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This dynamic event series explores thought-provoking topics led by experts and moderated by community members of the College.
From Charity to Change: Inside the World of Canadian Foundations with Hilary Pearson
Tuesday, April 18 at 6 p.m. | Weston Hall, Prep School

Philanthropy is vital — it has the power to accelerate progress where it’s needed most, supporting the causes that can fuel real change in the world. In this discussion, author Hilary Pearson will share stories of transformational change from her latest book, From Charity to Change, and will make the case for the unique value that charitable foundations create in the ecosystem of philanthropy in Canada. The book paints a portrait of how Canadian foundations have made a difference in our rapidly evolving society, drawn from her personal interviews with more than 30 foundation leaders.

Hilary Pearson has had a 20-year career in the field of foundation philanthropy. As the founding president of Philanthropic Foundations Canada (PFC) from 2001 to 2019, she collaborated with many of the largest private charitable foundations in the country. 

Author of numerous articles, book reviews and columns, Ms. Pearson speaks frequently on Canadian philanthropy at conferences and workshops in Canada and globally. In her role at PFC, she edited comprehensive guides to starting and managing foundations, as well as guides for funders working with governments, with universities, and in policy advocacy. She writes a blog on trends and issues in foundation philanthropy for her website, and acts as a strategic adviser and facilitator for family and independent foundations. She is the author of From Charity to Change: Inside the World of Canadian Foundations (2022, McGill-Queen’s University Press). 

In 2019, Ms. Pearson was appointed co-chair of the Advisory Committee on the Charitable Sector, advising the federal Minister of Revenue on charitable policy and regulatory issues. In July 2018, she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions to building the field of philanthropy in Canada, and in October 2020, she was installed as chancellor of Brock University. She holds a BA and MA in Political Economy from the University of Toronto and honorary doctorates from Carleton University and the University of New Brunswick.
About our moderator

Valerie Pringle has enjoyed a distinguished career as a broadcaster and journalist for 50 years. She was a well-known anchor of two national news programs: Midday on CBC and Canada AM on CTV, where she covered major stories of the day — from national elections and Royal weddings to space launches and natural disasters. She has reported from Mount Kilimanjaro to Haida Gwaii and has hosted several television series, including The Canadian Antiques Roadshow and Valerie Pringle Has Left the Building. Valerie is currently host and producer of Canada Files on PBS.

Valerie has taken her leadership skills to the non-profit world. She has championed AIDS research for CANFAR, not only raising funds but also working to remove any stigma regarding the disease. She also played a key role in building the Trans Canada Trail across the country, working for more than 20 years to realize its vision. In addition, she has been a tireless advocate for the treatment of mental illness, currently serving as chair of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation.

In 2006 she was named a Member of the Order of Canada for her work in broadcasting and philanthropy. She received an honorary doctorate from Toronto Metropolitan University in 2010 and is an honorary fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

List of 1 items.

  • Samantha Kerbel

    Manager, Alumni Relations and Common Ties Mentorship Program
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