Our Mandate

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.

Land Conservation

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.

Science in Canada’s North

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.  The Institute funds translational research that accelerates the development of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Learn more on their website.

Microbiome Science

The Weston Family Microbiome Initiative provides support for innovative microbiome research in Canada. Funded projects typically focus on the development of new therapies to treat disease, and preventative strategies to improve overall health such as diet modifications.

Trustee Initiated Grants

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. 

Our History of Giving

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.

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