Change We Can’t Spare

The Home Depot Canada Foundation launches TradeWorx to help homeless youth establish careers in skilled trades

October 7, 2021


In a given year there are between 35,000-40,000 Canadian youth experiencing homelessness in Canada. A new campaign by FCB Canada for The Home Depot Canada Foundation to promote their TradeWorx program a program that isn’t just about housing or jobs, but rather a full suite of solutions to a big problem.

“TradeWorx builds upon our work with community partners that provide emergency housing and social supports for youth, by connecting them with the training needed to establish lasting careers and acquire stable housing,” said Pamela O’Rourke, board chair, The Home Depot Canada Foundation and vice president of merchandising, The Home Depot Canada. “We’ve invested heavily in research and housing initiatives over the last eight years, and we know helping to break the cycle of youth homelessness requires an integrated approach, which we’re proud to start building with leading partners in this sector.”

TradeWorx is a program about empowering youth to create their own future with support that takes into account the complexities of homelessness and the needs of the unhoused. The new campaign elegantly illustrates the path a participant in the TradeWorx program may take through animation (by award-winning studio Linetest) and spoken word (written by FCB and voiced by Toronto-based spoken word artist, Desiree McKenzie). The combination of animation and spoken word results in a powerful, symbolic spot that may not have been possible with film.

“Through the collaboration of the entire team, from clients to the team at Linetest to Deisree, we all strongly believed in the TradeWorx program and were excited to bring it to life,” said Les Soos, Group Creative Director at FCB. “This campaign shows how a great initiative partnered with powerful storytelling can be a catalyst for meaningful change in the world.”

Through the initial investment of the program of $1 million, 100 Canadian youth who have experienced barriers to employment or homelessness will receive the training and support needed to work and succeed in the skilled trades.

About The Home Depot Canada Foundation
The Home Depot Canada Foundation is a Canadian registered charity that is committed to preventing and ending youth homelessness in Canada. Since 2009, the Foundation invested

more than $42 million and worked together with community partners across the country, to remove barriers, break cycles of inequity, and enable youth at-risk of or experiencing homelessness to achieve positive development outcomes and build brighter futures. For more information, visit:

About FCB Canada 
FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding) is a global, fully integrated marketing communications company with a heritage of creativity and success dating from 1873 and was recently honoured by Adweek as the 2020 Global Agency of the Year. FCB Canada is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, comprising more than 8,000 people in 109 operations in 80 countries (NYSE: IPG). FCB Canada was named Digital Agency of the Year in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 by Strategy and is the most awarded Canadian creative agency at Cannes Lions 2017, 2018, and 2019. With operations in Toronto and Montreal that include FCB Health (healthcare marketing), Fuelcontent (content creation), FCB/SIX (CRM) and Segal, (licensing). Based on a deeply developed understanding of diversified local markets and global cultures, FCB focuses on creating “Never Finished” campaign ideas for clients that reflect a deep understanding of the brand’s past, a respect for the present, and an anticipation of the future potential. FCB Canada is proud to serve some of the world’s most admired brands including Air Canada, BMO, BMW, Clorox, Destination Ontario, the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Commission, Sobeys, The Home Depot, and McCain. To learn more about FCB Canada visit or and follow us on Instagram: @FCB_Canada

About Linetest
A creative studio crafting illustration and animation content that moves people to make better choices for themselves and the planet. Specializing in multi-deliverable campaigns, Linetest ( crafts each project with its in-house team of directors, producers, storytellers, illustrators, and animators. They’ve worked for brands such as WWF, Lärabar, Lululemon, Mastercard, Netflix, and Volkswagen, and collaborated with agencies such as Saatchi Saatchi, FCB, McCann, Sid Lee, DDB, and Cossette. Linetest believes collaboration makes for better projects and better people. The studio is represented in the US by Carolyn Reps and in Canada by Hesty Reps.