Foundations in Canada have a long history of contributing to the quality of life in their communities. These communities can be national or local, narrowly defined or broadly based, brand new or of long standing. Whatever the community, the work of Canadian grantmakers is often path breaking.
Learn more about how grantmakers help their communities and their grantees bring innovative ideas and projects to life by reading a selection great grant stories below. The stories are grouped by field of interest.
The Early Child Development Funders Working Group is not the pithiest of handles but the foundations behind it are not about branding; they’ve come together around a goal – publicly funded early education for every child – available, high quality and voluntary. The objective underpins their respective equity and social justice agendas. Far from being a pipe dream, the partners consider their mission progressive, ambitious and achievable. >> read more
Many Canadians may not realize it, but seldom does a night at the opera, symphony or play happen without input from a graduate of a program supported by RBC and its Emerging Artists Project. RBC believes in the power of the arts to enrich lives and enhance communities. With over 30 projects across Canada, the RBC Emerging Artists Project supports young artists as they bridge the gap from the academic to the professional world in such fields as theatre, music, writing, dance and filmmaking. Through this Project more than $900,000 was invested in apprenticeship and internship programs across Canada in 2009. Over the last five years, the RBC Foundation has donated more than $5 million to support arts programs across Canada. >> read more
A summer afternoon at the Centre de Santé et de Services Sociaux (CSSS) des Sommets in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts in the Laurentians. The meeting room is at capacity. All personnel not on emergency duty are present. Director General Yves Lachapelle checks his watch one more time. Two physicians are still missing. He is anxious to share the news he brings, but he understands why they are late. The three residences for seniors, three CLSCs and one hospital he manages are spread over 80 km on either site of the resort town of Mont-Tremblant. >>read more
In 2009, Burns Memorial Fund was approached by a Calgary high school serving a high-needs population. Many students at the school faced tremendous challenges, living in families new to the country and struggling to make ends meet. Over a quarter of the students were part of low-income households. These students often travelled long distances to get to school; walking was not an option. As a result, access to transportation was a barrier to student attendance and achievement. Simply put, at the end of the month, many families had to choose between the cost of a bus pass and necessities such as food and rent. >>read more
Each year, up to 14 remarkable young leaders from Canada and around the world are invited to Montreal by the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation to participate in the nine-month Sauvé Scholars Program that combines personal and professional development, study and community engagement with social innovation and action. Sauvé Scholars are emerging leaders from a wide range of disciplines. They share a passion for social justice and a proven commitment to leading positive change in their respective communities and countries. >>read more
In 2001, Julie Toskan-Casale together with her husband Victor Casale and brother Frank Toskan, started a family foundation dedicated to supporting and strengthening local, community-based social service agencies. As one of their main strategies, the Toskan Casale Foundation chose the idea of educating youth to become the philanthropic leaders and community volunteers of tomorrow. To accomplish this, Julie and her colleagues at the Foundation created the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI), to teach philanthropy to high school students. >> read more
It’s 8:30 p.m. and in an upper-floor classroom in Hagey Hall at the University of Waterloo, about 20 fourth-year accounting students are carefully reviewing a batch of financial statements that show absolutely no profit. The statements are not snapshots of underperforming corporations. They are from non-profits applying to two local foundations for grants and the students are part of a volunteer team brought together to learn about and analyze their financial health. >> read more
At the end of the 1990s Regent Park, Canada’s oldest and largest social housing project located in Toronto, was in decline. The nearly 11,000 people that called Regent Park home faced alarmingly high crime rates, chronic unemployment, low family income and poor educational success rates. Despair and hopelessness prevailed in this multi-racial Toronto community. To address the root causes of the community’s ills, the Regent Park Community Health Centre (RPCHC), a facility offering clinical, social and educational services, decided that a key to breaking the cycle of under-achievement and poverty was to support young people to succeed in school and adults to find rewarding employment. >> read more
Imagine a world where childhood diseases and their potential causes can be “seen” on a map —a world where the range of environmental variables are correlated—from geographic location and population density to access to green space, health care, and education—to take a truly comprehensive approach to childhood disease research and prevention. >> read more
The Paloma Foundation works with frontline non-profit organizations that offer intervention and support programs to meet the health and education needs of women and children, and the needs of the homeless, focused on Toronto’s most underserved downtown communities. >> read more
Post-secondary education is considered a rite of passage for many young Canadians. For many others, however, it seems an impossible dream. The Ron Joyce Foundation recognizes that access to post-secondary education is a critical factor in helping individuals and communities move from poverty to prosperity. Though Ron Joyce himself beat the odds with no more than a Grade 9 education, he is deeply committed to helping others access education and training to build a solid foundation for future success and independence. >> read more
Some of the stories above are also included in a collection of grant stories (first published by PFC in November 2003). You can download the entire collection.