The support from community has always been essential to the success of MTYP providing arts programming to youth and families across Manitoba. What MTYP can offer will always be strengthened by individuals, businesses and foundations who understand the benefits of connecting youth with the magic of theatre.

Payworks has been one of these generous and loyal supporters from the business community. Payworks continues to support over 200 organizations across Canada and they don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

We asked Heather Reid, Community Events and Engagement Specialist, to share more about the philanthropic vision of the organization and specifically why they choose to support MTYP annually.

Can you tell us more about the philosophy behind community giving at Payworks and why you feel it is important to give back to the community?

Our purpose is Doing Right by People. We take care of each other, our customers, and our communities in a sustainable way not because we have to, but because it’s who we are.

“It’s what’s on the minds of our people,” says Payworks President and CEO JP Perron. “Our staff make up these communities and they have expressed many times their desire to give back. It’s just amazing how it’s benefited the organization and our collective well-being in so many different ways.”

We proudly support more than 200 organizations across Canada through local sponsorship, volunteering, investment and employee-initiated giving.

“I think paying it forward in our community is so important,” says Barb Gamey, Payworks Co-Founder. “Organizations do their best to raise funds and connect where they can, but it’s not just about financial assistance. It’s about time and talent that we can all contribute to organizations in various ways. That support in our community helps all organizations be better.”

MTYP has been fortunate enough to have Payworks’ support for many years. Why does Payworks choose MTYP specifically to support?

Payworks believes in the value of a life enriched by work, play, learning and time spent together, and also about supporting our local arts communities. MTYP not only provides our youngest community members with a welcoming space and creative tools for authentic self-expression; it brings new ideas and perspectives to Manitobans of all ages, which helps us all understand each other a little bit more.

Are there any ways in which Payworks is addressing inclusion and diversity within the workplace, as well as through community giving?

While Doing Right by People has long been Payworks’ purpose, over the last several years we’ve sharpened our focus on how that manifests within the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) space. From participation in an Employer Consortium, to ongoing staff education and celebrations, to the formation and initiatives of our employee-led DEIB Team, our goal is “to be agents of change and champions of inclusion.”

One of the most recent ways we’re evolving into this role is our 2022 signing of Winnipeg’s Indigenous Accord (WIA): “a tool in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous Winnipeggers can come together and explore reconciliation” (adopted by Winnipeg’s City Council in 2017).

On June 28, 2022, our President and CEO JP Perron signed WIA on behalf of Payworks to demonstrate our commitment to a harmonious future built on mutual trust, respect and collaboration with First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.

Besides direct financial support from the business, how else does Payworks support charities in the community? How are employees involved in making a difference to these communities?

As an organization, Payworks proudly supports a wide range of local and national charities and literally pays our good fortune forward. One of the ways we do this is through our Pay it Forward (PIF) program, which encourages staff to take up to two paid days off each year to volunteer their time and talent for an organization about which they’re passionate.

Today (and every day!) we’re celebrating the almost 3,000 hours (and counting) volunteered by our staff thus far through Payworks’ PIF program since its inception in 2015

Other businesses share your values on community giving. Why should they also consider supporting MTYP?

For the same reasons we do so (as outlined above), Payworks would encourage all organizations to consider investing in the overall well-being of our community’s youth by supporting MTYP.