The CanWest Global Foundation
The CanWest Global Foundation (“Canwest”) was established in 1997 with an initial contribution of $1 million from Canwest Global Communications Corp. When it was active, the foundation focused its support primarily in the areas of the arts, media, literacy, journalism and communication studies across Canada. CanWest Global Communications Corp., while under the leadership and control of the Asper family, had a long history of community involvement, offering both cash donations and in-kind support to local non-profit and charitable organizations via its television stations and newspaper holdings across the country. The CanWest head office and its operating units were also strong supporters of the United Way, not only giving corporate donations but also encouraging all employees to give generously.
CanWest supported post secondary education through contributions to the University of Manitoba and the CanWest Global Multimedia Classroom and Studio at Winnipeg’s Red River College, and contributed several million dollars to numerous other post secondary institutions across Canada in the area of journalism.
In the arts sector, the foundation was a long-time supporter of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and Winnipeg arts institutions such as the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Rainbow Stage, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Manitoba Opera and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, among many others. Arts festivals such as the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Jazz Winnipeg Festival, the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival and Atlantic Theatre Festival were among many other events receiving support. The foundation’s lead donation helped build a new home for the Manitoba Theatre for Young People which was named the CanWest Centre for the Performing Arts.
The foundation’s innovative and award-winning Raise-A-Reader Program is being carried on by Post Media as an independent national fundraising and public awareness initiative in support of children’s literacy.