This award is presented to an organization or individual who demonstrates exceptional generosity or leadership in support of the arts in Durham Region (including, but not limited to monetary funding, gifts in kin, volunteer contributes and fundraising).The winner of this award is Carol Vandersanden, The Table.
Many know Carol Vandersanden as the owner of The Table – a lifestyle restaurant in downtown Oshawa, embracing living simply and serving clean, whole, flavourful, local food. But, Carol is also known for engaging the community in interesting and innovative projects to make Durham Region a place that continues to grow and evolve. Last year, Carol won the Art of Transition Award for her pioneering work with children in the after school program Planting Gardens. This initiative spawned a new project this year called We Grow Food, in which more than 30 public and private gardens were established in the greater Oshawa area. The public gardens were established, planted and maintained by volunteers in the community. In addition to the gardens, Carol installed a log mini-amphitheatre at the major downtown Oshawa public garden, to encourage local drumming, dance and musical groups to perform and enhance the atmosphere. She also hosted the Trading Harvest Market in her restaurant, which provided local urban vegetable gardeners the opportunity to share and trade their fresh produce, creating a sense of community. We Grow Food is an initiative that exemplifies Carol, and her passion for creating a positive impact on the Durham Region community.