Weekly News Recap: January 26, 2017

Vicki Stroich will officially step down from Alberta Theatre Projects (ATP) in March. Photo: ATP

Everything can be “this”, everything can be “that”. -- Chang Tsu


  • Calgary takes big step forward with Platform project (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY Brilliant! Note the reference to a future that includes autonomous vehicles. "The evolution of Calgary’s innovation ecosystem took an important step forward Tuesday with the unveiling of Platform, a planned new space for innovators, collaborators and entrepreneurs." 1/24/18

  • Calgary's Memorial Park Library: Yesterday, today and tomorrow (CBC) CALGARY STORY Congrats to the Calgary Public Library on having this important landmark designated as a national historic site. 1/21/18

  • Edmonton's Winspear Centre Benefits from $2-Million Federal Investment (Newswire) EDMONTON STORY Congrats! "The acclaimed performing arts centre, and home to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, is receiving this funding in support of the Winspear Renewal Project. The project will enhance the accessibility of this Edmonton landmark, while creating a welcoming environment for patrons." 1/19/18

  • The 400-year-old donation still changing lives today (ITV) Talk about legacy! "A Lord Mayor’s fortune donated at the time of his death 400 years ago is still being used to help educate disadvantaged children in Norwich. In 1617 Thomas Anguish, who was Mayor of the city, died but left a huge pot of money to help the poor." 1/19/18

  • LAKELAND COLLEGE OPENS INDIGENOUS STUDENT LOUNGE (My Lloydminster) LLOYDMINSTER STORY Congrats. ViTreo is proud to be working with Lakeland College. "Lakeland College has unveiled a indigenous student lounge at their Lloydminster campus. The lounge is a dedicated space for indigenous students and provides services to help them ease their transition into post secondary education." 1/19/18

  • Toronto Millennials are killing stereotypes by giving back to their city (Newswire) TORONTO STORY Brilliant! Thanks to Andrea McManus for sharing this story with us. "More than 90 of Toronto's Millennial and Gen X philanthropists are bucking stereotypes about their generations and collectively pledging more than $500,000 of their own wealth to build the city's urban resilience. Through the Toronto Neighbourhood Resilience Project, these young philanthropists will work hand-in-hand with the City of Toronto, Toronto Foundation, community leaders and residents from across the city to invest in projects that will strengthen the city's social fabric." 1/19/18

  • B.C. man wins inaugural Mohn prize for Arctic research (CBC) CANADIAN STORY I love that a government scientist is being given this award. Congratulations Dr. Carmack. "Eddie Carmack was onboard the Canadian icebreaker, CCGS Louis. St. Laurent — one of the first two North American ships to reach the North Pole on Aug. 22, 1994. Carmack, a senior research scientist emeritus for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, has been studying the Arctic for five decades and now is being honoured with the inaugural Mohn prize for outstanding research, presented by the Arctic University of Norway [...]. Carmack has been named in the award as 'the most influential and cited oceanographer at work in the Arctic Ocean.'" 1/18/18

  • Here’s the full email Tim Cook sent to Apple employees announcing bonuses & new charity donation matching (9to5Mac) This is huge. On so many fronts. And credit where credit is due, the U.S. tax reform is at least partly responsible for the repatriation of Apple's overseas cash. "It’s been a big day for both Apple and its employees. Apple plans to repatriate almost $250 billion of its overseas cash, while it will also give employees $2,500 worth of restricted stock units." 1/17/18

  • Hidden Spaces: Inside Canada's largest concert pipe organ at the Winspear Centre (Edmonton Journal) EDMONTON STORY I remember Stewart Davis well. What a gift. I remember him telling me that his favourite place on campus at the UofA when he was a student there in the late 1930s was Convocation Hall -- he loved the organ they had there. "The Davis Concert Pipe Organ, inside the Francis Winspear Centre for Music in Edmonton, is Canada’s largest pipe organ. In the 15 years since its creation, less than 30 people have been allowed to venture inside the organ." 1/17/18

  • Alberta Theatre Projects executive director steps down (National Post) CALGARY STORY Vicki, we will miss you at ATP but we look forward to watching your creative energies unfold as you return to your dramaturge roots. ViTreo is proud to have worked with Vicki and the entire ATP team. "Alberta Theatre Projects is losing another of its leadership team. As of March 16, Vicki Stroich is stepping down as executive director, a post she has held for four years." 1/17/18

  • 'The new wave is already happening': 2018 a pivotal year for tech in Edmonton, experts say (Metro) EDMONTON STORY "This year, Edmonton will establish its role in technology more firmly, where the economy is very strongly influenced by technological innovations. Over the last couple of years, three aspects of technology had a breakout moment in Edmonton: artificial intelligence (AI), health innovation and tech entrepreneurship." 1/17/18

Life and career hacks

Philanthropic personalities

  • Jeff Bezos' First Big Charitable Gift Is Diabolically Clever (Inc.) Gotta hand to Mr. Bezos. Smart, clever, and impactful. And that is just what I am saying about the gift. "As the richest man in the world, and the world's only $100 billionaire, Jeff Bezos' philanthropy (or lack thereof) has come under a lot of scrutiny [...]. A few days ago, TheDream.us, announced it was getting a $33 million donation from Bezos and his wife Mackenzie Bezos. TheDream.us is a non-profit organization that provides scholarships and support for so-called "Dreamers," undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children." 1/22/18

Philanthropic controversy

  • 'Gargantuan' efforts of volunteers, staff uncover fraud at Waskesiu agency (CBC) WASKESIU STORY "A 'gargantuan task' taking hundreds of hours and several months uncovered the fact that $100,000 had been misdirected from Waskesiu Wilderness Region, the tourism marketing agency says. George Wilson, the former manager for the Waskesiu Chamber of Commerce, was charged on Jan. 4 with fraud and theft over $5,000, as well as possession of property obtained by crime." 1/17/18

Trends and shifts

  • Canada’s Charitable Sector: What to Expect in 2018 (The Philanthropist) CANADIAN STORY Basic income going mainstream, human resource challenges, strengthening governance, and increasing regulatory reform are just some of the trends emerging in 2018. Thanks to Andrea McManus for sharing this post. 1/22/18

  • Sanford Institute of Philanthropy launches Fundraising Academy (AZ Big Media) Cool concept. "The Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at Maricopa Community Colleges is excited to announce the official launch of the Fundraising Academy, a comprehensive training program designed to increase the fundraising capabilities of Arizona’s nonprofit professionals." 1/22/18

  • Shared Power: How One Rapid Response Fund Defies Philanthropy's Hierarchical Streak (Inside Philanthropy) Breaking with tradition, these rapid response funds are making a real difference. "Now just over a year old, the Emergent Fund is a collaborative brainchild of the Women Donors Network (WDN) and the Solidaire Network, with additional support from the Threshold Foundation and the Democracy Alliance. It’s unabashedly progressive, and has disbursed over $1 million in rapid response grants so far." 1/22/18

  • Paris church opts for ‘cashless’ collection during Mass (La Croix International) Makes perfect sense to me. "A parish church in an upmarket section of Paris is to allow for card payments during Sunday Masses. New collection baskets that will contain a smartphone payment terminal will now be handed out at Saint-François de Molitor church in Paris. Members of the congregation can choose the amount ranging from 2 to 10 euros from a screen, with their offerings processed immediately, reported metro.co.uk. The contribution will remain anonymous." 1/22/18

  • China encourages charity organizations to help reduce poverty (Xinhuanet) "China will continue to improve the philanthropy work to attract more charity organizations to help reduce poverty [...]. Charity foundations have donated about 3.15 billion yuan (478.4 million U.S. dollars) for poverty relief from 2016 to June 2017 [...]. China has set 2020 as the target year to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society, which requires the eradication of poverty." 1/20/18

  • This $100 Million Project is the Latest Example of the Boom in Parks Philanthropy (Inside Philanthropy) "A major parks project is moving forward in Atlanta, fueled mainly by philanthropy. As usual with these efforts, there's a lot to like, as deep-pocketed donors pay for green space that improves the quality of life in a major metropolis. And, as usual, this parks project raises questions about the use of private funds to pay for public goods, and how to ensure that urban development is truly equitable." 1/19/18

  • Vancouver Aquarium will no longer keep whales, dolphins in captivity (CBC) VANCOUVER STORY This is a tough one but as they say, the times they are a-changing. "The Vancouver Aquarium is giving up its fight to keep whales and dolphins in captivity, saying the heated public debate on the issue is hindering its conservation work. Staff at the non-profit attraction learned Thursday morning of the decision to end the cetacean program, according to CEO John Nightingale." 1/18/18

  • Journalism’s New Patrons: Guardian shows how newspapers could attract philanthropy (Columbia Journalism Review) "[An intensified search] for philanthropy by the UK-based Guardian Media Group has touched off an experiment that could provide a new revenue source for American newspapers. A newly created U.S. nonprofit, theguardian.org, has already raised $2.4 million in foundation gifts and pledges, and has sent some of that money to the Guardian news operations to finance five journalism initiatives." 1/17/18

Large gifts

  • El Dorado family makes $3M donation to Arkansas Children’s Hospital (El Dorado News Times) "An El Dorado family has provided a $3 million donation to Arkansas Children’s to help expand dental outreach and education in south Arkansas with a focus on Union County. 'El Dorado residents have a longstanding commitment to investing in their community and putting children first,' said Robert R. Brown, Jr. 'I’m honored to continue this tradition by partnering with Arkansas Children’s to promote a healthier future for the more than 10,000 children who live in our county.'" 1/24/18

  • Huge Donation: Ford GT Sells for $2.5 Million at Barrett-Jackson Auction in Arizona (TopSpeed) What a beautiful machine! "The first big car auction weekend of the year had some incredible moments, but none could compare to how much the Ford GT fetched when it went under the hammer at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. The first production GT to go up for auction sold for $2.5 million, an incredible amount for a supercar that costs under $500,000 on the market." 1/23/18

  • UNLV football gets $1 million donation for practice facility (Las Vegas Sun) "The university announced [...] that Las Vegas Sands will donate $1 million for [a] $28 million state-of-the-art facility." 1/22/18

  • Brigham and Children’s hospitals each get $50m gift (Boston Globe) "Robert Hale Jr. still remembers the impossibly tiny baby girl he saw more than a decade ago, hooked to tubes and monitors at Boston Children’s Hospital, where Hale, a hospital donor, was taking his first tour. The moment stayed with Hale, the chief executive of Quincy-based Granite Telecommunications, and his wife, Karen, sparking a desire to do more to help the sick. Now they’re committing $100 million to two Boston health care institutions: $50 million for Children’s and $50 million for Brigham and Women’s Hospital." 1/22/18

  • Record donation of $2 million made to Virginia Tech Program in Real Estate (Virginia Tech News) "Alumni couple Willis Blackwood and Mary Nolen Blackwood, of Richmond, Virginia, and Bonita Springs, Florida, recently donated $2 million to name and endow the director’s position within the rapidly growing Virginia Tech Program in Real Estate." 1/21/18

  • UW-Madison receives donation for new recreational center (Fox News) Good nickname. "The University of Wisconsin-Madison received a $20 million donation for the new recreational facility it is in the process of building. The donation came from UW alumna Nancy Nicholas to honor her husband, Albert 'Ab' Nicholas, who died in 2016. After it is completed, the new recreational facility will be named after the donors as the 'Nicholas Recreation Center,' or nicknamed 'The Nick.'" 1/21/18

  • Pensacola attorney donates $8 million estate to UWF (CBS) "University of West Florida was gifted a 7,500-square-foot multi-million dollar waterfront home and estate [...]. The $8 million estate is known as Timeless Tanglewood located at Bayou Texar in Florida and was donated to the school by Fred Levin of Pensacola." 1/20/18

  • University gets $2m donation for law scholarship (The Straights Times) "A new scholarship for students passionate about criminal and family law was set up yesterday, thanks to a $2million donation to the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) School of Law." 1/19/18

  • Global Open Source HIT Project Gets $1M Donation From Cryptocurrency Philanthropy (Healthcare Infomatics) "OpenMRS, Inc., an open source medical records platform used in developing countries, has received a $1 million donation from the Pineapple Fund, an $86 million cryptocurrency philanthropy created by an anonymous donor known only as 'Pine.'" 1/19/18

  • UW-La Crosse's biggest donation ever will boost environmental research, education (La Cross Tribune) "A $2 million donation, the largest gift in the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s (UW-L) 108-year history, will have a major impact on environmental science education and research and will provide the name for the $82 million science building that will be ready for classes by next fall [...]. [The donor] Paul Fleckenstein died in 2011 at age 48, but before his tragic death he was a lifelong supporter of environmental organizations and conservation causes, including the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee and The Nature Conservancy." 1/18/18

  • $50M donation to College of Veterinary Medicine is largest donation ever to Oregon State (CBS) "A $50 million gift to the College of Veterinary Medicine is the largest donation ever received by Oregon State University [...]. The university will name the college in honor of the donor, Gary R. Carlson." 1/17/18

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