Just off Brick Lane in East London, The Canvas is a blank canvas for innovation, creativity and positivity that supports the growth of new ideas that improve the lives of others. We offer free space to community groups and charities in return for a small donation to our Pay it Forward board that feeds the homeless.
We're 5 years old this year, and have achieved incredible things in our current space, enabling the growth of 50+ events and ideas every month. But, as our community have told us, much of our space is only just adequate... and that is not good enough. We have a commitment to the community ideas we are incubating, and they deserve an adaptable, fresh and welcoming space to grow.
We asked our community what they'd like to see more of; recycling initiatives, a garden project, pay-it-forward childcare that feeds the homeless. All this is possible with your help. Please support us in maximising The Canvas' potential as a platform and launchpad for positive social change.
What we'll deliver:
- Transform our Community Hub: a new floor / a window / energy-efficient lighting / better heating
- Improved accessibility for wheelchair users and the hearing impaired
- Garden project: rejuvenate our outside space into a community growing project
- Bring in the people! Eye-catching digital signage in our cafe promoting the community initiatives being launched
- Maximise our kitchen's charitable impact: extra storage for when we deliver large meals for the homeless
- Much-improved Creative Venue: equipment to better support the emerging artists we host each week
Why it's a great idea:
London is amazing, but it's big and sometimes we can feel disconnected from others. The Canvas is proof that if you offer Londoners space to be amazing, they will be.
We host 50+ events every single month, all of them around improving mental and physical health, tackling loneliness, encouraging creativity, and championing equality and sustainability.
The Canvas offers Londoners a zone 1 event space, dedicated to being a platform for positive social change; and we're even feeding the homeless along the way. With our current facilities we can provide 200 meals at Crisis a month; we want to increase this to 400+, and partner with more shelters in the area.
Since '14 we've enabled the launch of 100s of ideas to London. Our Community Hub hosts a different event every single day: mental health support for young people, community housing co-ops, LGBTQ+ peer-led groups, animal welfare meet ups, free mindfulness and family yoga.
But the space isn't being used to its full potential... YET!
Steps to get it done:
- Hub floor fitted, plus new lights, heating and furniture in - start promoting our new space
- Garden transformed - start growing our own veg and herbs
- Wheelchair access and hearing loop installed
- Window in the Community Hub in - we have light!
- More meals served to homeless thanks to new kitchen equipment
- Start marketing our newly improved facilities in the cafe on digital LED board
The Canvas is completely independent, and owned by ex-actress and puppeteer Ruth Rogers. Launched in '14 as a space for the community that could be a blank canvas for positivity and creativity, it has evolved over the years to become a living, breathing embodiment of all the best parts of humanity: generosity, positivity, kindness, hope and love.
We are striving to build a successful business model based on generosity, and believe that humans are amazing; you just need to give them space to be so.