Calgary FoundationOver the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing more about our sponsors, partners, speakers and the very intentionally co-created program you can look forward to as a delegate at EconoUs2017.

Today, we’re thrilled to feature the Calgary Foundation, Alberta’s first community foundation and the wheels behind more than 60 years of collaborative philanthropy in our community. As an EconoUs Thriving Communities sponsor, the Calgary Foundation’s support has enabled our shared prosperity bursary program and the development of nine workshops to be co-delivered by 22 changemakers covering topics like indigenous leadership, community-driven renewable energy, racial equity and equality, neighborhood resilience, social inclusion and the affordability gap. The Calgary Foundation also helped to activate our Thriving Communities Plenary on Thursday, September 14 hosted by CBC’s Nadia Kidwai.

For the next 150 years –building on 60 years of community involvement  

The way we see it, Thriving Communities means strengthening the local economy, allowing the community itself to determine what is needed to prosper and ensuring no one is left out – so citizens are proud of their community and active participants in its vitality. The Calgary Foundation has been a pillar of our Thriving Community since 1955 by making connections between donors and community organizations. In 2015-16, it saw $38.8 million in new contributions, had an asset base of $822.7 million and granted $45.9 million to 883 charitable organizations!

The scope of the Foundation’s work is nothing short of mind-bogglingly awesome, so when we asked Communications Director, Taylor Barrie, what she’d most like to share, she suggested you might be interested in its work mobilizing reconciliation.

“Indigenous people are disproportionately living in poverty, not graduating high school and being incarcerated, so in 2013 we answered the Governor General’s call to build a smarter and caring nation by placing priority on projects that support the success of Indigenous youth. We’ve granted about $1.8 million toward the issue over the past three years.“ For more detail, on some of the projects, the Foundation has funded to bring about reconciliation be sure to check out the Spring 2017 issue of SPUR Magazine. From a Bison relocation to support for the Truth and Reconciliation Summit, there are some incredible learnings to be found in their stories.

We were also interested to hear the Foundation convened a circle of Indigenous advisors to provide direction on weaving reconciliation into the fabric of its good work. And in May of this year, welcomed a Director of Indigenous Relations to the leadership team. Barrie tells us, “We are very excited to have the support of our new Director, Tim Fox, to help guide our work internally and in the broader community. Through a collective effort, Calgary Foundation is committed to being active change makers in the mobilization of reconciliation as we enter the next 150 years.”

On behalf of the planning team, partners and participants, thank you Calgary Foundation for helping us bring EconoUs and more than 350 community leaders from coast to coast to Calgary this September.