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Our History

A cup of coffee and a dream

It all began over a cup of coffee in early 1999 when Graeme Cooper and Charlie Tatham met to discuss their dream of forming a Community Foundation in Powell River.

Graeme and Charlie recognized that there was a need to establish a perpetual fund, where the interest earned would benefit their community. At that time, the Vancouver Foundation offered to match funds in B.C. communities provided they could get a minimum start up amount. Stepping up with a combined amount of $25,000 were the Rotary Club of Powell River and Pacifica Papers, and these funds were then matched by the Vancouver Foundation.

Our newly-formed foundation immediately began organizing meetings with community stakeholders, including the City of Powell River, Powell River Regional District, and representatives from different church and business leaders. As a result, the Powell River Community Foundation became a registered non-profit charity in May 2002, founding board of directors were established, and Hugh Kingwell became the first President! 

Establishing the first fund

Walter Martella and Carrie Lanigan of the Powell River Academy of Music
The Powell River Academy of Music is a valued community partner.

Shortly after establishing the Foundation, it became known that the Vancouver Foundation was holding an established Fund by former Powell River residents, Andy, and Clarabelle Anderson, with their instructions that the interest earned be used for the benefit of Powell River.

As an endowment-based foundation, the Powell River Community Foundation ensures long-term vitality for the community by investing funds in perpetuity and using revenue generated to support charitable organizations and other qualified recipients.

$1 million in assets

Today the Powell River Community Foundation holds over $1 million in assets on behalf of all Powell River residents, and directs our resources to address the ever-changing needs and priorities of our community.

To date, the Foundation has returned more than $200,000 from interest earned from our endowment fund to the community in funding, by way of grants, scholarships, and bursaries to over 40 organizations whose purpose is to enhance the overall well being of our community.

Recently, in the past five years the Powell River Community Foundation has been able to return almost half a million dollars to the community which included the Community Response ($184,000) and Recovery Fund ($164,000). These funds were obtained by the partnership our Foundation has with the Community Foundations of Canada and both Federal and Provincial Governments.

Community Foundations of Canada member

There are 207 Community Foundations in Canada, and we are proud to be one of them.

Graeme and Charlie had a dream 25 years ago. Today, the Powell River Community Foundation is an independent, volunteer driven, charitable organization that facilitates philanthropy by partnering with donors to build endowment funds that support local projects. 

Your Powell River Community Foundation is enthusiastic, and cares about the people, the community, and helps by bringing the people of Powell River together.

For Good.
For Ever.