New Community Fund for Canada’s 150th to build community and encourage participation for the sesquicentennial

TORONTO, ON, March 14, 2016 – A new community fund to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation was announced today by the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, in collaboration with Community Foundations of Canada.

Led by Community Foundations of Canada and participating community foundations, with the support of the Government of Canada and leaders from coast to coast to coast, the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th is intended to bring Canadians together to build community and activate a groundswell of local initiatives, activities, and events leading up to and during Canada’s sesquicentennial.

The Fund will distribute small grants through community foundations to locally-led projects that build community, inspire a deeper understanding of Canada, and encourage participation in a wide range of initiatives that mark Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. The Fund will be responsive to local priorities and will be accessible to all Canadians, including indigenous peoples, youth, groups that reflect our cultural diversity, and official language minority groups.

The Department of Canadian Heritage has seeded the Fund with a contribution of $10 million, and has invited private philanthropists to increase the Fund’s impact. Community foundations will match public and private contributions and lead local grantmaking from the Fund, with the goal of growing the Fund to up to $40 million. As further leverage, grant applicants are required to match the dollars received from the Fund through direct contribution or in-kind support, doubling the impact in communities across the country. The Fund will ultimately provide thousands of small grants to community initiatives in every province and territory in 2016 and 2017.

“The 150th anniversary of Confederation is an opportunity for a whole generation of Canadians to come together and celebrate our accomplishments. This important step will allow us to strengthen the bonds between Canadians from all regions of the country and to build, together, a vision for our future,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “The Community Fund for Canada’s 150th will let us create community projects that will leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.”

“Canada’s 150th is an historic moment with the power to strengthen our communities and our connection to one another. The collaborative Community Fund for Canada’s 150th will spark thousands of initiatives and activities that bring out the best that Canada has to offer,” said Ian Bird, President of Community Foundations of Canada. “The Fund will encourage all Canadians to contribute to their communities in a way that fosters a greater sense of belonging, inclusion, and reconciliation, leaving a lasting legacy for our communities and our country.”

For more information about the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, please visit

About Community Foundations of Canada

Community Foundations of Canada is the national network for Canada’s 191 community foundations which help Canadians invest in building strong and resilient places to live, work, and play. Community foundations contribute time, leadership and financial support to initiatives that benefit community most, directing grants and other investments towards everything from shelter, education, and care for those in need, to the arts, environment and recreation. To learn more visit

For more information:

JP Bervoets
Vice President, Partnerships and Public Engagement
Community Foundations of Canada
Tel: +1 (416) 319-8111
Twitter: @CommFdnsCanada

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