The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
The W. Garfield Weston Foundation is a private, family, charitable foundation committed to making grants in Canada for the benefit of Canadians. It is named for Willard W. Garfield Weston, who established bakeries and other successful enterprises throughout Canada and in many parts of the world. Today, these businesses include the George Weston Limited and Loblaw Companies Limited, companies in food retailing, processing and distribution.
The Foundation is supported by an endowment from the Weston family. For three generations, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has maintained a family tradition of helping charitable organizations to make a difference and enhance the quality of life for Canadians.
Historically, the Foundation has made donations to Canadian charitable organizations reflecting a wide variety of urban and rural needs, from medical and nutritional research to programs in the arts, education and environment. These grants have been distributed throughout all provinces and territories in Canada.
In recent years however, the Foundation has become more proactive and more narrowly focused in its grant making. At present, grants fall into three categories:
- Education: The Foundation is currently focused on Canada-wide university and college scholarship programs through the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation. In addition, through the Children First: School Choice Trust, tuition assistance grants are provided to elementary students in Ontario. Other initiatives include the Weston Family Innovation Centre at the Ontario Science Centre and the Royal Ontario Museum.
- Land Conservation: From coast to coast, the Foundation works in partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada in land conservation projects that protect critical habitats and the endangered species that call them home.
- Northern Research and Education: This work focuses on initiatives that position Canadian scientists to take leadership roles in international issues that affect Canada's North.
The Trustees of the Foundation also make donations to charities which they search out themselves. These reflect a variety of interests and needs across Canada.