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$100,000 gift kicks off effort to inspire youth creativity

AYR | June 6, 2022 - Waterloo Region youth in grades 5 - 12 can look forward to micro-grants enabling them to apply their creativity towards solving problems. An innovative Youth Creativity Fund (YCF) is being established thanks to a $100,000 donation by HIP Developments. When launched in the fall, individuals can ask for up to $500 to try out their idea while a group of two or more can request up to $1,000. BEP Waterloo Region is to run the new fund.

“Imagine a future in which our children, supported and mentored right here in Waterloo Region, can creatively change the world without having to leave home. We developed the Youth Creativity Fund to help youth tangibly see that their contributions are valued by their community. It says we believe in you and support you,” said Scott Higgins, president of HIP Developments. “Now I’m challenging a community that has benefited from its creative legacy to inspire local youth to be innovative because by supporting the creative growth of our youth we are supporting the future success of Waterloo Region.”

“We’re a charity that contributes to a healthy community by helping youth make informed decisions about their future in the workplace,” said Scott Verhoeve, executive director of BEP Waterloo Region. “We’re excited about the Youth Creativity Fund providing youth with the kind of real world experiences that are important to exploring potential career directions. We aim to say yes to every project that makes a case for funds so we expect to make an impact on the lives of a wide range of youth across Waterloo Region.

The Youth Creativity Fund is about encouraging creative risk taking rather than competing to win awards. A willingness to experiment, while understanding that even in failure there is a tremendous amount to learn, builds creative confidence. As youth learn these lessons, they prepare themselves for a lifetime of innovative problem solving. Anyone interested in inspiring the next “creativity generation” can learn more at

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For media inquiries, contact:
James Howe, Program and Communications Manager
BEP Waterloo Region 226-642-0880 ext. 3

About BEP Waterloo Region
BEP Waterloo Region is a charity that makes every day Career Day. We help youth to explore their career options, set goals and make plans to achieve them as part of a lifelong process of proactively managing their career journey. By guiding youth to make informed decisions about their future, we contribute to building a healthy, happy, and prosperous community. Learn more at

About HIP Developments
Founded in 2010, HIP Developments has always approached real estate development with a broad vision. They believe that it is their job to build more than real estate. They feel it is their job to help build cities – especially in Waterloo Region. Cities are the habitat of the human spirit; small-scale enough to feel connected in and big enough to be a force of change in the world. City building is a collaborative effort by all sectors of society and HIP accepts its role in this passionately. HIP has helped lead debates about community identity that can unite us all and is proud to have helped develop ways for kids to learn about Waterloo Region’s amazing lineage of creative problem solving. Learn more at