Message from the Executive Director
Dear Friend of the Foundation,
Summer is in full swing in Grey Bruce and that means that life kicks back into a lower gear. I hope that you have plans to slow down and enjoy the great weather with family and friends.
It was a great pleasure last month to travel to Alpena, Michigan, along with community partners, to attend the One Water Gathering hosted by Lake Huron Forever. The Lake Huron Forever initiative was developed in 2019 by shoreline community foundations and conservation partners from the United States and Canada to advance water quality protection and healthy, sustainable communities on both sides of the lake. The Lake Huron Forever initiative aims to support community conversation and collaboration in the design and implementation of on-the-ground work to strengthen the health and well-being of residents as well as natural resources. Almost 110 interested participants enjoyed a full day of seminars on water issues followed by a second day in the field visiting conservation sites, museums and shorelines around Alpena.
At home at Community Foundation Grey Bruce, we have been busy working on some new initiatives that I am pleased to tell you about. We have recently released our audited Financial Statements for fiscal 2021 – they are posted on the website for your viewing. Last year, despite the pandemic we saw substantial gains on our assets and we had significant community impact with over $690,000 in community grants being dispersed. You may be interested to know that Jarislowsky Fraser, the Foundation’s investment manager, has invested in quality, sustainable businesses and advocated for good corporate governance. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors are integrated into the research team’s fundamental analysis. Any fundholder who wishes to have an individual statement on their fund can contact the office – we are happy to send one out. We are always available to give you an update, call anytime.
Recently, the Board of Directors passed a new policy that creates a Social Impact Fund and sets out for the Foundation to engage in social impact investing. Rather than being invested in the global stock market, this Social Impact Fund will be available to be invested locally for regional impact. Our goal is to make loans and capital investment in charities, non-profits, and new social enterprise organizations. While making a market level return, the local investments spur economic activities and growth that ultimately benefit our community wellbeing and sustainability. We are presently working on rolling out the particulars of how impact investing will work. We will be releasing information this fall on our website with detail on how to apply.
Finally, the Foundation looks forward to getting out and meeting grant recipients and fundholders in their communities this summer. We will be travelling across the region in July and August to attend festivals and events and to capture stories about how our grants are having positive impacts on communities across Grey Bruce. We are grateful to the Canada Summer Jobs program for our ability to hire James Adair to support our Summer Road Show – you can read a little more about James in his profile in this newsletter. Be sure to follow the Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to keep up with our adventures.
I send you very best wishes for a happy and healthy summer,
Photographed above are the Ontario delegates to the One Water Gathering: (left to right, back row) Jo-Anne Harbinson, Jeff Graham, Barry Randall, Alyssa Bourassa, Erinn Lawrie; (kneeling) Stuart Reid, Holly Westbrook at the #onewatergathering in Alpena, Michigan.