Weekly News Recap: May 31, 2019

Margaret-Ann Armour, assistant dean of diversity in the faculty of science at the University of Alberta, was named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network. TOM BRAID / TOM BRAID/EDMONTON SUN QMI AGEN

To awaken a love of learning in a young woman's mind. There's nothing better. -- Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour

Vincent's highlights:

  • Who knew I could become a basketball fan...Raptors!
  • UofA has a new Dean of Science...can't wait to meet her
  • Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour, champion of women scientists and engineers, has left us #WeWillNotSeeYourLikeAgain #RIP
  • A huge change of heart, a dance club for the disabled, and a lost child who becomes a lawyer #TearsAllAround #TheGoodKind
  • A Legion stumbles and is saved and the BMO Centre expansion selects its designers
  • Indigenous music gets a permanent home and an Tsuut'ina Elder gets his high school diploma...53 years later
  • Mackenzie Bezos! #GivingHalfofHerBillionsAway #WowJustWow
  • Google! #WheelChairMaps #TresCool
  • Switzerland! #EuropeanCrowdfundingGiant
  • Parts I and II of the Value of Arts in Canada (4 more parts to come...)
  • Hamilton's Charlie and Margaret give away $100 million (that's with an "M") #WhatALegacy
  • A new School of Engineering in Chicago #YepMolecularEngineering #Crazy #Right
  • ...And so much more

Raptors. Baby!

  • A bandwagon fan's guide to the Toronto Raptors (CBC) *CANADIAN STORY "Normally (no disrespect to basketball fans) this category of story does not meet my curatorial criteria but...this is AMAZING. The Raptors are in the NBA Finals! "Being a bandwagon sports fan often gets a bad rap, as if watching sports requires years of misery as an entry fee. But what, exactly, is wrong with getting spontaneously excited about something new and expanding your horizons a little?" 5/29/19*

AFP Global

Awards, honours, and announcements

  • Vancouver Art Gallery director leaving after 18 years (CBC) VANCOUVER STORY Ms. Bartels, thank you for your service. "Kathleen Bartels is leaving her job as director of the Vancouver Art Gallery [the "VAG"] after 18 years in the position. [The] VAG has made 'great strides' during Bartels' tenure, increasing private sector donations by more than 250 per cent, and growing its institutional endowment from $200,000 to more than $11 million." 5/28/19

  • Announcing the New Dean of the Faculty of Science (The Quad) EDMONTON STORY Welcome back to Canada Dr. Kalcounis-Rueppell. "Dr. Kalcounis-Rueppell brings to the University of Alberta a commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration and passion for innovative research, science education, and community engaged science." 5/28/19


  • Mentor, scientist, advocate and spunky fast walker: Margaret-Ann Armour dead at 79 (Edmonton Journal) EDMONTON STORY Margaret was a friend, a mentor, and an inspiration to me as well. I had the privilege of working with Margaret in her role as one of the founders of Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology (WISEST), a university program dedicated to sparking girls’ interests in careers in fields dominated by men. Dr. Armour, we will not see your like again. RIP Margaret. 5/26/19

We live in a beautiful world

  • This B.C. woman lodged hundreds of 911 complaints about the homeless. Now she's advocating for them (CBC) ABBOTSFORD STORY This story moves my heart. "A B.C. woman who spent nearly 15 years trying to bar the homeless from trespassing on her property is now advocating for them. Between 2004 and 2018, Peggy Allen made approximately 500 calls to police about incidents involving people from the emergency shelter next door in Abbotsford, B.C. [...] However, she had a revelatory moment in September 2018 when a woman walking up her driveway swore at her, she says. 'I looked at her and I just went crazy and I started running toward her. I was going to hurt her,' Allen recalled. Then a 'light switched' in her brain. 'I just stopped halfway down there and I said: 'Peggy, I hate the way you are. This isn't who you are,' she said." 5/28/19

  • 'Everybody feels free here': Baltimore club for adults with disabilities fosters love, friendship & inclusion (Baltimore Sun) I heart this. "By the time the doors open 15 minutes early that Saturday night, dozens are lined up to get inside. Women wear wedges and bodysuits that hug their curves. Men sport collared shirts and their favorite sneakers. Some have caregivers guiding them; others need wheelchairs. Many wear the signature T-shirts stamped with the logo, Club 1111." 5/23/19

  • From the streets to the halls of justice: Former foster child, teen mom overcomes adversity to graduate from UBC law school (Globe and Mail) VANCOUVER STORY Wow. As in, what an inspiring human! "When Dawn Johnson came to, she was sprawled on the kitchen floor. Her blood was everywhere. She could hear the father of her infant daughter pacing in the next room. She had just turned 16. He was decades older. He’d tried to kill her, beating, then strangling her. She had no idea how long she’d been out. She couldn’t move. Everything hurt [...]. She couldn’t know it then, but that night marked the end of Ms. Johnson’s beginning, one steeped in violence, pain and abuse of every type. Life didn’t suddenly become any easier. But that night, the former foster kid with 36 addresses began charting an astonishing, new course for her life, and that of the baby girl she’d named Sky. One that led her to law school at the University of British Columbia’s Peter Allard School of Law, from which Ms. Johnson will graduate on May 30." 5/22/19


  • Construction begins on Glenbow Western Research Centre in the Taylor Family Digital Library (UToday) CALGARY STORY Can't wait to visit as a citizen to browse this amazing collection. "Construction of Glenbow Western Research Centre on the 2nd floor of the Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL) kicked off this week. The facility will be the new access point for Glenbow Library and Archives." 5/29/19

  • Calgary non-profits hear ideas to tackle workplace harassment (CBC) CALGARY STORY Nice work CCVO! "Calgary non-profits gathered Thursday to learn how to improve their workplace cultures. [Roger Chaffin, former Calgary Chief of Police] joined Pam Krause, president and CEO of the Centre for Sexuality, in a candid panel as part of a speaker series called Non-profits at Noon, organized by Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations. Non-profits, despite their often egalitarian mandates, are not immune to harassment and toxicity in the office, said Krause, who's done considerable work on these embedded cultural issues. 'I think the thing about what we miss out about the non-profit sector is we think that you know everything's equal and everything's fine,' Krause said. 'But there's some incredible power dynamics that happen.'" 5/29/19

  • With Kensington legion in serious financial straits, councillor calls for tax relief (Calgary Herald) CALGARY STORY :-( "The Kensington legion branch is nearly $30,000 in arrears on property taxes and facing mounting financial penalties just two years after opening the doors of its new four-storey building." Late-breaking update: Calgary council approves tax break for Kensington legion 5/25/19

  • Latest $600K STARS donation will help train rural responders (Edmonton Sun) ALBERTA STORY Thanks FCC! Good work STARS! "Farm Credit Canada, a financial services company based out of Regina that specializes in agricultural lending, committed the money over four [years]." 5/24/19

  • Alberta Railway Museum chugging along for more than 50 years (CBC) EDMONTON STORY Happy birthday! "Hans Huizinga tips his conductors hat forward politely as he helps school children up the stairs of a 106-year-old steam locomotive. 'It brings Thomas the Tank Engine to life for them in an Alberta setting,' says the 81-year-old volunteer at the Alberta Railway Museum, now in it's 51 season." 5/24/19

  • Why overlooked green energy sector is an economic powerhouse: Don Pittis (CBC) ALBERTA STORY "As Alberta's new government considers how to boost its traditional fossil fuel economy, research released today claims politicians and other Canadians have a blind spot when it comes to the job-creating power of green business. The report declares that while Canadians obsess about pipelines and shrinking employment in coal, oil and gas, they and their leaders have been ignoring a sector that is outgrowing the rest of the economy, attracting billions of dollars in investment and creating more jobs than either the fossil fuel or mining sectors." 5/23/19

  • 3 firms picked to design $500M BMO Centre expansion (CBC) CALGARY STORY Congrats to all three. Can't wait! "The $500-million expansion of Calgary's BMO Centre will be planned and designed by three national and international architectural firms, officials announced on Thursday. The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), which is acting as development manager for the project on behalf of the Calgary Stampede, says the project team was selected from among 12 proposals submitted by firms all over the world. The three firms chosen to jointly build the expansion are Edmonton-based Stantec; S2 Architecture, which has studios in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver; and Populous, a large global firm with offices in Kansas City, Brisbane and London." 5/23/19

First Peoples of Canada

  • Calgary's National Music Centre to open permanent exhibit for Indigenous artists (CBC) CALGARY STORY I love that this is a permanent exhibit. Good move NMC! "Calgary's National Music Centre will unveil a permanent exhibit in June dedicated to Indigenous artists who have had an influence on national culture. 'Speak Up!' will showcase musicians from across Canada who have made 'social and political impacts,' including Juno Award winners Jeremy Dutcher, Tanya Tagaq and Northern Cree. In total, 10 artists will be part of the exhibit, which will evolve over time. Others include trip-hop singer Iskwe, singer-songwriter and First Nations activist Willie Dunn and Cree hip-hop group War Party." 5/28/19

  • Tsuut'ina elder awarded honorary high school diploma 53 years after dropping out (CBC) TSUUT'INA STORY Congrats to Elder Bruce Starlight. Well deserved. "The graduating class at Henry Wise Wood High School received their diplomas last week — and among them was a man who had waited more than 50 years for this moment. Tsuut'ina elder Bruce Starlight never completed high school but on Wednesday he was surprised to be awarded an honorary diploma from Wise Wood for his important role in the community as an elder and a language commissioner." 5/28/19

  • How 'community-driven' Indigenous architecture is transforming space (CBC) Good! "A colleague of Métis architect David Fortin's once said something that has stuck with him: 'Nothing about us without us.' For many generations, buildings were designed and built without the consultation or integration of the Indigenous communities they reside in. From residential schools, to housing, to rinks, to community centres, few buildings reflected community values. But David Fortin, the director of the McEwen School of Architecture at Laurentian University, said that seems to be changing into a more Indigenous-led and co-designed landscape." 5/26/19

  • Canadian medical schools commit to increasing Indigenous student admissions (CBC) CANADIAN STORY "Canada's 17 medical schools are teaming up with the Indigenous Health Network in an effort to increase the number of Indigenous students enrolled in their programs." 5/25/19

  • U of L Project to Provide Virtual Access to Historic Blackfoot Objects (CJOC) *LETHBRIDGE STORY Very cool idea. "University of Lethbridge researchers are starting a project to provide virtual access to historic Blackfoot objects. The project called 'Concepts That Bite Through Time' aims to create detailed 3D models of Blackfoot objects held in various museums in Europe." 5/22/19

Seven life and career hacks (one for each day of the upcoming week)

  1. 10 Donation Page Best Practices For Your Website and Beyond (Give) Solid advice, tips, and tools. 5/27/19
  2. 10 Simple Rules for the Best Life Ever (John P. Weiss) In our May 10th recap, we bid Jean Vanier adieu. In this fabulous article by John P. Weiss, he shares with us Jean Vanier's 10 Simple Rules. They are as simple as they are profound. Thank you Jean. Thank you John. #4 is already in play in my house. My friend, Tony Myers, taught me a lot about #6. 5/24/19
  3. 7 Insanely Powerful Lessons My Mentor Taught Me (Which I Didn’t Realize Until Later) (The Ascent) Oooh, I love love #1 and #2 but #7 too. This is a great article that celebrates mentors and mentorship. 5/20/19
  4. Why Pride Is Poison for Your Soul (Personal Growth) I have suffered from pride. I still suffer from pride. I read this article with much interest. I hope you do the same. 5/19/19
  5. You Are Who You Think You Are: How Your Identity Shapes Your Life (Publishous Now) This article really made me think. I am spending time this week thinking about who I think I am. Who do you think you are? 5/16/19
  6. Bringing a Classic into the Digital Age with Helvetica Now (Modus) I have never been a Helvetica hater. This makes a great font even greater. 5/9/19
  7. The Key to an Engaging Podcast Interview (The Startup) As a podcaster, I seriously heart (and agree with this). It's a short read. And a good one. 5/5/19

Uncommon knowledge

Philanthropic personalities

  • MacKenzie Bezos Owns $36 Billion in Amazon Shares. Now She Is Vowing to Give Away Much of Her Wealth. (New York Times) First, boom! Ms. Bezos, you rock! Second, it is interesting that Mr. Bezos has steadfastly refused to make the same pledge. "MacKenzie Bezos has promised to give more than half of her fortune to charity as part of the Giving Pledge [...]. Ms. Bezos, whose divorce from the Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos made news earlier this year, was among 19 new signatories announced by the group." 5/28/19

  • Top 10 Chinese philanthropists in 2018 (China Daily) "China Philanthropy Times released the 16th China Philanthropy List on April 28, with 274 philanthropists and 744 philanthropic enterprises ranking on the list, by donating 27.63 billion yuan ($4.11 billion) in 2018, up 50 percent on a yearly basis, according to a China Daily report." 5/23/19

Philanthropic controversy

  • Why a major Canadian art gallery would sell 20 works by a Group of Seven master (CBC) CANADIAN STORY "More than a dozen works by Group of Seven member A.Y. Jackson are being sold at auction this week, put on the block by the Art Gallery of Ontario. But why would one of Canada's major art galleries ever get rid of artworks, let alone pieces by one of the country's best-known artists? The practice is called deaccessioning — and it's not without controversy in the art world." 5/29/19

  • MACKENZIE BEZOS AND THE PITFALLS OF TECH PHILANTHROPY (Wired) "[Critics] of the Giving Pledge and similar initiatives say they amount to little more than PR plays. If MacKenzie and her fellow elites spend their fortunes slower than they anticipate, there won't be any repercussions: They aren’t under any legal obligation to meet the requirements of the Giving Pledge, which its website describes as a 'moral agreement.' It’s difficult to track whether every billionaire who signs adheres to the pledge, and several may not have done so, according to a Bloomberg report from 2015." 5/28/19

  • $40 Million For 400 Students: Morehouse Donation Highlights An Inequitable New Normal (Forbes) "But missing from the coverage of Smith's unprecedented generosity is a crucial question about the value of higher education in the United States: How did it become normal for fewer than 400 students to accumulate $40 million in student loan debt?" Great question! 5/28/19

  • Education University of Hong Kong seeks to distance itself from alleged fraud mastermind"" (South China Morning Post) "Roy Cho Kwai-chee, the alleged mastermind in one of Hong Kong’s largest financial fraud investigations, appears to be a persona non grata as far as the recipients of his philanthropy are concerned. The Education University of Hong Kong, which named the main administration building after him on the back of a HK$25 million donation (US$3.2 million) in 2016, is trying to remove his name, according to two sources familiar with the matter." 5/28/19

  • CAMH getting rid of piece of Toronto history by tearing down portion of wall, critics say (CBC) TORONTO STORY "The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health is erasing a piece of the city's history by taking down a section of the wall surrounding the property, community members in the West Queen West neighbourhood say." 5/25/19

  • PHILANTHROPY’S POWER TO DISRUPT TYRANNY – STARTING WITH ITSELF (National Committee for Disruptive Philanthropy) Good read. "In the past 10 years, philanthropy has become increasingly comfortable with conversations about advancing equity. But NCRP CEO Aaron Dorfman rightfully notes that grant dollars and better grantmaking practices haven’t kept pace with rhetoric. The idea of equity – when one can no longer predict an advantage or disadvantage based on race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or ability – is not hard to grasp. But practicing equity requires a commitment to tempering power with accountability." 5/23/19

  • How Sackler Became the Most Toxic Name in Philanthropy (Town & Country) It's a long and very interesting piece on one branch of this (now) infamous family. "Joss Sackler's husband and his family are accused of making billions off the opioid crisis. Does she get to be a rebel without a cause?" 5/16/19

Trends and shifts

  • Virtual reality can promote empathy—but which type of empathy? (Lilly Family School of Philanthropy) Hmmm...empathy without compassion..."New research finds that virtual reality increases emotional responses toward others, but doesn’t develop the understanding of their thoughts and feelings that is key to maintaining compassion." 5/29/19

  • Millennial Entrepreneurs Twice as Generous with Their Money and Time Than Gen X, Baby Boomer Entrepreneurs (Yahoo) Not surprised. Use care with this data however. The key term is entrepreneurs. BTW, the survey (linked below) is excellent. "Millennial entrepreneurs show higher levels of charitable giving and volunteerism than entrepreneurs of earlier generations, one of many differences uncovered in a new Fidelity Charitable® survey focusing on three generations of business owners. The data shows that younger entrepreneurs have different approaches to business—and to philanthropy—than those who came before." 5/28/19

  • Swiss Crowdfunding Volume Exceeds Half a Billion Swiss Francs for the First Time - Study by Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Yahoo) "CHF 516.6 million were raised via Swiss crowdfunding platforms in 2018. Compared to the previous year, the volume increased by a further 38 per cent. Switzerland has thus developed into one of the largest crowdfunding markets in continental Europe. This is shown by the results of the latest crowdfunding monitor from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts." 5/27/19

  • Donations by Chinese philanthropists up 50% in 2018 (China.org.cn) "The volume of donations by Chinese philanthropists and enterprises on the China Philanthropy List hit a record high of 27.63 billion yuan (about 4 billion U.S. dollars) last year, a 50-percent rise year on year, China Daily reported Monday [...]. Individual philanthropists alone donated 9.53 billion yuan, an average of 34.81 million yuan per person." 5/27/19

  • Future foretold: A new America in 2040 (Axios) "Here is how fast America is changing: By the time today’s teenagers hit their 30s, there will be — for the first time ever — more minorities than whites, more old people than children, and more people practicing Islam than Judaism." 5/21/19

  • Google Maps launches a 'wheelchair accessible' option for 6 cities (Mashable) Brillant! #WhatTookThemSoLong "Big cities like London usually aren't known for being easily accessible to people using wheelchairs, but a new feature from Google Maps is a step toward making it easier. Google Maps [has] launched a 'wheelchair-accessible' option for six major cities." 5/16/19

  • Support for Canadian Journalism – General (Canada Revenue Agency) CANADIAN CONTENT These are very interesting times for charity and journalism. And journalism as charity. The CRA is offering guidance related to proposed Government of Canada Budget 2019 measures. A huge nod to Mark Blumberg for sharing this info. "These measures are intended to provide support to Canadian journalism organizations producing original news. An independent panel will be established in order to assist the Government in implementing these measures, including recommending eligibility criteria for the purposes of the three measures." 5/3/19

Reports and other tools

  • "Changing Attitudes." A New Tool Links the Arts to Measurable Social Impacts (Inside Philanthropy) Brilliant! And, if you work in the arts, critical. "With foundations demanding a more socially focused arts experience, 'old world' patrons ceding the stage to younger impact-oriented donors, and average Americans frequently bypassing the arts entirely, fundraisers at arts organizations increasingly feel the need to better articulate the benefits of the arts for individuals, communities and society." 5/15/19


Large gifts

  • UChicago Creates Molecular Engineering School with $100M Donation (PBS) Wowza! This feels like a big deal in terms of expanding the field of engineering to formally include "disruptive approaches to translational science". Very cool. "The University of Chicago announced [...] that it will create a new school dedicated to molecular engineering – the first of its kind at a U.S. university – thanks to a $100 million commitment from the Pritzker Foundation. The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering will become the university’s first new school in three decades and will be its first school in engineering." 5/28/19

  • UN Women welcomes UAE’s donation of US$10 million (Emirates News Agency) Go UAE! "Dr. Mouza Al Shehhi, Director of UN Women UAE Liaison Office for the GCC, welcomed the UAE’s donation of US$10 million, to support ending of sexual and gender-based violence. The UAE announced the donation during its participation in the 'International Conference on Ending Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Humanitarian Crises' which was held in Oslo, Norway on 23rd - 24th May, 2019." 5/27/19

  • UVA’s business school receives $68M donation (Washington Post) "The University of Virginia’s business school has received a $68 million donation from a former student. The gift from investor and alumnus Frank M. Sands Sr. is the largest donation in the history of the university’s Darden School of Business." 5/25/19

  • With $1.25M donation, Hebron hopes students unlock ocean potential (CBC) NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR STORY Nice gift Exxon Mobil Canada! "The Hebron Project is donating $1.25 million over three years to the Oceans Learning Partnership, for teachers and K-12 students across the province to get hands-on understanding of the ocean." 5/24/19

  • $10 million donation to advance UT’s role in world’s largest telescope (The Statesman) Never underestimate the power of a site visit. Nice! "When David Booth visited the University of Texas’ McDonald Observatory in the Davis Mountains of West Texas last fall, he was simply trying to learn. He came away inspired to help pay for studying the universe. Booth, executive chairman of Austin-based Dimensional Fund Advisors and a noted philanthropist, has pledged to donate $10 million to UT to advance its participation in the construction and use of the Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile." 5/22/19

  • Family donates $1.26 million to Thunder Bay Community Foundation (tbnewswatch) THUNDER BAY STORY "An anonymous gift to an organization that assists local non-profit projects through grants and bursaries has pushed its fund to a record high. The Thunder Bay Community Foundation received a $1.26 million gift from a local family who wish to remain anonymous." 5/22/19

  • The plan to save children with 'the worst of the worst' cancers (Sidney Morning Herald) "[Billionaire] miner Andrew Forrest and his wife Nicola announced their philanthropic organisation the Minderoo Foundation will donate $5 million to the Zero Childhood Cancer program." 5/15/19

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