Victoria Foundation Launches $200,000 Matching Fund

Victoria, B.C., July 19, 2012 – His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, was in Victoria today to participate in the official launch of the Victoria Foundation’s Smart & Caring Community Fund.

The fund designates up to $200,000 to match contributions for two initiatives. One will support the creation of 13 endowment funds for Vancouver Island charities. The names of participating charities will be announced in August. The second initiative will support a physical literacy program that will teach fundamental physical skills to children aged three to 10. Anonymous donors have already contributed $55,000 to the physical literacy initiative.

The Victoria Foundation created the Smart & Caring Fund in response to a call last year from the Governor General for the country’s community foundations to join him in bringing to life a vision for a smarter and more caring nation for the country’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

Ian Bird, president and CEO of Community Foundations of Canada, said the Governor General’s vision of a smart and caring nation has galvanized the 183 community foundations across the country and Canadians can expect to see Smart & Caring Community Funds being established in communities from coast to coast leading up to Canada’s 150th birthday.

“In 2017 we will look back and be able to say – we came together as a country and achieved something remarkable. We’re going to build stronger communities in the same way Canadians built recreation centres and parks in honour of our Centennial,” said Bird.

The Victoria Foundation is one of the first in the country to create a Smart & Caring Community Fund. CEO Sandra Richardson said the foundation selected physical literacy to be the fund’s initial focus because findings from the local and national Vital Signs® reports indicate Canada’s children are less active and at greater risk from childhood obesity than ever before.

“This program is teaching basic skills – like throwing, jumping, running, catching, and kicking – that will help children build confidence in their physical abilities and support lifelong health and well-being,” said Richardson. “It’s a program that’s proactive, measurable, and responsive to research. In short, it’s a program that’s smart – and caring.”

Support from the new Smart & Caring Community Fund will expand access to a program called The ABCs of Physical Literacy developed by the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE).

“We strongly believe in his Excellency’s vision of a smart and caring Canada and look forward to showcasing how PISE embodies those values by providing opportunities for sport and physical activity development for the entire community,” said Robert Bettauer, CEO of PISE.

With support from the Smart & Caring Community Fund, the The ABCs of Physical Literacy is being delivered initially at The Cridge Centre for the Family Childcare Centre.

“We strive always for whole-child development that stimulates children’s physical, emotional, social and mental growth,” said Paula West-Patrick, Manager of The Cridge Childcare Services.
“We’re grateful to the Victoria Foundation for the fabulous opportunity to partner with such highly-regarded experts as PISE in teaching children about life-long physical activity.”

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National Smart & Caring Initiative
Community foundations across Canada are answering a call to service from their patron, the Governor General of Canada, by establishing Smart & Caring Community Funds

Victoria Foundation
The Victoria Foundation manages funds gifted either in perpetuity or for specific purposes. The funds or the earnings from them are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes. Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second oldest community foundation and the sixth largest of 183. To date it has invested more than $108 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities in B.C. and across Canada.

Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence
The Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) is the first sport institute in Canada bringing together excellence in community sport development and active living, sport and exercise education, sport technology research and world-class athlete performance services under one roof. PISE, in collaboration with its partners the Canadian Sport Centre Pacific and Camosun College, serves the community, students, high-performance athletes and coaches from across the country. It provides world-class training, education, testing, and applied research and innovation services in a state-of-the-art facility. 

The Cridge Centre for the Family
The Cridge Centre for the Family has supported Victoria’s children and families since 1873. With more than 150 child care spaces, brain injury residential and community support services, programs for women and children escaping domestic violence, young parent outreach, respite opportunities for families with children with special needs, and assisted living for seniors, The Cridge Centre supports people at all stages of life to achieve spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical and social potential.

Media information:

Stephanie Slater
Director of Communications, Victoria Foundation
250 381-5532 ext. #227         Cell: 250 686-8477

Marie-Pierre Belanger
Rideau Hall Press Office
613 998-9166

Louise Hodgson-Jones
Corsa Communications on behalf of PISE
250 812-2518

Shannon C. Whissell
Manager, Communication & Fund Development
The Cridge Centre for the Family
250 995-6419