(TORONTO, ON—AUGUST, 2011)—The uplifting emotional impact that a fresh coat of paint and new wall colours can yield is being put to the test as Benjamin Moore Paints rolls out "Colour Care Across Canada," a paint makeover program for women's shelters. The Canadian Women's Foundation teamed with Benjamin Moore to reach out to shelters across Canada for this initiative, and Interval House, Toronto's oldest housing for women and their children who've left their homes because of domestic violence, was the first among nine such residences nationwide to undergo the transformation over the course of the next two months.
In Toronto on August 24, ECOpainting Inc. and Odyssey Renovations, painting contractors who work regularly with Benjamin Moore, stepped up to volunteer their time and labour to do the job at Interval House. These painting contractors are planning to help out in other Canadian communities, as well.
"Abuse against women is increasing at frightening rates in Canada, and it has contributed significantly to driving women and their children from their homes, onto the streets and seeking safe havens like Interval House," said Mike Kolind, market general manager for Benjamin Moore Canada. "It's a demoralising, and in some cases, a de-humanising condition that can break the spirit of any family. The shelters are being taxed and strained by the growing numbers. Interval House, which opened its doors 38 years ago, has helped hundreds, but has had to turn away as many if not more. And this is the case of other shelters throughout Canada. Although there's no simple solution to this troubling occurrence, Benjamin Moore's aim in launching 'Colour Care Across Canada' is to bring attention to the situation, and at the same time try and brighten, with the power of colour, the living environments of those who seek this basic human need for safe housing and a community of support."
Benjamin Moore's promise is to provide interior paint for all bedrooms at each shelter location. Often these spaces are shared by families and include bathrooms and play areas for the youngsters. Kolind said that the painting contractors also will handle minor repairs on walls, ceilings and trims to properly prepare the surfaces being painted. There's a plan, as well, to leave behind a few extra gallons with brushes and rollers "in case residents, staff or volunteers feel inspired to spruce up other areas of the house that remain in need of a coating."
To ensure that the colour options of these community residences will add an upbeat mood while respecting local and regional tastes, Benjamin Moore colour expert Sharon Grech put together suggested palettes that each shelter will be able to choose from. In Toronto, for instance, among the six possible Benjamin Moore hues are georgian bay (CC 782) and gray wisp (CC 670), whereas in B.C. the palette options include indigenous tones such as capilano bridge (CC 440) and portland gray (2109-60).
"There will be no cookie-cutter looks," said Kolind, "and no standard institutional hues. This is an empowering opportunity for the shelters to select colours that are livable and likable."
Topping off the contribution will be new bedding ensembles from GlucksteinHome provided courtesy of The Bay. Benjamin Moore struck up a collaboration earlier this year with the design brand, and the sets chosen coordinate with the Benjamin Moore paint colours being used in the shelters.
The Colour Care program also is underway in the U.S., where a shelter in each of the 50 states, plus Washington, DC, is getting a colour makeover, all completed in a matter of 50 days.
Attached is a list of the other shelters participating in "Colour Care Across
About Benjamin Moore
Benjamin Moore & Co., a Berkshire Hathaway company, was founded in 1883 and established its Canadian operations in 1906. One of North America's leading manufacturers of premium-quality residential, commercial and industrial maintenance paints and other coatings, its products are distributed through a network of independent paint and decorating retailers. Benjamin Moore has been a longstanding steward of the environment, with a relentless commitment to sustainable manufacturing practices, plus the ongoing development of the most eco-responsible formulations possible. Its portfolio of Green Promise® products continues to grow and includes Aura®, an über-performance low-VOC paint; Natura®, the true zero-VOC interior paint, remaining zero in any colour, any sheen; and, EcoSpec zero-VOC paint for commercial interiors. The only assurance of getting an authentic Benjamin Moore colour is using Benjamin Moore paint, since the colourants and resins are proprietary and formulated with the company's own patented waterborne technologies. And authentic Benjamin Moore colours are available exclusively from Benjamin Moore retailers.
About the Canadian Women's Foundation
The Canadian Women's Foundation is Canada's only national public foundation
dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls. The foundation researches, shares
and funds the best approaches to ending violence against women, moving low-income
women out of poverty, and empowering girls with confidence, courage and critical