My name is Ben Coleman, and I’m a young person who lives in Toronto.
What are you currently up to?
I’m currently working as Manager, Government Relations & Stakeholder Communications at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. I was in the TSO’s youth orchestra for a couple years back in the day, so it’s interesting to come back to orchestral music in a different context.
Before October 2018, I was working at TIFF, also in Government Relations. Government Relations in the arts context mostly means “Grant Writer”, but it does occasionally encompass other more traditional Government Relations things, such as advocacy and issue monitoring.
I’m also a board member at FLAP Canada. FLAP Canada works to stop birds from flying into windows because they very often become injured or die. Window collisions are a leading cause of bird species mortality, so it’s an important problem to solve if we want to prevent population depletion and over the long term—extinction.
Where did you go to school?
I am a graduate of the University of Toronto (HBSc, 2017). I majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and minored in Statistics and Biomaterials.
What things did you get up to while studying at UofT?
Among other things:
I was President of the University of Toronto Students’ Union in 2015-2016. (I also served as a Director in 2013-2014).
I was a Student Governor in 2014-2015.
I worked for George Brown College transcribing classes for Deaf and hard of hearing students.
I worked a couple summers for Environment Canada doing research in Saskatchewan, which is a beautiful province in lots of little wonderful ways.
I also worked as a camp counsellor/instructor at the High Park Children’s Eco Garden for a couple years. It was a blast!
Have you ever worn a novelty plush moustache?
Left: me, Right: Eli, one of my younger brothers.
I do try to make sure that there are no trackers etc. The only exception is that I use basic Google Analytics. If you want to block that, it’s pretty easy with Privacy Badger.
I tried to remove all the embedded content from when this site was hosted on Wordpress to make sure there aren’t any third-party trackers. If I missed any, let me know!
Other than that, I get some other basic information from the fact that the site is served through Cloudflare, but to the best of my knowledge, that information is aggregated and anonymous (on my end, anyway…).
I wrote my old meeting notes (“I Went To This Meeting”) using the style of a Vancouver Sun column about the Canucks. You can see an example here.
My old Wordpress background is a picture I took at Douglas Provincial Park in Saskatchewan. I’m going to find a way to put it in this site too. You can view the whole image below: