence, is looking for a WordPress contractor to work on a brand new platform they've launched, called The Blueprint.

And in the cultural centre, the soon-to-open Aga Khan Museum is filling two positions. One is for a program coordiantor of education and scholarly programs, and applications should have at least two years of progressive experience in a cultural institution. And the second is for an education manager with at least five years of relevant experience.

Ryerson launches partnership with London tech accelerator

Recently Ryerson University announced that its Digital Media Zone (DMZ) had signed a "friendship agreement" with one of Europe's largest technology accelerators, Level39. Based in London, England's Canary Wharf, Level39 has a particular focus on the financial, retail, and future cities sectors. The agreement will allow members of each institution access the other's facilities, spaces, and networks.

Ryerson has been in talks with Level39 for "five or six months," says Hossein Rahnama, director of research and innovation for the DMZ, "and it was a natural decision to form a partnership with them." Level39 has been around for two years now, says Rahnama by way of introduction, and is owned by the Canary Wharf Group. They "are hoping to transform part of the city into a global technology hub," he goes on. "Our goal is to enhance our collaboration with the UK, enhance mobility."

London has done a "great job" in developing the sectors in question, and the partnership is key for expanding the opportunities the DMZ can offer its members. It's one of several partnerships Ryerson hopes to develop in Europe over the coming years.

"International expansion has been part of our agenda since the beginning," Rahnama says—crucial for helping DMZ members find new opportunities for growth by giving them access to new markets, as well as exposure to best practices.

"A lot of our startups in Toronto are looking at addressing the financial vertical," Rahnama explains, so this allows Ryerson to offer that community to allow for scaling in Europe, without a lot of startup costs.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Hossein Rahnama, director of research and innovation, Ryerson University DMZ

Who's Hiring in Toronto? Ladies Learning Code, World Wildlife Fund, and more

The most interesting opportunities we've come across lately:

Tides Canada, which provides support services to philanthropic and activist organizations, needs a full-time program associate to help out with a range of funders and grantees on issues ranging from food security to environmental conservation. Meanwhile, one of their funding recipients, the East Scarborough Storefront—which works on collaborative community development in that part of the city—is hiring a manager of local economic opportunities. They are looking for someone with at least two years of leadership experience.

For those with an interest in urban agriculture, Fresh City Farms is seeking an assistant farm manager to oversee two plots at their Downsview Park location. At least one season of organic farming experience is a must.

Also in the environmental sector, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada is looking for a manager of development and communications to lead the implementation of their fundraising strategy.

The World Wildlife Fund is hiring a marine police and research associate. Candidates should have a relevant undergraduate degree and three to five years of eperience in conservation research.

For those with tech skills, retail startup ShopLocket has three posts open right now, for a javascript developer, a full-stack developer, and a UX specialist. Also, Ladies Learning Code—which runs development courses aimed at women—is hiring a lead for their Toronto chapter. Responsibilities in this part-time position including organizing several workshops each month, as well as coordinating instructors and volunteers.

Finally, 7D Surgical—the start-up we told you about last month that is developing a GPS-like system as a medical tool—is hiring for a variety of positions, including a software developer, a clinical specialist, and a quality assurance director.

Do you know of an innovative job opportunity in Toronto? Let us know!

Counting Down to the Pan Am Games

This past weekend, Cisco Canada and the City of Toronto unveiled the Pan Am Games Countdown Clock, an innovative way to try and build momentum for the games as we head into the final round of preparations.

Located at Nathan Phillips Square, the clock—5.5 metres tall, 7.3 tonnes, and using five kilometres' worth of fibre optic cable—includes a range of internet-enabled functions that will be enhanced in the coming months.

In addition to counting down to the Games, the clock contains an interactive kiosk (it's wheelchair accessible—the screen adjusts height with the touch of a button) that will let you learn about the 51 sports included in the Pan Am Games, and about participating countries. If you're interested in volunteering you can learn more about options for that, too.

Over time new features will be added in, such as two-way video that will allow visitors to the clock to communicate with Pan Am athletes in their home towns, enabling communication between those of us hosting here and those who will be coming into Toronto for the Games.

Jeff Seifert, Cisco's chief technology officer, explains in a video about the clock that what makes it different are these added features, which are meant to create as engaging an experience as possible for users. The clock took six months to develop, and a team of 40 people was involved in its creation.

The 2015 Pan Am Games will take place from July 10–26, and the Parapan American Games will run from August 7–15.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Cisco Canada

Artscape launches pilot programs for creative industry entrepreneurs

We're used to thinking of Artscape as a (re)maker of spaces: from the Wychwood Barns to Gibraltar Point, they take old sites in Toronto and help shape them to suit new uses.

Now Artscape is taking a more active role in programming some of those spaces, launching a series of pilot programs to help creative entrepreneurs tackle the business aspects of their ventures. The Creative Business Design Workshop, Creative Entrepreneurship Program, and Business Skills for Growth Workshop Series are part of the ramp-up to the opening of Launchpad, a full-fledged centre slated to open in 2017.

Launchpad has been in the works for five years, says Pru Robey, Artscape's Creative Placemaking Lab Director. It will be a new creative and cultural entrepreneurship centre, one that gives "skills, tools, and resources" to creative workers, to help them start and sustain effective businesses.

It's needed, she says, because underlying all of the banner headlines about Toronto's vaunted arts scene, "are some real challenges that are faced by people in the creative sector." Stats about growth and employment "are actually made up of independent, solo traders working part-time, and working in other sectors to support their creative work, and people who are earning very little on average."  This means, Robey argues, that there is a great deal of unrealized economic potential: earnings for workers in the cultural sector are below average compared to those in other sectors with comparable education levels.

This is often compounded, she says, by a lack of early-stage support. "Graduating students suddenly lose access to a whole network of support"—basics such as space, equipment, resources, and mentorship—and aren't taught the specific, practical skills of how to build an effective freelance career or business.

Toronto already has a number of entrepreneur-support programs, incubators, and other similar support systems. Why the need to start a new one for the creative sector in particular?

"Our research shows, and our experience tells us," says Robey, "that oftentimes creatives have lots of passion [for their work] but they don't really want to talk about growing a business, so the traditional kinds of entrepreneurship support aren't necessarily appealing."

The pilot programs will be unveiled throughout this summer and fall. When Launchpad opens in 2017, says Robey, it will "combine a learning environment with a creative environment" and include a "range of highly specified and equipped production studios." The goal is to provide both creative and business support for everything from sound production to photography to fashion and jewelry to industrial design.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Pru Robey, Creative Placemaking Lab Director, Artsca

ScribbleLive acquires major competitor CoverItLive

We last wrote about ScribbleLive—the digital publishing company that helps media outlets, sports teams, and brands provide real-time event coverage—a year ago, when they closed a new round of funding and had their eye on expansion. Those ambitions are only getting bigger: ScribbleLive has just announced that it has acquired its best-known competitor, CoverItLive.

The Toronto-based ScribbleLive approached the California-based Demand Media, which owned CoverItLive, because "We noticed that it wasn't a core business of their owners," explains CEO Vincent Mifsud. "It just happened that they were in the process of divesting of many of their assets," he goes on, and the deal went through smoothly, with the help of ScribbleLive's existing financial backers.

It didn't hurt that CoverItLive's engineering team happened to be located in Toronto already, which aided the transition: though the deal was announced just last night, CoverItLive's engineers have already moved into the ScribbleLive offices. The Toronto office is now at about 50 staff, with another 30 working internationally.

"Organically we're growing at around 70-80 per cent," Mifsud says, and ScribbleLive will continue to push that with new acquisitions to "round out our growth."

They are aiming to enhance the platform and services they offer, and given their newly-expanded engineering team, hope to start layering in new functionality shortly. Specifically, Mifsud told us that they are going to be focusing on content strategy planning tools, and at optimization tools that help the clients who use ScribbleLive get the most from the publishing platform.

ScribbleLive and CoverItLive will, in the interim, continue as separate services; they will eventually become a single, fully-integrated platform.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Vincent Mifsud, CEO, ScribbleLive

Who's Hiring in Toronto? Daily Bread, Pathways to Education, and more

The most interesting of the opportunities we've seen this week:

The Vancouver Aquarium handles not just displays and exhibits, but the Ocean Wise sustainable seafood program, which helps consumers make environmentally friendly seafood choices. They are looking for a Toronto representative for the Ocean Wise program to help develop it in Eastern Canada. Candidates should have a combination of experience in marine biology or life sciences, as well as business development.

Also in the sustainability sector, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, which helps safeguard the greenbelt's argicultural and environmental health, is looking for a research and policy assistant.

Finally, TREC Education, which focuses on raising awareness about energy issues, is looking for a program co-ordinator. The post is part-time with potential to develop into full-time work, and some travel within the province will be required.

In the social services sector, the Daily Bread Food Bank is hiring a manager of corporate and foundation philanthropy to oversee its major partnership programs. It's a senior post for someone who will oversee several million dollars of cash and in-kind donations annually. Meanwhile, Pathways to Education, which helps low-income youth access post-secondary education, has two postings open right now: they are seeking an executive assistant to their president, as well as a research and database manager with significant experience using Raiser’s Edge CRM.

In health services, the Council on Drug Abuse, which runs drug-prevention programs for teens, is looking for a new program manager.

For those with an interest in culture, the City of Toronto is looking for a program development officer to focus on arts and culture—specifically, to work at the Fort York historic site.

Also, Artscape, which revitalizes and redevelopers older facilities in Toronto, needs a program manager for their Creative Placemaking Lab, which conducts community consultation and planning as Artscape develops new sites.

Last but not least, baroque orchestra Tafelmusik is looking for a director of philanthropy with at least seven years of fundraising experience.

Do you know of an innovative job opportunity in Toronto? Let us know!

Helping musicians find their soulmates

Between Craigslist and the variety of social networks now available, you might think that finding a new bandmate might be as easy as posting an ad or a status update. Many musicians, however, find it isn't so easy.

This is what led Shaan Singha and Troy Fullerton to co-found DownToJam, a start-up social network created specifically for musicians.

The idea came up during a casual conversation: Fullerton was helping Singha move a motorcycle and was complaining about his trouble finding someone to jam with. Singha asked, "Isn't there anything like [a dating website] where you can see someone's profile, what they're doing?"

It turned out that there wasn't, and so the two decided to create one. It was, says Singha, "born out of desperation, trying to find compatible friends to play with."

Their goal is to help people build actual friendships over music, and to have the range of people participating be as diverse as possible. Fullerton is an experienced musician and Singha is a beginner: they hope to be able to match people at all parts of the spectrum of expertise.

The site is still technically in beta, with an official launch coming later this summer. So far Texas and Toronto are the two biggest user groups; DownToJam has a total of about 3,000 members so far.

"Services for our members free," Singha says—something they are committed to maintaining. The business plan includes beginning with ad revenue, and then moving on to including a classified-style section of enhanced profiles.

DownToJam also includes a third co-owner, Neil McWilliam—their developer—and they plan on hiring in coming months for a forthcoming blogging division.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Shaan Singha, co-founder, DownToJam

New research institute to explore end-of-life issues

The University of Toronto and the University Health Network have announced that they are launching a new institute dedicated to one of the most fraught areas of medicine: how we handle death and dying.

The Global Institute for Psychosocial, Palliative and End-of-Life Care (GIPPEC) will focus on interdisciplinary research, bringing together medical experts along with academics in subjects ranging from religion to law, to work collaboratively on what is not just a medical issue, but a growing subject of public interest and policy.

"What happened in the history of medicine is that as medicine became more specialized and technical, many of the aspects that had to do with control of physical symptoms, psychological symptoms, end of life care, fell off the radar," explains Dr. Gary Rodin, who will serve as the new institute's director. At one point those matters, he says, "would have been part of expertise of generalists, but as doctors became more focused on organ systems and diseases…palliative care emerged to fill that void."

That growing field isn't sufficient, however, to tackle the numerous and complex questions faced by those grappling with end-of-life issues.

"Many of the questions are broader questions than can be answered by medicine alone," Rodin continues, "including withdrawal of care, assisted suicide, and resource distribution—not just medical issues. A whole variety of disciplines…are needed to address these issues."

There are investigators in a variety of disciplines working on various aspects of these questions, and one of the institute's main goals is to bring them together so they can share their insights and work collaboratively.

Given than many of the laws, regulations, and procedures which shape end-of-life decisions are made by politicians and courts, rather than decided by physicians, another of the institute's major goals will be to "provide at least scholarly opinion to inform the public debate we think that's been lacking. There's a lot of emotion around [these issues] but not a lot of research."

This is also why Rodin is planning a significant programming element: there will be a series of talks, as well as a large annual conference that includes both professional and public components.

The institute will have its formal inauguration in October, and will be up and running within the next year. It will include a core staff of about half a dozen, and will have numerous Canadian and international researchers contributing part-time.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Dr. Gary Rodin, Director, Global Institute for Psychosocial, Palliative and End-of-Life Care
Photo: The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the University Health Network

Local researchers pilot GPS-style tool for surgery

Explaining breakthroughs in medical technology can be difficult. The tools are precise and specialized, and the difference new innovations can make can be hard to grasp.

But here's one that's relatively easy to wrap your head around: researchers at Ryerson University and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre are piloting a new imaging technology for use during surgery.

The goal is simple: give surgeons a clear and near-instant ability to see exactly what they are doing and where they are going within a person's body during the course of an operation.

"Everyone knows how to use a GPS when they're driving," says Victor Yang, the researcher leading the project.  "This is a GPS for surgeons."

The system, 7D Surgical Navigation, is now a spin-off company, and has started pilot testing in a number of patients.

Essentially the problem until now is that surgeons have had to choose, Yang explains, between operating largely blind, learning about a patient's precise anatomical condition as they go, or ordering images such as x-rays, but having to wait up to 30 minutes during surgery for those images to be developed.

Practice tends to vary from doctor to doctor, with some preferring to wait for x-rays while patient is on the table, and others working much more quickly, but free hand, and thus with less accuracy. 7D allows surgeons to benefit from the accuracy imaging provides, without sacrificing time with patients open on the table—both a cost savings in terms of reducing operating times, and a health benefit since it's generally preferable to keep surgical times to a minimum.

The trials of the new device began in March. So far, 13 patients have been enrolled, with a variety of medical problems: some have tumours in the middle of their brains, some were in car accidents and had broken their spines. The ultimate goal is to have 60 participants in this pilot phase.

"The technology is broadly applicable," Yang says, "but the engineering team that I have is very focused on spine and brain surgeries [at the moment]—these are the surgeries that require highest precision. Afterwords we will go on to ear nose and throat, and then orthopaedic surgeries."

As with all new medical devices 7D will need to clear several regulatory hurdles, including  licensing from Health Canada and the FDA. Yang says his team is aiming to hit those targets within 12-18 months.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Victor Yang, lead researcher, 7D Surgical

CivicAction recruiting for next cohort of DiverseCity fellows

In a city like Toronto—one which prides itself, defines itself—in terms of its diverse population, what does diversity actually mean, and how deep does it actually run?

"We have one of, if not the most, diverse cities on the planet," says Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO of CivicAction, the non-partisan community engagement organization. But that diversity doesn't necessarily extend to all sectors, and to all levels of leadership. True diversity, she says, would mean that leadership "looks like the city that we are."

That's why CivicAction (in collaboration with the Maytree Foundation) created a program called DiverseCity Fellows six years ago. It's a leadership training program for up-and-coming civic leaders that includes 100 hours of programming over the course of a year. Right now, CivicAction is recruiting for its next cohort of DiverseCity fellows.

Previous fellows reflect diversity of sector, diversity of gender, diversity of age (ranging from 27 to 56), and three-quarters have identified as visible minorities—"an important reason we run this program," Palvetzian says.

The program isn't meant to be a cure-all: for all that we do identify as a diverse city, we have a long way to go on many fronts before that is truly reflected everywhere. Leadership capacity is just one piece of a much larger puzzle, she goes on to say.

"Leadership development can target our challenges," especially by developing capacity in younger generations, and by serving as role models.

What they are looking for most in an applicant is someone who is "passionate and results-oriented, someone who has a clear understanding of what they want to do"—a project in the pipeline, and some mentors already who can help them achieve their goals.

The DiverseCity program is designed to help those people, with 5-15 years of experience already, take their ideas and give them the skills, networks, and other resources to realize those ideas, to "pack these folks with experience and access" that can help them champion a real project.

Applicants are being accepted until July 8, 2014.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO, CivicAction

Photo: CivicAction

Who's Hiring in Toronto? Evergreen, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and more

The most interesting of the opportunities we've seen this week...

The Ontario Brain Institute has two paid internships they are filling at the moment. One is to work on their infographics platform, Brain-CODE, assisting with data, research, and administrative tasks, and the other is to work in operations under the finance and governance teams. Both internships are six months long.

The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research is looking for some tech help, in the form of an interactive developer with at least two years of experience.

Over at the University of Toronto, the faculty of law is looking for an associate director for the Centre for Innovation. Candidates should have at least five years of experience in a university or legal setting, and preferably a legal degree.

For those with an interest in music, the Royal Conservatory is looking for a web content manager to tackle writing, SEO optimization, online promotions, and other related duties.

If the relationship between cities, urban agriculture, and nature is your thing, look no further then Regent Park Community Food Centre, which is hiring a park coordinator for a two-year contract position. And Evergreen has several interesting opportunities available, including ones for a site animator, an assistant of volunteer engagement, a program lead for the children's garden, and an event and client services leader.

Finally, in senior hires, United Way Toronto is looking for a lead for their Building Strong Neighbourhoods strategy.

Do you know of a creative and innovative job opportunity? Let us know!
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