In recent years, the Board of the Foundation decided to become more proactive and more narrowly focused in its grant-making. It was felt that by defining its mandate, the Foundation would be able to maximize its impact and benefit Canadians in a more meaningful way.
Education has always been highly valued by the Weston family. Reta Weston was a school teacher, as were several of her daughters and grandchildren. Through endowments and national scholarship programs the Foundation has invested in the future of hundreds of college and university students. Education continues to be a defined area of focus within the Foundation, with an emphasis on impactful scholarships and the skilled trades.
A love of nature, instilled by their parents, has led to a sustained focus on land conservation. An investment of over $100m has enabled the acquisition of over 100,000 acres of sensitive landscapes across Canada. The Foundation is committed to the stewardship of these and other green spaces to provide opportunities for Canadians to connect with the wonderful nature that surrounds them.
The launch of the International Polar Year in 2007 was a response to a widespread concern about the decline of research in the North. It was at this time that the Foundation entered into a dialogue about Canada’s North. In response to this growing concern, the Foundation has adopted a goal of advancing northern science and research in Canada’s North as part of its mandate.
The Weston Brain Institute continues The W. Garfield Weston Foundation’s long history of supporting medical research, from funding the Banting and Best Institute in the 1960s to the recent Weston Fellows at the Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of Toronto. The Institute aims to accelerate the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging through funding translational research.
Innovation, excellence, leadership, and a sense of community are at the core of Trustee giving in this area. Trustees direct funds to specific causes that reflect the overall values of the Foundation, for the benefit of Canadians.
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation was first established in the 1950s by Willard Garfield Weston and his wife Reta, with a donation of shares from the family company, George Weston Limited.Learn More