Envisioning the Future of the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto
It is the intention of the Board of Directors of the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto (RSCT) to guide the organization forward in realizing its full potential to foster cultural renewal across Canada out of the transformative resources of anthroposophy. Over the next decade, the RSCT will strive toward becoming an effective, national charity that provides vocational programs, cultural outreach, and social services.
Building on our current programs, RSCT will strive to bring the highest quality of education and training opportunities to people wanting to work out of anthroposophy. To realize this goal, RSCT will become a formally recognized private career college and will offer a growing range of diploma-granting vocational programs, beginning with:
• Waldorf grade school teacher
• Waldorf high school teacher
• Waldorf early childhood educator
• Waldorf facilitator/leadership training
In the coming years, RSCT will consider offering vocational programs in biodynamic gardening, biodynamic farming, educational eurythmy and other anthroposophically-based vocations. Where possible, RSCT will work in partnership with relevant organizations to design, deliver and sustain these programs. This work will begin at the Thornhill Campus and may be expanded to other educational sites across Canada.
Our guiding measure for our vocational programs will be the success of those who earn our diplomas in their respective fields. We will track this and improve the quality of our program designs as required to this end.
Recognizing the contemporary importance of cultivating a wide-spread awareness of anthroposophy, RSCT will undertake various initiatives to support the introduction of anthroposophy into Canadian culture. This will include providing adult education programs, sponsoring artistic events and engaging the general public through the media and social media. It will be our goal to bring anthroposophy to Canadian in living ways, where concepts are warmed and enriched through artistic and meditative experience where possible.
This work may be undertaking in partnership with the Anthroposophical Society in Canada and other relevant partner organizations and may include establishing self-sustaining hubs for anthroposophical work in cities and towns across the country. These hubs, which may be built around coffee shops or other basic commercial enterprises, will provide a visible outpost of anthroposophy and serve to support local adult education initiatives. In addition to on-site learning opportunities, RSCT will develop innovative distance learning options for people interesting in deepening their understanding of anthroposophy.
We will balance our courage to stand publicly with Anthroposophia, knowing full well that anthroposophical concepts and ideas are apt to generate derision in some, with our desire to offer anthroposophy in freedom so that it may be found by those for whom the time has come.
Anthroposophical Service Work
RSCT will expand into various forms anthroposophical service work designed to meet day-to-day needs in Canadian communities out of the unique perspectives and techniques in anthroposophy.
Service enterprises that the Board will consider include:
• Waldorf school establishment support team
• Childcare centres and home childcares
• Palliative care homes
• Retirement communities
• Biodynamic farms
• Biodynamic gardening centres
A guiding principle in developing these ventures will be fiscal responsibility. Ideally these enterprises will generate some profit to sustain a carefully sequenced national expansion, that we might benefit as many Canadians as possible through this good work.
Dear supporters of anthroposophy and Waldorf education in Canada,
In 1979, three individuals, Wendy Brown, Shirley Routledge and Diana Hughes, posed the question: “What can be done to answer the need for increased spiritual understanding in a world of escalating materialism?”
As an answer to this question, the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto was created in 1981, originating first out of rented quarters in downtown Toronto, then occupying rooms at the Hesperus Fellowship Community in Thornhill, until a donation from Kay Barthelmes enabled the Centre to build its own structure adjacent to the Toronto Waldorf School in 1991.
For the last 36 years, RSCT has provided programs in Waldorf teacher professional development and adult education in anthroposophy, with graduates of the programs actively working in Canada and around the world.
Today, building upon the dedicated work of countless individuals over decades, RSCT has developed a ten-year vision for its next work into the future.
The goal is to develop ways in which anthroposophy and Waldorf education can serve an even greater number of people in Canada who are seeking for positive change in their lives and in Canadian society.
In this world of 2017, we return to the question: “What can be done to answer the need for increased spiritual understanding in a world of escalating materialism?”
The vision we have developed is one of hope and inspiration. What is achievable and by when? We will certainly try. As Confucius said: “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the steps to get there.”
Our first step will be to hold an initial community and stakeholder engagement meeting on September 29 in Toronto. Reaching out across the country, we plan to hold many more such meetings, to engage your input, questions, ideas and possible involvement.
If you would like the executive director of RSCT, James Brian, to hold such an engagement meeting in your community, please contact him at the email address below.
The goal is not to “implement a plan” but rather to see where initiatives are emerging amongst the grassroots and to see where individuals are harbouring hopes and will impulses to realize their vision. Whether it be in education, childcare, biodynamic gardening or farming, etc., the Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto will offer its resources to help make these initiatives happen.
To paraphrase the Old Man with the Lamp in Goethe’s fairy tale of The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily, a prophetic vision of the future: One person alone cannot achieve much, but many together at the right time can achieve great things.
If you will be in Toronto on September 29, please join us. If not, please contact me to arrange a similar meeting in your community.
And, as the Old Man with the Lamp says: “The time is now!”
Warmly and in colleagueship,
Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto