At its Annual General Meeting taking place in Toronto on September 14, 2012, March of Dimes will honour several individuals and corporations who are endeavouring to enhance the lives of people living with physical disabilities. Among those honoured will be Thunder Bay’s Willow Springs Creative Centre; they will be presented with the Community Partnership award for their outstanding collaboration with March of Dimes in support of persons with disabilities.

Willow Springs Creative Centre was founded in June, 2006 as a non-profit organization that offers creative programs to the community, including art classes, which foster a sense of community development, healing and spiritual exploration. Over four years ago, March of Dimes began its partnership with Willow Springs by offering weekly art classes to its consumers with disabilities. What began a small pilot program has blossomed into something much greater with participants creating murals and sculptures, completing city beautifying projects, and much more. Partnering with other local support agencies, including the Arts Council of Ontario, Willow Springs and March of Dimes have converted a parking lot at the Monty Parks Centre into a park with accessible raised garden beds, foliage and benches—the space is more than a park, it is truly an oasis in the heart of Thunder Bay.

‘Willow Springs Creative Centre has made a huge impact in the lives not only of our consumers, but also those who live in the surrounding community,” says Todd Kennedy of March of Dimes Canada, who nominated the non-profit for the award. “Their desire to reach-out helps other agencies requesting adaptive art and gardening. They offer service not only to our consumers, but also specialized training for support workers…it is this desire to collaborate and help as many people as they can that makes Willow Springs so deserving of this Award,” he continues.

For a complete list of awards and winners, please visit