Weekly News Recap: January 18, 2019

Brookfield Residential YMCA at Seton. Rendering: City of Calgary

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month. -- Theodore Roosevelt


  • Finding solutions to Calgary's $300M downtown tax hole won't be easy (CBC) CALGARY STORY "Charging homeowners, running deficits possible solutions to the dramatic drop in downtown office values [...]. In just three years, the value of Calgary's downtown office towers dropped by more than $12 billion, plunging city tax revenues by $300 million." 1/15/19

  • KPMB and Gibbs Gage to lead transformation of Calgary’s Centennial Planetarium (Canadian Architect) CALGARY STORY Congrats! Very exciting. ViTreo is proud to be working with Contempory Calgary."Contemporary Calgary today announced it has selected the team of Calgary-based Gibbs Gage Architects and KPMB Architects of Toronto after an international search for prime consultants to help transform the Centennial Planetarium into a world-class gallery for modern and contemporary art." 1/14/19

  • 'It's heartbreaking': Grad dress program for underprivileged Alberta teens at risk of shutting down (CBC) EDMONTON STORY *"Angela Pauls has been dressing underprivileged high school grads in vibrantly coloured organza, taffeta and lace since 2016. The Millet, Alta., woman founded the Prom Project, which allows teens to rent grad dresses for a fraction of the sometimes prohibitive cost. Pauls said she doesn't profit from the Prom Project. It costs between $60 and $80 to dry clean and repair a dress before donating it to a graduate. Renting a dress costs $75 but Pauls said there haven't been enough rentals to make up for the investment of repairing and cleaning the gowns." 1/14/19

  • College welcomes new Vice-President, Academics and Research (Daily Herald Tribue) GRANDE PRAIRIE STORY Congrats! "Grande Prairie Regional College (GPRC) announced the recruitment of Dr. Tim Heath as the new Vice-President, Academics and Research." 1/13/19

  • New insights offer glimpse of what might replace Calgary's Saddledome (CBC) CALGARY STORY "Years in the making, the final version of the city's 50-year master plan for redeveloping Victoria Park is now complete and goes before the Calgary Planning Commission today. At its heart, a new culture and entertainment district for our city. And more detail on the proposed new arena which could replace the Saddledome." 1/10/19

  • World's largest YMCA set to open with surf simulator, library and ice rinks (CBC) CALGARY STORY Woot! Congrats to YMCA Calgary and to Brookfield Residential. Well done everyone! "The world's largest YMCA — at 300,000 square-feet — is set to open in Calgary's southeast [...]. Most of the services at the $193-million centre, the Brookfield Residential YMCA at Seton at 4995 Market Street S.E., will be open to the public Monday but reporters were given a sneak peek Thursday. It's being billed as a community hub, complete with a competition-sized pool, a surf simulator, two ice rinks, three gymnasiums, a 200-metre track and an art gallery." 1/10/19

First Peoples of Canada

Life and career hacks

Philanthropic personalities

  • Tough Problem, Deep Pockets: Parsing Bezos Philanthropy's Initial Steps on Homelessness (Inside Philanthropy) "Whatever you think about Amazon, it’s hard not to see Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos’ stratospheric wealth as another symbol of our unequal age. The couple, married for 25 years as Amazon rose to retail dominance, recently announced their intention to divorce amicably. The question of who gets what is still up in the air. But with over $130 billion on the line, it’s safe to say both Jeff and MacKenzie’s names will appear in IP’s coverage for some time to come." 1/14/19

  • As Bezos divorce unfurls, investors wonder — what does it mean for Amazon? (CBC) "Amazon shares seesawed on Thursday as investors questioned how the impending divorce of company founder Jeff Bezos would affect his control of the most valuable company on Wall Street and its ambitious expansion plans [...]. The split throws into question how the couple will split their fortune, which includes an approximately 16 per cent ownership stake in Amazon's roughly $811.4 billion US market capitalization. Divorce laws in Washington state, where they live, hold that property acquired during a marriage is generally divided equally between spouses." 1/10/19

  • The Philanthropy Of Africa's Billionaires (Forbes) "Africa’s richest people are stepping up their philanthropy. When FORBES began its annual ranking of the wealthiest people on the continent in 2011, no African billionaire had signed the Giving Pledge. Today, there are at least 4 Africans who have taken the vow to give at least half of their net worth to philanthropy, either during their lifetime or upon their death." 1/9/19

Philanthropic controversy

  • Rome city council and Church row over coins from Trevi fountain (BBC) That is a lot of coin tosses. "A row has broken out between the mayor of Rome and the Roman Catholic Church over what should happen to coins retrieved from the Trevi fountain. Every year nearly €1.5m (£1.3m) is fished out of the famous landmark. It is traditionally given to a Catholic charity to help the destitute. But now Mayor Virginia Raggi wants the money spent on the city's crumbling infrastructure instead." 1/14/19

  • B.C. gaming investigators repeatedly warned bosses of 'horrendous' money laundering (CBC) BRITISH COLUMBIA STORY What's a few hundred million among friends? "When former RCMP deputy commissioner Peter German brought down his Dirty Money report in June, he guessed the amount of suspicious cash laundered through B.C. casinos 'exceeded $100 million' over approximately seven years. Now, previously secret internal reports obtained by CBC News through a freedom of information request show the dollar figure is at least seven times higher: more than $700 million between 2010 and 2017." 1/11/19

  • Citadel Theatre releases plan to deal with harassment, bullying (CBC) EDMONTON STORY "A new report from the Citadel Theatre highlights its plan to address workplace bullying and harassment after several allegations against the theatre surfaced last year. Citadel Theatre apologizes to artists, staff after allegations of workplace harassment The report includes comments from people who attended a community event on 'reclaiming the Citadel as a safe workplace' in May last year. Many of the attendees shared some of their experiences with the theatre over the years and some of the challenges, according to the report. One person characterized their experience with the theatre as one of 'fear, intimidation and isolation.' 1/10/19

  • Billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, wife divorcing (CBC) "Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, are divorcing, ending a 25-year marriage that played a role in the creation of an e-commerce company that made Bezos one of the world's wealthiest people." 1/9/19

Trends and shifts

  • Johnson Center experts predict 11 trends for philanthropy in 2019 (Gand Valley State University) "Philanthropic giving in the United States is a massive sector of the economy, topping $400 billion, and countless community and national organizations are benefitting from a surge in public interest. Experts at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University expect to see the entire ecosystem of philanthropy — nonprofits, foundations, donors and volunteers — rally to support the cause of civil society and cross-sector collaboration in 2019." 1/15/19

  • Don’t believe the hype: the media are unwittingly selling us an AI fantasy (The Guardian) "The tech giants that own and control the technology have plans to exponentially increase that impact and to that end have crafted a distinctive narrative. Crudely summarised, it goes like this: 'While there may be odd glitches and the occasional regrettable downside on the way to a glorious future, on balance AI will be good for humanity. Oh – and by the way – its progress is unstoppable, so don’t worry your silly little heads fretting about it because we take ethics very seriously.' Critical analysis of this narrative suggests that the formula for creating it involves mixing one part fact with three parts self-serving corporate cant and one part tech-fantasy emitted by geeks who regularly inhale their own exhaust. The truly extraordinary thing, therefore, is how many apparently sane people seem to take the narrative as a credible version of humanity’s future." 1/13/19

  • The Philanthropy We Need: Ford Foundation President Calls for Transformation (Nonprofit Quarterly) "Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation: 'Millions of people feel frustrated with, and excluded by, an out-of-balance global economic system they are decreasingly willing to tolerate. In the United States and globally, we see the evidence and urgency mounting: Grassroots movements objecting to fundamental inequalities in our society are mobilizing, calling out for fairness and justice.'" 1/10/19

Large gifts

  • Coast Guard’s Members Miss Paychecks Due To Shutdown, Get $15 Million Donation (Huffington Post) "Active duty members of the U.S. Coast Guard did not receive their first paychecks of the year, thanks to the ongoing government shutdown, but they could have access to a recent donation of $15 million, the head of the Coast Guard announced [...]. [He] also revealed the United Services Automobile Association donated $15 million to the Coast Guard Mutual Assistance fund, which will be distributed to 'military and civilian workforce requiring assistance.' The American Red Cross will assist with distributing the funds, according to Schultz." 1/15/19

  • Naples Senior Center receives $5 million donation for dementia program (Wink News) "A considerable cash infusion was just donated to help many in Collier County. The funds were bestowed to the Naples Senior Center. It offers several services, including helping dementia patients that have a group of symptoms associated with memory decline or thinking skills, which impede performing everyday tasks independently. [Jay and Patty Baker] who live in Naples made their fortune from the department store retail chain, Kohl’s, and they just donated $5 million." 1/13/19

  • Marietta Community Foundation receives $5.5 million donation (NBC) "The Marietta Community Foundation has received its largest donation ever, thanks to a $5.5 million gift to the foundation given from the estate of Adriaan 'Arie' Janssens." 1/12/19

  • Huntsman Cancer Institute receives $30M donation (KSL.com) "As Karen Huntsman, wife of the late Jon M. Huntsman Sr., was recently going through her husband's old belongings, she found a piece of paper he had written on in 1995 — the year the Huntsman Cancer Institute was founded. It read: 'The sole purpose of HCI is to serve the patient.' In honor of that vision, the Huntsman Foundation that she chairs announced Friday morning a $30 million donation to the cancer institute that bears the name of the industrialist/philanthropist who died almost a year ago." 1/11/19

  • Governor Cuomo Announces 346-Acre Donation to Rockefeller State Park Preserve (New York State) "Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a 346-acre donation to Rockefeller State Park Preserve in Pocantico Hills, which was gifted to the state by David Rockefeller's estate. The acquisition brings the Preserve's total acreage to 1,771 acres stretching from the Hudson River to the Taconic Parkway, and ensures the landscape will remain intact and open to the public." 1/10/19

  • T. Denny Sanford Commits $55 Million to Children's Home Society (Philanthropy News Digest) "Children's Home Society of South Dakota in Sioux Falls has announced a $55 million gift from philanthropist T. Denny Sanford in support of its services for children and adults in need. " 1/10/19

  • W. P. Carey Foundation's gift to boost ASU business school's mission (Arizona State University) *

  • "A new donation to the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University will establish two research chairs and expand career services for students. The W. P. Carey Foundation will direct at least $15 million to enhancing the number and quality of career resources for nearly 16,000 current students, and $10 million to recruiting prominent professors and researchers as endowed academic chairs." 1/8/19*

Welcome to our recap of the week's news, articles, and information of note. ViTreo Group Inc. provides this information for the benefit of our clients, associates, staff, partners, and stakeholders. The content is collected and curated by ViTreo partner Vincent Duckworth. If you would like to submit a link for consideration, please send an email to info@vitreogroup.ca

The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by ViTreo Group Inc. of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. ViTreo Group does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. All links are provided with the intent of meeting the mission of the ViTreo Group Inc. Please let us know about existing external links which you believe are inappropriate.

Vincent DuckworthComment