As defined by F.
As defined by F.


As defined by F. Emerson Andrews, president emeritus of the Foundation Center in New York, a foundation is 'a non-governmental, non-profit organization with funds and program managed by its own trustees or directors and established to maintain or aid social, educational, charitable, religious or other activities serving the common welfare'. Of some 1400 such philanthropic foundations in Canada, most have been established by individuals or families, the remainder by companies, communities-at-large, or other entities. They range from very large to very small. Most have limited their granting to certain well-defined areas. Probably less than 5 per cent of that granting has served music. Only those foundations which to some extent have supported the creation, performance, teaching, housing, or other essential functions of the broad cause of music are mentioned in this article. In grants to music, giving practices have varied. Some foundations have avoided gifts to 'brick and mortar'. Some have stressed education (scholarships, bursaries, etc; though to maintain tax-exempt status they have not made grants to individuals directly but have channelled such monies through colleges and other established organizations that are tax-exempt). In general, requests for aid with individual, terminable projects have been more welcome than those for long-term, on-going, or repeated funding. In some instances foundations have delegated the administration of their funds to government agencies.

Many cities or districts have established community foundations that support to some extent their local musical organizations. Among those active in 1991 were the Winnipeg Foundation (established 1921), the Victoria Foundation (1936), the Vancouver Foundation (1943), the London Foundation (1954), the Brandon Area Foundation (1965), the Lethbridge Foundation (1966), the Fredericton Foundation Inc. (1967), the Saskatoon Foundation (1970), the Central Okanagan Foundation (1977), the Saint John Foundation, NB (1977), the Greater Moncton Foundation Inc. (1979), the Metropolitan Toronto Community Foundation (1981), the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation (1984), the Community Foundation of Ottawa-Carleton (1987), and the Thunder Bay Foundation.

See also entries for Alberta Culture; Amis de l'art; British Columbia Cultural Services Branch; Canada Council; Floyd S. Chalmers Foundation; the Community Arts Council of Vancouver; du Maurier Arts Ltd; the Glenn Gould Foundation; the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation; Lapitsky Foundation; Manitoba Arts Council; Massey family; Ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec; New Brunswick Cultural Development Branch; Newfoundland Division of Cultural Affairs; Northwest Territories Dept of Culture and Communications; Nova Scotia Dept of Tourism and Culture; Nova Scotia Talent Trust; Ontario Arts Council; Maurice Pollack Foundation; Saskatchewan Arts Board; the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation; Yukon Arts Council.

Private and Community Foundations A-D

The appended alphabetical list cites both private and community foundations. In most instances only a selection of beneficiaries has been indicated.

Atkinson Charitable Foundation, Toronto. Established 1942. Restricted to Ontario. Grants and bursaries. Recipients have included the COC, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kelso Music Centre (Oakville), the Kiwanis Music Festival Association of Greater Toronto, and the TS.

Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation, Toronto. Established 1960. Assistance within the province of New Brunswick; grants to the University of New Brunswick and the Saint John Symphony Orchestra.

J.P. Bickell Foundation, Toronto. Established 1951. Scholarships and bursaries, restricted to Ontario. It has made grants to the RCMT, the TS, the Toronto Youth Symphony Orchestra, the COC, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and the Women's Musical Club of Toronto.

E.W. Bickle Foundation, Toronto. Established 1959. Grants, some annual, to both Ontario and national organizations. It has assisted the COC, the Chamber Players of Toronto, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and the TS.

Birks Family Foundation, Montreal. Established 1961. Canada-wide; grants have been made to the COC and the MSO.

Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation, Montreal. Reorganized 1972. Grants to all parts of Canada, including a number to help the technical and managerial staffs of arts and cultural organizations to improve their professional qualifications. A grant has been made towards the publication of the works of André Mathieu and to the Canadian Music Centre towards its 25th-anniversary publication. It has assisted the Canadian Association of Youth Orchestras, Opéra de Montréal, Esprit Orchestra, the Edward Johnson Music Foundation with funds for the Guelph Spring Festival, I Musici de Montréal, and Tafelmusik.

Calgary Foundation, Calgary. Established 1967. Grants to Calgary and surrounding area, including the Calgary Philharmonic Society, Calgary Opera, the Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts (now EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts).

The Robert Campeau Family Foundation, Toronto. Recipients include the Canadian Opera Women's Committee and the COC.

Carthy Foundation, Calgary. Established 1967. Canada-wide grants including the Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Banff Centre for Continuing Education.

Nat Christie Foundation, Calgary. Grants to the Calgary Philharmonic Society and the Banff Centre for Continuing Education.

Gordon Cockshutt Foundation, Brantford, Ont. Established 1962. Restricted to organizations in the city of Brantford and Brant county. Those who have received assistance include the Brantford Symphony Orchestra and the St John's Girls' Drum Corps.

Counselling Foundation of Canada, Downsview, Ont. Established 1959. Aimed primarily at education and community services, it has issued grants to the Tudor Singers of Montreal.

The J.A. De Sève Foundation, Montreal. Established 1967. It funds Quebec organizations, including the Conservatoire de musique du Québec, Ensemble vocal arts Québec, JMC (YMC), École de musique de Matane, Festival d'étè de Lanaudière, FIJM, Orchestre métropolitain, Pro Musica Society, the Quebec Music Competitions, the Canadian Music Competitions, Opéra de Montréal, MSO, the Orford Arts Centre, I Musici de Montréal.


Other organizations which have made contributions to music in Canada are the J. Barney Goldhar Family Foundation (Toronto, established 1962), the B & B Hamilton Foundation (Toronto, established 1966), the Ontario Paper Co Foundation (Thorold, Ont, established 1958), and the Lady Davis Foundation. The last-named brought several artists and scholars (including István Anhalt) to Canada during the late 1940s. US foundations which have contributed to Canadian music interests include the S. Kresge Foundation (Michigan, established 1924), which gave a substantial grant to the Community Music School of Greater Vancouver, the Amoco Foundation (Chicago, established 1952, originally the Standard Oil Foundation), which has provided financial assistance to both the Calgary Philharmonic and the COC, the Gannett Foundation, which has given grants to the Civic Youth Orchestra (Toronto), and the Dr Scholl Foundation, which has given grants to the TS.

Corporations which have supported music in ways similar to those undertaken by foundations include Imperial Oil, Labatt's, Molson's, Seagram Distillers, and du MaurierLtd.

Private and Community Foundations E-H

Eaton Foundation, Toronto. Established 1958. Grants nationwide. Beneficiaries have included the COC, the Chamber Players of Toronto, the Canadian Music Competitions, the Festival Singers, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, the MSO, the NYO, the Oshawa SO, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Edmonton Opera Association, Manitoba Opera Association, Opéra de Montréal, Edward Johnson Music Foundation, Vancouver Opera, the Boys' Choir of Toronto, Orchestra London Canada, the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, the Bach-Elgar Choir, the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, CAMMAC, the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus, and the Festival of the Sound. The TS has received annual grants. The foundation also has provided scholarships through the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music (the Eaton Graduating Scholarship, see Awards).

Edwards Charitable Foundation, Toronto. Established 1973. It has made grants to the Toronto Consort, the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall, and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

[The Fraser] Elliott Foundation, Toronto. Established 1985. Restricted to Ontario organizations, including Music Toronto, the COC, and the TS.

Exton Charitable Foundation, Toronto. Established 1976. Grants to Toronto organizations, including the COC.

Sir Joseph Flavelle Foundation, Toronto. Established 1945. Restricted to Ontario. It has contributed to the COC, Contemporary Showcase, the Edward Johnson Music Foundation, the Festival Singers, the Healey Willan Memorial Fund, the Kelso Music Centre, the Kiwanis Music Festival Association of Greater Toronto, the NYO, the Ontario Choral Federation, Opera in Concert, the RCMT, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the TS, the Toronto Youth Choir, and YMC.

Foundation Wilfrid Pelletier, Montreal. Established 1983. Restricted to students at the seven Conservatoires de musique du Québec. Support bursaries are offered to undergraduates and awards for excellence to graduate students. These latter have included Joseph Rouleau, Gilles Tremblay, Claude Vivier, André Prévost, Ronald Turini, Oscar Peterson, François Dompierre, and Angèle Dubeau.

Hamber Foundation, Vancouver. Established 1964. Restricted to British Columbia. Recipients include the Kootenay Chamber Orchestra Association, the Vancouver SO, the Vancouver Youth Symphony Society, and the Powell River Academy of Music.

Hamilton Foundation, Hamilton, Ont. Established 1954. This foundation serves the Hamilton area. Organizations which have received grants include the Bach-Elgar Choir of Hamilton, the RHCM, the music department of McMaster University, and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.

Audrey S. Hellyer Charitable Foundation, Don Mills, Ont. Established 1958. Funding in Ontario includes the COC, the 1989 International Choral Festival, and the RCCO.

Private and Community Foundations I-L-

Charles H. Ivey Foundation, Toronto. Established 1957. Support to Ontario and national projects including the Stratford Summer Music Foundation, the CMCentre, the CMHS, and YMC.

Richard and Jean Ivey Fund, London, Ont. Established 1965. Response to requests from within the London and southwestern Ontario areas. It has made funds available to the London SO for specific projects and to the WOCM.

Richard Ivey Foundation, London, Ont. Established 1947. Grants primarily to London and southwestern Ontario region, and also to the COC.

Jackman Foundation, Toronto. Established 1964. Grants have been made to organizations across Canada, including the COC, the Chamber Players of Toronto, Music at Sharon, the Stratford Summer Music Foundation, Toronto City Opera, the Foundation for Coast to Coast Opera Publication, the CMHS, the WOCM, the Kingston Symphony Association, Opera in Concert, Quinte Summer Music, and the Ontario Choral Federation.

Edward Johnson Music Foundation, Guelph, Ont. Established 1957. It presents the Guelph Spring Festival, supports Canadian musical talent through competitions and scholarships, and commissions works for the festival from Canadian composers. Through these activities it receives grants from other charitable foundations and private donors.

Lorne & Evelyn Johnson Foundation, Regina. Established 1961. Grants to Regina area organizations, including the Regina Symphony Orchestra, the Regina Lyric Light Opera Society, the Regina Junior Lions Band, and the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra.

Foundation Abbé-Charles-Émile-Gadbois, Montreal. Established 1986 to continue the work of Abbé Gadbois toward preserving French culture in North America. Scolarships awarded annually to young Canadian singers who sing in French.

Kahanoff Foundation, Calgary. Established 1979. Grants primarily in Alberta, including the CMEA, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts, and the Mount Royal Choral Society.

Henry White Kinnear Foundation, Toronto. Canada-wide grants have included the TS, the Ballet Opera House Corporation, the COC, the 1989 International Choral Festival, the WOCM, and the Ontario Choral Federation.

Laidlaw Foundation, Toronto. Established 1949. Awards on a national basis, except for performing arts grants which are limited to Ontario and to the promotion of new works or programs. Publications, fellowships, research. Recipients of Laidlaw funds have included the TS, the Guelph Spring Festival, Contemporary Music Projects, the Stratford Summer Music Festival, NMC, Nexus, the Mariposa Folk Foundation, CMHS for its anthology of 19th- and 20th-century compositions, the CMCentre, the Tapestry Music Theatre, NYO for music commissioning, the COC for its composer-in-residence program, the Music Gallery, Music at Sharon, ARRAYMUSIC, the Esprit Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, Chamber Concerts Canada, and the Muskoka Festival.

Clifford E. Lee Foundation, Edmonton. Established 1969. Grants to the Edmonton, and Victoria Symphony Orchestras, the Edmonton Opera Association, the Alberta Baroque Music Society, the Pro Coro Society, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, NYO, and the Edmonton Chamber Music Society.

Rich Little Endowment for the Performing Arts, Nepean, Ont. Established 1988. Restricted to residents and arts groups of the City of Nepean, grants are made for the purpose of developing excellence in the performing arts. Recipients have included the Nepean Symphony Orchestra.

George Lunan Foundation, Toronto. Established 1967. Grants are limited to Ontario and have included the Boys' Choir of Toronto, the Jubilate Singers, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Music at Sharon, the Kiwanis Music Festival Association of Greater Toronto, and NYO.

Private and Community Foundations M-S-

J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, Montreal. Established 1937. One of the 25 wealthiest foundations in the world, it has preferred to fund short-term innovative projects rather than on-going maintenance costs. It has given support to music and related activities, including the Orchestre civique des jeunes de Montréal, and the Canadian Association of Youth Orchestras.

R. Samuel McLaughlin Foundation, Toronto. Established 1951. Restricted to Ontario, primarily educational but grants have been given to the COC.

J.S. McLean Foundation, Toronto. Established 1945. Recipients have included the COC, Contemporary Showcase, the Festival Singers, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Kelso Music Centre, NYO, the TS, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, University of Toronto opera productions, the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation, the Esprit Orchestra, Early Music Vancouver, the Chamber Players of Toronto, NMC, the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects, the Toronto Consort, the Vancouver Academy of Music, YMC, the Tudor Singers, the Vancouver Cantata Society, the Edward Johnson Music Foundation, Symphony Nova Scotia, ARRAYMUSIC, and the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus.

Catherine and Maxwell Meighen Foundation, Toronto. Established 1959. Canada-wide, but particularly Ontario. Recipients have included the COC, the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall, and the TS.

George Cedric Metcalfe Charitable Foundation, Toronto. Established 1967. Canada-wide and third world countries. Grant to The Ottawa Choral Society.

Nickle Family Foundation, Calgary. Established 1962. For Alberta-based projects, including the Calgary Boys' Choir, the Bowness Boys' Choir Society, the Alberta Music Festival, Calgary Opera, and the Calgary Philharmonic.

[Senator Norman M.] Paterson Foundation, Thunder Bay, Ont. Established 1970. Grants primarily to Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and north-western Ontario. Recipients include the Ottawa Choral Society, the Lakehead Music Festival, the Ottawa Music Festival, and the Thunder Bay SO Association.

Richardson Century Foundation, Winnipeg. Established 1957. Recipients have included the Manitoba Opera Association, the Saskatoon Opera Association, the Winnipeg SO, the Vancouver SO, and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra.

Stephen B. Roman Foundation, Toronto. Established 1966. Recipients have included the COC, the 1989 International Choral Festival, St Michael's Cathedral Choir School, the Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects, the Toronto Operetta Theatre, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and the York Symphony Orchestra.

Seamont Foundation, Montreal. Established 1972. Grants restricted to Montréal; recipients have included the MSO, the Ladies' Morning Musical Club, and Canadian Music Competitions.

Chris Spencer Foundation, Vancouver. Established 1949. Responds to requests for scholarships and grants from the mainland, specifically for child welfare and youth. It has given to the Community Music School of Greater Vancouver (Vancouver Academy of Music), the Vancouver Opera, the Vancouver Junior Symphony Society, and the Richmond Community Music School Society.

Private and Community Foundations T-Z-

Themadel Foundation, St Andrews, NB. Established 1969. Grants primarily for New Brunswick, but recipients have included the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra Foundation, Orchestre civique des jeunes de Montréal, and the CMEA.

Vancouver Foundation. Established 1943. Grants limited to British Columbia have included the Campbell River Concert Association, the Community Music School of Greater Vancouver (Vancouver Academy of Music), the Comox Valley Music Society, the Courtenay Youth Music Society, the Cowichan Symphony Society, the Kiwanis Music Festival, the Langley Community Music School, the Music in the Morning Concert Society, the Nanaimo Concert Band, the Powell River Academy of Music, the Vancouver Bach Choir, the Vancouver Cantata Singers, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, the Vancouver New Music Society, the Vancouver Opera Association, the Vancouver Philharmonic Society, the Vancouver Recital Society, the Vancouver Society for Early Music, the Vancouver Symphony Society, the Vancouver Youth Symphony Society, the Victoria Cons, the Victoria SO; in 1990, through the Vancouver Academy of Music, the Foundation offered grants for advanced specialized music training to be taken outside the province.

Vincent d'Indy Foundation, Montreal. Established 1985 to support the École Vincent-d'Indy. Funded by charitable foundations, corporate and individual donors and by an annual benefit concert, the Foundation awards prizes and scholarships to the school's teachers and students.

Winnipeg Foundation. Established 1921. The oldest community foundation in Canada. Grants are restricted to Winnipeg and area. Support to the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, music students at the University of Manitoba, the Manitoba Opera Association, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, the Senior Citizens' Choir of Winnipeg, the Manitoba Chamber Music Guild, the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts, the Western Centennial Folk Festival, the Manitoba Choral Association.

Winspear Foundation, Edmonton. Established 1961. Priority to projects within the Edmonton area and Greater Victoria, BC. It has given awards to some individuals and to the Edmonton Opera Association, the Edmonton SO, the Victoria SO, the Victoria Summer School of Music, the Pacific Opera Association, the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and the NYO.

Further Reading

  • Arlett, Allan. A Canadian Directory to Foundations (Ottawa 1973)

    Alderman, Tom. 'Money for the asking,' The Canadian, 16 Jun 1973

    'Giving away money is no easy task: an inside look at the prestigious Vancouver Foundation,' VSO, vol 3, Mar 1980