Thank You Tom Harris

Thank you Tom Harris for your enduring dedication to our community. Your generosity, volunteerism, and community spirit has forever enriched Nanaimo.

Thank you, as well, for serving more than 16 years on the Nanaimo Foundation Board of Directors. It has been an honour and a privilege to know you, work alongside you, and benefit from your guidance.

We feel a deep sense of loss for our community, and personal sadness in the passing of a dear friend.

You have left an indelible impact on us.  We’ll do you proud, Tom.


Information on making a gift to The Tom Harris Community Endowment Fund can be found here.

Thank you Doug Johnston

On November 3rd, Doug announced the establishment of the Johnston Family Fund at the Nanaimo Foundation.

Doug has become one of the Foundation’s strongest advocates, in addition to joining the Nanaimo Foundation Community Engagement Committee.

How I Got Involved

My involvement with the Nanaimo Foundation began last spring when I was invited to a presentation by my long time friend and Nanaimo Foundation Board of Director, Tom Harris.

Although I was somewhat aware of the activities of the Nanaimo Foundation, I honestly did not fully appreciate how efficient this organization was. They operate out of donated office space and their administrative costs are extremely low.

I was also very impressed with their flexibility for the donors where they are provided many different alternatives on how their donations are spent.

There are numerous different endowment funds for a diverse number of purposes including the Nanaimo Museum, The Port Theatre and Legacy Funds from the BC Summer Games.

I noticed that all of these various groups are Nanaimo-based and the funds stay in the community.

What I really found exciting was the possibility of establishing my own personal family endowment with a donation of $10,000.

After listening to a presentation by Development Officer, Laurie Bienert, I was convinced and I am pleased to donate $10,000 to the Nanaimo Foundation to establish the Johnston Family Fund.

Laurie requested that I prepare a memo that hopefully, will help explain the tax benefits of donating stocks held outside of your RRSP’s and RRIF’s directly to a registered charity:

Tax Benefits of Donating Stocks


Giving the Nanaimo Foundation a Home

Thank you Jonathan Lampman and Bob Moss.

The Nanaimo Foundation prides itself on keeping expenses to a minimum. We could not do this without the support of two generous longtime Nanaimo residents. Thanks to Jonathan Lampman and Bob Moss the Nanaimo Foundation office space is fully donated.

Since the spring of 2013, Jonathan Lampman and Bob Moss have donated office space on Front Street to the Nanaimo Foundation. This generous contribution means that more donor dollars are going directly to needs in our community.

“Every time a visitor walks into our office, we are very proud to mention that our space is fully donated by Bob and Jonathan cost-free to the Nanaimo Foundation,” says Daniel Martinez, Nanaimo Foundation Development Director. “This has been a huge draw for many of our donors and supporters.”

Jonathan Lampman is a Partner of Ramsay Lampman Rhodes. Jonathan has been involved in numerous public causes and charitable organizations throughout Central Vancouver Island, including the Founding Chair of the Malaspina University-College Foundation.

Bob Moss is the Founder and Managing Broker of NAI Commercial Central Vancouver Island. Bob has volunteered his time and expertise to many local organizations, including helping other charities secure office space, and is a longtime Rotarian.

The Nanaimo Foundation is very grateful for this donated space in the heart of downtown Nanaimo. Thank you Jonathan Lampman and Bob Moss!

Lee Odgers

Lee is a certified financial planner with Freedom 55 Financial. He’s a born and bred Nanaimoite, raising two children in our beautiful city.

Lee has a strong understanding of the value of charitable giving.

Thank you, Lee for sharing the benefits of Donor Advised Funds with your clients and creating valuable support for arts and culture in our community.

We are grateful for your support of the Nanaimo Foundation!

A Significant Donation for Dementia Care

A long-time supporter of the Nanaimo Travellers Lodge Society, the Nanaimo Foundation presented NTL with a donation of $150K for its new dementia care home on Northfield Road.

“Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Nanaimo Foundation is delighted to deliver a $150,000 gift to Eden Gardens,” said Ted Carson, Chair of the Nanaimo Foundation Board of Directors. “It is excellent to see this state-of-the-art dementia care complex constructed for Nanaimo. The Nanaimo Foundation is honoured to support this vital need in our community.”

With this latest contribution, the Nanaimo Foundation’s support to NTL totals more than $500,000.

“As our largest donor to date, the Nanaimo Foundation truly embodies the kindness and generosity of our community,” says NTL’s Past Chair Mike Herold. “This donation will support our new facility and will allow us to continue to offer the essential compassionate care programs we offer our Elders.”

Along with several Nanaimo Foundation Board of Directors, Mr. Carson presented the donation to Mr. Herold and NTL Board of Directors, as construction continues on the new facility and surrounding gardens. NTL and the Nanaimo Foundation share a successful history of working together to support vital services in the community.

Nearly 70 percent completed, the new Eden Gardens facility will provide much larger rooms for its Elders in a village-like atmosphere. The two-story wood framed building will feature communities with neighborhoods, outdoor gardens, a solarium and areas for activities and family visits. It will also serve as a training center for other nursing care facilities in Canada on its Eden Alternative concept. When completed, Eden Gardens promises to be one of the top dementia care facilities in the country.

Nanaimo non-profit organizations receive $70,000

On August 16th in Diana Krall Plaza, the Nanaimo Foundation, in partnership with the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th and Island Savings, delivered $70,000 in grants to 11 local non-profit organizations.

Each year the Nanaimo Foundation provides grants from its Vital Nanaimo Fund to local charitable organizations to help build vibrancy, health, and resiliency in our community. This year, thanks to the generous support from the Community Foundations of Canada, the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th and the Island Savings division of First West Credit Union, the Nanaimo Foundation’s annual granting capacity has more than doubled, creating a historical moment for the Nanaimo Foundation.

The Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, led by the Community Foundations of Canada, was established to provide funding to charitable organizations from coast to coast to coast in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. With the support of the Government of Canada and leaders from across our country, this fund aims to activate a groundswell of local initiatives and engage Canadians in a wide range of projects that mark Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.

Since 2014 Island Savings has been a corporate partner of the Nanaimo Foundation and the presenting sponsor of the Nanaimo Foundation’s Vital Signs® report. Island Savings is the first corporate partner in the Nanaimo Foundation’s 34 year history to support the Foundation’s annual Vital Nanaimo Fund grants, making possible three of the 2016 Nanaimo Foundation grants.

“Community vitality is the Nanaimo Foundation’s purpose, promise and passion,” said Ted Carson, Board of Directors Chair of the Nanaimo Foundation. “We are grateful and honoured to receive support from the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th and Island Savings as they join us in proudly funding local organizations that are making a big difference in our community.”

“Canada’s 150th is a historic moment with the power to strengthen our communities and our connection to one another,” said Ian Bird, President of Community Foundations of Canada. “The collaborative Community Fund for Canada’s 150th will spark thousands of initiatives and activities that bring out the best that Canada has to offer. The Fund will encourage all Canadians to contribute to their communities in a way that fosters a greater sense of belonging, inclusion, and reconciliation, leaving a lasting legacy for our communities and our country.”

“As a business committed to improving the lives of Island families, we took the findings from the latest Vital Signs report to heart and I’m very proud that we’ve found an impactful way to partner with the Nanaimo Foundation on these new grants,” says Randy Bertsch, president of Island Savings. “We focus on the socio-economic health of each neighbourhood we serve and, as a result, will continue to align our services, employment opportunities and community investment program to support the long-term wellbeing of Nanaimo families and children.”


Grants delivered to the 11 local non-profit organizations aim help build community and respond to local priorities:




Gyro Club of Nanaimo – contributing to the construction of Beban Community Bike Park—a bike skills park and youth-oriented physical activity centre.






Literacy Central Vancouver Island – assist with improvements to the exterior of their heritage building, showcase and create awareness of Canadiana books and local authors, and build awareness of their literacy programs.





Nanaimo Art Gallery – contributing to the commemoration of Canada’s 150th anniversary and Nanaimo Art Gallery’s 40 years of service to the community, in commissioning Marianne Nicolson, an artist of Scottish and Dzawada̱’enux̱w First Nations descent to create a dynamic new public artwork.






Nanaimo Brain Injury Society – assisting in the development of an online community resources and engagement program to enhance health outcomes for individuals with acquired brain injuries and their caregivers.




Nanaimo Foodshare Society – aiding in the construction of an urban five acre farm project that will bring individuals and groups together to learn agriculture skills and restore one of the region’s original five acre parcels to a working and learning community farm space, while addressing local food insecurity by providing long-term solutions.




Nanaimo International Jazz Festival Association – assisting in the production of a jazz festival in downtown Nanaimo in celebration of the first Canadian jazz recordings 100 years ago, in recognition of the jazz educational programs and professional performers of Nanaimo.





Nanaimo Women’s Resources Society – helping in the development of the Spirit of Place project.  A project inviting community members to participate in artistic expression celebrating belonging, tolerance, diversity and understanding.





Vancouver Island University Foundation – assisting with VIU’s Indigenous Speaker Series and the associated conference.  This speaker series is focused on issues of national importance relating to the struggles, triumphs and lived experience of Indigenous peoples, and their impact within a diverse Canadian society.




Write to Read project – helping in the construction of a library on Snuneymuxw’s First Nation reserve land; a project aimed at reconciliation, community, understanding and literacy.







Gabriola Community Hall Association – support for the commissioning of a local artist to paint a large mural depicting Gabriolan history.






Gabriola Island Lions Club – assisting with construction of a new playground in Huxley Park on Gabriola Island to create an inclusive, multi-generational community park that encourages active living and community engagement.

Nanaimo receives $15,000 from Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees

The Nanaimo Foundation is pleased to announce a $15,000 contribution to United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island from Community Foundation of Canada’s Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees in support of local settlement efforts.

As Canadians join together in welcoming refugees from Syria, the Welcome Fund provides an important investment in their successful settlement in cities across Canada. Established to respond to an urgent gap in accessible and affordable housing, the Welcome Fund invests in community-driven solutions that enable recently arrived families to transition into suitable permanent housing.

“Shifting refugees from temporary to more permanent homes is the first step in helping people and families to settle into their new lives in Canada.” Andrew Chunilall, Chief Operating Officer at Community Foundations of Canada.

United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island, together with generous local donors, is matching the $15,000 contribution from the Welcome Fund.

How will your Organization Celebrate Canada’s 150th?



The Nanaimo Foundation is excited to provide increased support to our local community thanks to the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th.

This national small grants program will help fund locally-led projects that build community, inspire a deeper understanding of Canada, and encourage participation in a wide range of initiatives that mark Canada’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary in 2017!

The Nanaimo Foundation invites registered charities that operate within the geographical boundaries of Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District 68 to apply for the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th. From April 15th to May 16th, organizations can apply for up to a maximum of $15,000 towards capital projects that have a completion date by January 31st, 2018.

For complete application information click here

Vital Conversations

Vital Conversations - May 2016 - FB84% of Canadians give to charity on an annual basis.

Are you aware of the many giving tools available to you as a donor?

Join us for this informative session on how to multiply support to your favourite cause and receive maximum tax benefits.

The Nanaimo Foundation and Nahanni Ackroyd, Financial Security Advisor with Freedom 55 Financial, will share valuable information on effective giving with a special focus on donating with life insurance.

Free to attend


Tuesday, May 3rd
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm


Beban Park Auditorium
2300 Bowen Road, Nanaimo


For more information please contact and RSVP to

Laurie Bienert, Nanaimo Foundation


[email protected]

It’s Make a Will Week in BC

grandpaHow will you ensure your estate benefits the people and charities you cherish?

If you don’t have a will, you’re not alone. Recent reports show only 55% of British Columbians have a legally valid will. Having a will not only ensures your wishes are carried forward, it also guarantees your loved ones are cared for and relieves the burden of guesswork for your family.

The Nanaimo Foundation can help connect you with a qualified local advisor to assist you with your will, such as Lee Odgers, a Certified Financial Planner with over 10 years experience in Estate Planning and charitable giving.

For information and resources, visit BC Make-A-Will Week 2016