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Partners & Sponsors

Legislators play a significant role in shaping our daily lives and our future. Preparing prospective leaders to take on these roles and transform the legislative landscape is the goal of the Innovations in Democratic Leadership at TMU - a goal that we hope you will share.

About Innovations in Democratic Leadership at TMU: Doing Democracy Differently

Innovations in Democratic Leadership (formerly the Institute for Future Legislators) seeks to engage thoughtful community members who are interested in exploring not only what today’s legislatures look like, but what could be - particularly those from groups underrepresented as legislators today. Innovations in Democratic Leadership welcomes anyone who wants to understand what it looks like to be elected to office, leading with authenticity grounded in values, and transforming political representation. That includes people who may not see themselves or their aspirations reflected in today’s legislators, those who want to create change, and those who want to better understand how our governments work.

Innovations in Democratic Leadership offers intensive, hands-on mentoring and training from current and former legislators, senior civil servants, high-profile journalists and successful advocates. The program, which runs over six weeks in the Spring , culminates in a trip to Ottawa where participants put their learning into practice in an intensive parliamentary simulation.

The IDL seeks to provide participants with an opportunity to:

  • Learn about political processes and the pathways to becoming an elected official
  • Engage in an experiential learning simulation in the House of Commons
  • Build critical skills required in democratic leadership
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the work of elected officials
  • Enhance their public speaking skills

Help transform the landscape

Everyone agrees that we need legislators who better reflect the diversity of our communities and country. Now you have an opportunity to create meaningful change by supporting Innovations in Democratic Leadership at TMU. Please consider supporting this transformative initiative and help to remove barriers to participation for aspiring leaders. In addition to supporting students, we welcome organizations to fund participation of their workforce as one-of-a-kind, practical leadership experience for employees and emerging leaders.

We would be happy to discuss sponsorship levels/opportunities and develop a recognition package that would be most meaningful to you.

Support Level




  • Sponsor 6 participants from underrepresented groups 
  • Sponsor profile on IDL website
  • Logo placement on all digital and print materials
  • Sponsored panel as part of the program 
  • Opportunity to address future leaders at a reception



  • Sponsor 4 participants from underrepresented groups
  • Sponsor profile on IDL website 
  • Logo placement on digital and print materials
  • Recognition at reception



  • Sponsor 2 participants from underrepresented groups
  • Logo placement on digital and print materials, including IDL website


Peggy Nash Co-Lead, Innovations in Democratic Leadership and Former Member of Parliament

Peggy Nash is a former NDP Member of Parliament for the Parkdale–High Park riding and has served as the Official Opposition Critic in the portfolios of Finance and Industry. Before her first election in 2006, she was a senior labour negotiator with the Canadian Auto Workers (now UNIFOR), in the auto, transportation and service sectors.

Peggy has pioneered initiatives to end gender-based violence, create workplace child care and foster political involvement. She is a founding member of Equal Voice, a multi-partisan organization with the goal of electing more women. She is a frequent media commentator and international speaker on politics, women’s rights and democratic engagement. Her new book, "Women Winning Office: An Activist's Guide to Getting Elected (external link)  is now available. 

A Senior Advisor to the Dean of Arts at Toronto Metropolitan University, Peggy is co-leading the Institute for Future Legislators, as well as the Women in the House program. She is a Member of the Order of Canada, has an honorary doctorate of laws from Brock University and is a YWCA Woman of Distinction. She holds an MA in politics from York University.

Sara Singh is a former member of provincial parliament for Brampton Centre (2018-2022), she holds a Ph.D. in Policy Studies from Toronto Metropolitan University. She is a community activist, artist and educator who believes that social change takes unity, action and love. She is currently serving as a Distinguished Visiting Practitioner at Toronto Metropolitan University, where she will be teaching in the Department of Politics and Public Administration and assisting as co-lead at the Institute for Future Legislators.

Sara Singh Co-Lead, Innovations in Democratic Leadership and Former Member of Provincial Parliament
John Beebe Adjunct Professor and Founder, The Democratic Engagement Exchange

John Beebe leads the Democratic Engagement Exchange, serves as Advisor to the Dean of Arts on Democratic Engagement, and an Adjunct Professor at Toronto Metropolitan University. He is a long-time educator, seasoned community activist, street photographer and senior political advisor who founded the Democratic Engagement Exchange in the Faculty of Arts at Toronto Metropolitan University in 2017. Throughout his career John has remained committed to listening to and empowering people. His democratic outreach and engagement programs include the award-winning Vote PopUp and Democracy Talks initiatives. John’s political career includes work on campaigns in both Canada and the U.S., including a U.S. Senate and presidential campaign.  He served as Chief of Staff to a U.S. Congressperson and was actively engaged in a successful campaign to publicly finance state elections. John is a graduate of Tufts University. He earned his Master of International Affairs from John Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies.

"The Institute was a carefully curated program that immersed students into the workings of Canada's legislature. The program started with workshops featuring industry leaders like MPs and journalists, allowing participants to learn from their experiences. As an economics major with limited exposure to politics, I was genuinely impressed with the vast amount of knowledge I consumed during the weeks leading up to the trip to Ottawa. The mock parliament helped put our newfound knowledge to practice leaving us with invaluable skills. Overall, IFL did not just enrich our understanding of Canada's policy-making process; it also encouraged us to ground ourselves in our personal experiences to create innovative leaders for the future."

Zaima Aurony, 2023 IDL Participant

To discuss this opportunity further, please contact:
Keely Hamilton, Associate Director of Development, Faculty of Arts at TMU
Phone: 416-318-4556

2023 Sponsors

2022 Sponsors