Calgary gathering inspires community leaders with focus on philanthropy’s future

In October, senior community foundation leaders traveled to Calgary for a two-day gathering built around the Calgary Foundation’s annual Vital City event. Vital City 2016 offered a meeting place for the philanthropic community of Calgary to recognize and celebrate their shared contribution towards building a vibrant, creative and sustainable city.

In addition to Eva Friesen’s Report to Community, the 2016 event presented keynote speaker Dr. Emmett Carson, Founding CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, who shared his ideas about globalization, technology and the future role of community foundations in tackling some of our most pressing issues. Over 700 citizens attended the event, including representatives from more than 25 medium-to-large community foundations that were in Calgary for a two-day gathering.

The next morning, community foundation colleagues took a deep dive to learn more about the challenges community foundations are facing through an intimate conversation with Emmett Carson. Emmett is leading the largest community foundation in the world and shared his personal journey and experience of tackling systemic community issues, both local and global, on an unprecedented scale.

Additional highlights of the gathering included:

  • Alternative vehicles: the future of philanthropy? Community Foundations of Canada shared its examination of the U.S.-based limited liability company (LLC) as a vehicle for giving – and more broadly, ‘doing good’. Is this the way of the future? Will there be a shift away from traditional non-profit structures? Will we see more philanthropists using alternative vehicles and diversifying their activities? The group participated in a discussion that examined alternative entities in Canada (and the globe) and what opportunities this creates for community philanthropy and community foundations.
  • A reception at the Calgary Foundation’s new offices that included an inspiring presentation by Tom Loszchuk, manager of the Woodshop Training & Production Centre, operated by the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre.
  • A dazzling dinner dine-around where small groups of Foundation leaders took over the city’s restaurants for conversation, adventure, creativity and delicious food.


Photo from left to right:
Ian Bird, President, Community Foundations of Canada
Eva Friesen, President & CEO, Calgary Foundation
Dr. Emmett Carson, CEO, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

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