In 2000, I was recruited into a new organization called Tides Canada for a short-term assignment to help “save the Great Bear Rainforest.” At the time I felt honoured, but also daunted since I knew the project would be immensely challenging. There was mounting conflict between environmental organizations and forest companies about logging in the region, and First Nations and the provincial government were in dispute over Indigenous rights and interests. A lot of people thought success in the Great Bear was impossible—the challenges were too great, and the relationships were far too hostile.
I’m still working on the Great Bear Rainforest 17 years later—so much for the short-term assignment! Many of the divisions that once existed have been overcome, and all parties have worked together to realize an historic and unprecedented solution that acts as a model for change in Canada and around the world. Tides Canada cut its teeth as one of the organizations that helped build this solution (you can read more of our origin story here). The result has been called “one of the most extraordinary conservation, social justice, and indigenous rights victories in recent memory” by the Buckminster Fuller Institute.
A number of signature Tides Canada approaches emerged through our work on the Great Bear Rainforest, including our first “shared platform” project, our in-house strategic philanthropy programs that target priority issues, and our work in collaboration and co-creation with other grassroots and philanthropic partners. And then there’s the sheer tenacity that the Great Bear Rainforest required—the ability to persist for the long haul, and the boldness required to bring different, sometimes opposing, groups together. I’m proud to say that we still wrap all of these things together in our approach; they are fundamental to our DNA.
In today’s political climate, there’s a greater need than ever to decrease polarization and increase collaboration. If we are to help Canadians secure a healthy environment while promoting social equity and economic prosperity, we’re going to have to work together. That’s why Tides Canada continues to bring together an expanding network of likeminded communities, philanthropists, foundations, businesses, and governments to tackle some of Canada’s most intractable problems.
There are so many instances where we did this in 2016, and I invite you to explore some of these stories in this report.
As we approach the end of our second decade, Tides Canada is continuing to work for uncommon solutions for the common good, as we did in the Great Bear Rainforest. We are doing this on the issue of toxics exposure, in the Canadian North, in Northern Manitoba, and with so many other issues and geographies. Whether we’re helping with strategy and consulting to get from vision to impact, or management and implementation to take care of the heavy lifting, we’re more committed than ever to addressing complex environmental and social issues.
Through all of this, we know we couldn’t do any of it without you—our visionary community—working hand-in-hand with us to accelerate and amplify positive change. You make it all possible.
Thank you for continuing to place your trust in us.
President & CEO
The NWT On the Land Collaborative held its first learning trip, bringing grantees, community advisors, and funders together to Yellowknife and Deh Cho, NWT. Learning trips are a vital component of our collaboratives, connecting partners with funders for immersive and interactive experiences and enhanced collaboration. In its second year, the Collaborative also welcomed two new partners: Diavik Diamond Mine and Gordon Foundation.
Tides Canada leads and hosts the Collaborative, which provides more effective and centralized access to funding and resources for on the land programs in the NWT.
Tides Canada brought together health and environmental NGOs and funders on the issue of toxics. The result was the Coalition for Action on Toxics: a group dedicated to reducing toxics exposure in Canada. With two key pieces of federal legislation up for review, the Coalition has an exciting opportunity to improve human health in Canada.
Hosted at Tides Canada, the collaborative includes Ecojustice, Environmental Defence, Équiterre, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Dragonfly Fund at Tides Canada, the Chisholm Thomson Family Foundation, the Ivey Foundation, the J.W. McConnell Foundation, and the Salamander Foundation.
The Our Living Waters (OLW) network officially launched at the Living Waters Rally in September 2016. After an initial phase of building and testing the OLW model, the network welcomed 50 member organizations, including six funders, committed to freshwater protection.
Tides Canada is a lead partner in OLW, which aims to have all waters in Canada in good health by 2030.
The Ilisaqsivik Society created the Clyde River Knowledge Atlas, an online mapping platform that layers local knowledge about wildlife, and marine and terrestrial environment with Inuktitut place names and scientific studies.
The atlas is a valuable, innovative community-driven tool that documents Inuit knowledge and values, making them easily accessible for learning, land use planning, and advocacy. Tides Canada supports this initiative as part of our Canadian North conservation work.
Tides Canada published a research paper on an emerging social finance innovation in the philanthropic sector—the impact DAF. The paper, co-authored with MaRS Discovery District and Social Venture ConneXion (SVX), recommends ways impact DAFs can move more philanthropic capital towards impact.
Tides Canada is proud to support this work in helping activate philanthropy in support of social change. Photo: Cristina Mittermeier.
The Ontario Indigenous Youth Partnership Program (OIYPP) supported eight projects led by Indigenous youth. In its second year, OIYPP also developed an evaluation framework in partnership with YouthRex, a province-wide initiative based at York University that promotes the integration of research evidence and evaluation in the development and delivery of Ontario’s youth programs.
OIYPP works to create a network of empowered and celebrated Indigenous youth supported by a community of individuals, organizations, and funders that work toward a healthy environment, social inclusivity, and strong cultural connections.
Tides Canada convened a shared learning trip on Indigenous guardian programs, connecting partners from Nain, Labrador and Pond Inlet and Clyde River, Nunavut with the communities of Klemtu and Bella Bella, BC. Our BC partners have developed innovative land and marine stewardship programs like the Coastal Guardian Watchmen, integrated cultural and ecotourism endeavours, and community well-being initiatives that can inform similar models in the Canadian North.
These community-to-community learning exchanges are a vital part of Tides Canada’s work and help catalyze ideas, share lessons learned across geographies, and build wide networks of supportive people doing similar work across Canada. Photo: Sara Hsiao.
The Northern Manitoba Food, Culture, and Community Collaborative (NMFCCC) and its 12 funders, 22 partner communities, and five northern advisors continued to drive innovations in collaborative funding. NMFCCC supported two “north-to-north” exchanges on boreal gardening and country foods that brought communities together to make connections and exchange knowledge.
The Collaborative also provided 22 community-led projects with over $650,000 in funding and in-kind support and welcomed the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security as a member. The Collaborative is hosted and administered by Tides Canada and is composed of northern community people and advisors, funders, and organizations—all working together to foster healthier and stronger communities in northern Manitoba.
A great origin story is always rooted in an extraordinary place, and the story of Tides Canada is no exception. Tides Canada’s birthplace is one of the most unique and spectacular places on Earth—the globally significant and biologically rich Great Bear Rainforest.
On August 3, 2016, 17 coastal First Nations and the Province of BC signed the Marine Planning Partnership (MaPP) implementation agreements.
The plans incorporate an ecosystem-based management approach and guide First Nation and provincial decision-making for marine management and conservation. MaPP advances marine planning in British Columbia by supporting a collaborative and science-based process.
The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund joined the shared platform. Mike Downie and Gord Downie, alongside the Wenjack Family, launched the Fund as part of a commitment and recognition of the need to start a new relationship with Indigenous peoples in Canada.
The Fund supports a collective reconciliation journey through a combination of awareness, education, and action. Their work includes ReconciliACTION programming that supports on the ground efforts to connect Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples; Legacy Rooms, which create spaces for conversations on reconciliation; and the Secret Path curriculum, which educates youth on the lasting impacts of residential schools by sharing Chanie Wenjack’s story.
Northern Youth Leadership (NYL) empowered young northern leaders in a Leadership Through the Drum Camp in Fort Simpson, NWT. The week-long camp in October 2016 cultivated leadership in youth through teaching the art of Dene drum making and on the land traditions and skills. The camp also revitalized interest in drumming in the local community.
NYL cultivates youth leaders in the NWT to be positive change agents.
Binners’ Project launched their Binners Hook program in 2016. In its first year, 57 homes in Greater Vancouver joined the program. Simply by placing a metal hook outside their property, participants help binners collect recyclables safely and efficiently. This acknowledges the contribution that binners make to communities and the environment, supports their economic stability, and adds dignity to their work.
Binners’ Project improves economic opportunities for, and reduces the stigma of, informal recyclable collectors.
Project Neutral partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with its CarbonShift Tracker. The three-year initiative will engage 50,000 households in five cities in southern Ontario and is projected to reduce GHG emissions by a projected 19,200 tonnes (equivalent to taking more than 1,200 cars off the road each year).
Project Neutral transitions neighbourhoods to carbon neutrality, one neighbourhood at a time.
Rainforest Solutions Project (RSP) won the prestigious 2016 Fuller Challenge from the Buckminster Fuller Institute for its work in the Great Bear Rainforest (GBR). The Challenge awards $100,000 for work that pushes the boundaries of socially responsible design and considers ecological, economic, and social impacts.
For over 15 years, RSP has been instrumental in the collaboration among environment NGOs, the Government of BC, First Nations, and logging companies using an ecosystem-based management conservation approach in the GBR.
Diasporic Genius held their 5th annual Harvest Festival for 400 residents of Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park in September 2016. The event encouraged community engagement with only-in-Toronto music, storytelling circles, cross-cultural dance, and circus arts. The Festival also created economic opportunity by working with local artisan entrepreneurs to showcase and sell their foods and handmade creations.
Diasporic Genius empowers people to make real, positive change in their lives, their communities, and their cities by awakening creativity and creating connection across boundaries.
Powered by Data introduced important new ideas and solidified key partnerships. Building on their work together in 2015—which resulted in the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) becoming the first grantmaking foundation to share its open data in Canada—Powered by Data’s partnership with OTF flourished in 2016, leading to an expansion of OTF’s open data strategy.
Powered by Data also introduced a new concept with enormous impact—that government administrative data could be used for evaluating outcomes—working with the Ontario Nonprofit Network to present on this topic at their annual conference. With the goal of enabling the social sector to benefit from the rapidly changing way society handles information, Powered by Data works with leaders in nonprofits, governments, and foundations to help them better use, share, and learn from data.
Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW) released the report Transcending Boundaries: A Guidebook to the Alberta-Northwest Territories Mackenzie Basin River Bilateral Water Management Agreement. The report examined the Agreement and highlighted what can be achieved through cooperative transboundary water management, with the hope that these conservation concepts can be applied in other watersheds.
FLOW provides ongoing, independent analysis and perspective on water policy in Canada.
BC Food Systems Network’s (BCFSN) 2016 Annual Gathering included the first-ever Gathering of Indigenous Trading and Sharing.
In coordination with the Working Group on Indigenous Food Sovereignty, BCFSN’s gathering was themed “Reconciling Cultures and Re-connecting Foodscapes: Renewing Collaboration Within and Between Peoples.” It brought together various cultures, including the Sylix and other Indigenous communities, to explore reconciliation. BCFSN creates healthy, just, and sustainable food systems in BC.
Foundations, charities, and not-for-profits are important members of Tides Canada’s community. Their donations help us lead and support initiatives across the country and provide uncommon solutions for the common good.
In 2016, we received more than 5,000 donations from individual Canadians and their families. Our community of individual donors and their families work with us to support hundreds of social change initiatives, ranging from neighbourhood-scale social programs to national conservation efforts.
Businesses provided generous support to Tides Canada’s innovative social change projects and high-impact charitable programs. We also help businesses increase their social impact by crafting charitable giving strategies that align with their corporate values.
We partner with local, provincial, territorial, and federal government agencies to lead and support solutions that integrate healthy economies and communities with strong environmental and social outcomes. Governments can access philanthropic and grassroots communities through our networks and can contribute to existing charitable initiatives that are creating social change.
How can tourism be sustainable and empower both local communities and their economies? This is a question that has guided the professional career and philanthropy of Mike Robbins. We chat to Mike about how his work and giving back all align and consider the triple bottom line: economic, social, and environmental.
7th Generation Fund
Adobe Foundation Fund
AIDS-Free World Fund
Alexander Graham Bell Innovation Fund
Animal Spirit Fund
AnQi’s Little Angels Foundation Fund
Auerbach Family Fund
Big Wild Fund
Burton Family Fund
Butterfly Wings Fund
Canadian Organization for Yoga and Mental Health
Canadians for Popular Education in Health Fund
Chaloult Wallace Fund
Chosen Waters Fund
Clayoquot Conservation Fund
CNIS Surgical & Obstetrical Skills Education Fund
Cohen Building Fund
Communications & Broadcasting Canadian Trust Fund
Corridor of the Clouds Fund
Coyle Family Foundation Fund
CPAWS Nova Scotia Conservation Fund
Crumbfree Caribou Fund
Dark Horse Fund
David J. Sokol Endowment Fund
Division of UBC PM&R Fund
Don Rubenstein Housing Fund
Dr. Bik May Wai & Dr. Chung Nin Lam Endowment Fund
Draimin-Haddon Endowment Fund
Elaine Dulsey Fund
Endswell Long-Term Fund
Erwin Kuechau Fund
Etisah Foundation Cameroonian Youth Fund
Forests Live Fund
Friends of Qatuwas Fund
Friends of Qqs Conservation Support Fund
Fund for Action on Investment Responsibility
Funding Awesome Fund
Glenn Powers and Melanie Wong Foundation Fund
Green Research Fund
Guarding the Gifts-The Liilga K’yilama Fund
Health Education and Animal Welfare Fund
Hollyhock Scholarship Fund
Hoops 4 Hope Fund
Jantzi Research Fund
Jesse and Julie Rasch Foundation Fund
Joel and Dana Solomon Fund
John Colet Fund
John Kenneth Galbraith Prize Endowment Fund
Jokabeca Foundation Fund
Jon Gates Foundation Fund
LAM Canada Fund
Language Documentation and Revitalization Fund
Lindalee Tracey Award Fund
Lunapads Global Opportunity Fund
Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba Fund
Mentoring Excellence BC Fund
Michael and Amelia Humphries Earthrise Legacy Fund
Michael and Amelia Humphries Earthrise Support Fund
My Arms Wide Open Fund
Naramata Conservation Fund
Natural Burial Association Fund
New Literacies Fund
Nonprofit Centers Fund
Open Media Education Fund
OSEA Education and Research Fund
Oxfam Canada Fund
Pacific Wild Fund
Power of Giving Fund
Rani Luthra Charitable Fund
Reconciliation Canada Legacy Fund
Reverence for Life Legacy Fund
Richardson Family Fund
Rideau Institute Research Fund
Robert Huber Memorial Fund
Seaver Family Fund
SHLF Endowment Fund
Simons Foundation Fund
Skeena Watershed Fund
SkeenaWild Conservation Trust Fund
Social Innovation Conference Series
Social Venture Institute Fund
Sokol-Rubenstein Family Life Insurance Gift Fund
Somos El Barco Fund
Stand Now Fund
Stockton Fergus Family Fund
Strachan Hartley Legacy Foundation Fund
Strategic Philanthropy Course Fund
Street Kids International Fund
Sustaining Design Fund
the deer crossing the art farm fund
The Funding Network-Toronto Fund
Twin Island Protection Fund
Tyee Solutions Society Fund
UFSC Community Outreach Fund
Urban Forest Fund
V. Paul Lee Family Foundation
Valerie Elia Fund
Vancouver Bicycle Fund
Vancouver Tomorrow Fund
Vern’s Community Fund
Wild Faith Fund
YouMeWe Foundation Fund
The following is a summary of Tides Canada grants, programmatic activities, collaborations, and project expenditures in 2016 by interest area and grants made by donor advised funds.
The following is a breakdown of Tides Canada revenue sources in 2016.
The following is a breakdown of Tides Canada expenses in 2016.