The Belinda Stronach Foundation (TBSF) was founded in March 2008 by The Honourable Belinda Stronach, P.C. The Foundation’s mission is to advance human potential and achievement through individual empowerment and social change by strengthening the capacity of individuals and groups through investments in community-based initiatives.
TBSF is governed by an engaged Board of Directors who include Belinda Stronach, Senator Rod Zimmer, Ambassador Mark Entwistle (Ret.) and Mr. Rod Bell. TBSF is also proud to be supported by an Advisory Board who are brought together to support and consult with staff on programming. Tiffani Steer, Executive Director, is responsible for day-to-day foundation operations.
Since our inception, the Foundation has established partnerships with The Tony Blair Faith Foundation, The Clinton Global Initiative, ONE, The Canadian Club of Toronto, The Economic Club of Canada, Malaria No More and several other domestic and international organizations.
The Foundation focuses on strategic philanthropy rather than chequebook philanthropy so that programs are built on partnerships rather than solely on funding.
The Foundation believes that awareness is one of the keys to change and that it is important to engage individuals and organizations. During our short history, TBSF has executed several successful programs and events to support our three focus areas, Aboriginal Youth, Global Initiatives and Girls and Women.
In November 2008, TBSF hosted a roundtable with Sol Guy and Josh Thome, founders of 4Real. The roundtable brought together Aboriginal leaders and individuals from across Canada to discuss the issues and opportunities facing youth.
Since that meeting, TBSF is pleased to have realized the support of the Assembly of First Nations, Métis National Council and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, of leading private sector companies such as Vale and BMO Financial Group and from the Government of Ontario, to bring the internationally successful One Laptop Per Child Program to Canada. This program leverages leading-edge technology combined with culturally relevant programming to deliver a unique platform of learning tools to Aboriginal children.
When we launched the OLPC Canada program in 2010, TBSF committed to developing it over the course of a three year pilot.The pilot has been successfully completed and we are pleased that OLPC Canada will continue to grow and reach its full potential as an independent not-for-profit organization. For more information about OLPC Canada please visit www.olpccanada.com
Girls and Women and the G(irls)20 Summit
Fall 2009 presented a number of opportunities to champion global development issues and the advancement of girls and women including a meeting with Bono in Toronto, a commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative to galvanize Canadians to advocate for the G20 agenda to champion the advancement of girls and women and the launch of the Start with A Girl and the Shriver Report.
In 2010, TBSF committed to holding an annual G(irls)20 Summit modeled after the annual G20 Summit attended by heads of finance in twenty of the world’s most powerful economies. The G(irls)20 Summit would solicit grassroots ideas on how to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that most impact girls and women. The G(irls)20 Summit was launched in Toronto in 2010, followed by Paris, France 2011. Each was attended by one girl from each of the G20 countries, as well as a representative from the African Union. Delegates engaged in a conversation about the economic prowess of girls and women, culminating in the development of a communiqué outlining their recommendations on how to empower and engage girls and women globally. Most recently, in France, the communiqué was received in person by Mme. Consuelo Remmert, Aide to President Nicolas Sarkozy, with a promise to hand deliver to the President’s attention. Proof that if provided with the right platform that the voices of girls and women around the world can indeed be heard.
After two highly successful summits, Toronto 2010, and France 2011, the G(irls)20 Summit has become its own entity, separate from TBSF. As founding partner, TBSF is proud to have laid the groundwork for the continued growth and success of the G(irls)20 Summit. Girls and women have the ability to change the societies in which they live and the platform provided by G(irls)20 helps us to realize what is possible at our fingertips.
In addition, Belinda championed the establishment of The Belinda Stronach Chair in Breast Cancer Reconstructive Surgery at the Toronto General Hospital in 2008 and in May 2009, hosted Live to Tell, a concert featuring Sheryl Crow and benefiting Sunnybrook’s Odette Cancer Care Centre.
TBSF is proud to be supporting the committee responsible for the development of Belinda’s Place, a homeless shelter for single women in York Region scheduled to break ground in 2013. Once open, it will be the only shelter of its kind in York Region.
Founded in 2006 by Belinda Stronach and Canadian comedian Rick Mercer, Spread the Net was established to raise awareness and support across Canada for the purchase and distribution of anti-malarial bed nets to children and families in sub-Saharan Africa. To-date, this amazingly successful program has raised over $5.5 million dollars and has distributed close to 540,000 bed nets to recipients in Liberia, Rwanda, Uganda and Guinea in partnership with UNICEF Canada, Plan Canada and Buy-A-Net Malaria Prevention Group.
Golf Rocks Fore Malaria, held in September 2008 at the Magna Golf Club in Aurora, Ontario, was the first major event lead by TBSF and was a huge success. This unique golf and rock-n-roll cabaret event was co-hosted, along with Belinda Stronach, by Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keyes and Peter Chernin (COO Fox News Corps and Chair, Malaria No More US) and produced by David Foster. Golf Rocks raised over $600,000 for Malaria No More, Spread the Net and Malaria No More Canada.
TBSF joined forces with The Tony Blair Faith Foundation in December 2008. In April 2009, it hosted a roundtable led by Belinda Stronach and The Right Honourable Tony Blair and a reception with the interfaith community to launch Faiths Act Fellows – a program in which eight young Canadians of Faith will work together and in faith communities to tackle malaria. To commemorate World Malaria Day on April 25th, 2010, TBSF and the Canadian Club presented a nationally televised speech by Mr. Blair.
While not an aid organization, to support survivors of the Haitian earthquake in 2010, TBSF coordinated and executed the delivery of nearly 600,000lbs of food, water and basic medical supplies.
As we grow, the Belinda Stronach Foundation will continue to build partnerships individuals, non-governmental organizations, business large and small, as well as other foundations who work in Canada and around the world to develop and incubate innovative programs confronting global challenges.