A Popular Mississauga Cafe Will Stay Open Due to Substantial Donation

One of the Mississauga's most popular cafes will live to see another day—more than just one day, in fact—after receiving a substantial financial donation.

Back in the fall, long standing cafe and community hub Studio.89 announced that it would need $50,000 to stay open. The news, at the time, was bleak. Appearing before Mississauga City Council, Zehra Abbas, the founder and current proprietor of Studio.89, said unless they got $50,000 from the city to stay afloat, the cafe would have close down in three weeks time.

While the cafe lasted beyond the three-week projection, it looks like its immediate future has been secured by a generous donation of $60,000 from the Alkhayyat Foundation Canada—a Canadian-based non-for-profit foundation that provides monetary support to Canadian organizations and educational institutions that work with vulnerable communities in the Middle East and Syrian refugees in Canada.

"Studio.89, a popular community space and cafe located in East Mississauga has received a generous donation of $60,000 from Alkhayyat Foundation Canada which will enable them to keep their doors open and continue serving the community through providing free event space and arts and educational programming," Studio 89 said in a statement.

Studio.89’s says its work around community empowerment and skills training strongly aligns with Alkhayyat Foundation’s mandate of serving and uplifting through providing access, education and opportunity.

The cafe is well-known for its activism and focus on social justice issues. Last week, the cafe hosted a discussion on the timely and much-talked about #MeToo movement.

Studio.89’s says its 2018 programming plan includes new opportunities for underrepresented women and youth to acquire skills training and mentorship through the cafe operations. The cafe says that even though its mandate focuses heavily on arts and educational initiatives, the formalized skills training it offers enables volunteers to "acquire essential competencies that prepare them for the workplace and enhance their employment opportunities."

As far as sustainability goes, Studio.89 says it's also been "actively seeking financial support from corporate and private funders who value the unique role they play as an incubator, cultural producer, social networking site, civic educator and training centre within the city of Mississauga."

Studio.89 says the $60,000 will allow it to remain operational into the coming year.

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