BANFF – The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity announced Tuesday (Feb. 26) it has received one of the largest gifts in its history – $10 million over five years from Suncor Energy Foundation.
The support is for the centre's educational programs under the Peter Lougheed Leadership Initiative and builds upon a 16-year relationship between the two organizations.
According to a press release, the transformational support will secure the future of Indigenous Leadership and Leadership for Social Impact/Innovation programs, which will empower the next generation of leaders to navigate the complex world of today's society according to the Banff Centre's President and CEO Janice Price.
"We believe the leaders of today and tomorrow need to be values driven and have a strong sense of culture and community not only to survive, but to thrive," she said.
The $2 million a year over five years will benefit the leadership program by investing in applied research, enhancing program design and development, attracting faculty, and ensuring a broad access to all learning experiences through scholarships.
“Strong leaders who can navigate complexity are essential for building resilient communities that can adapt and thrive through change. Banff Centre has a proven track record of world class programming that inspires bold leadership,” said Eric Axford, Chair of the Suncor Energy Foundation Board. “We’ve been impressed by the impact and success of the Getting to Maybe program over the past three years, and the excellence in Indigenous Leadership programming that has been developed over 45 years. Through this gift, our hope is more leaders have the opportunity to develop the perspectives and capabilities needed to create connections and spark a bright future for all Canadians.”
Specific programs that will benefit from the funding include the Banff Centre's Getting to Maybe program, the Indigenous Leadership program created by director Brain Calliou and associate director Alexia McKinnon, increased access to scholarships for Indigenous leaders, non -profit and social minded entrepreneurs and continued development and delivery on Truth and Reconciliation through Right Relations programs.