Samiya Ahmed and Denise Koulis at the 5th birthday celebration for the School for Social Entrepreneurs Ontario (SSE), a project of Tides Canada. Samiya is a 2017 graduate of SSE’s Social Intrapreneur Fellowship and Denise is a longstanding SSE volunteer. Photo: Jake Martella.

From the President & CEO

In last year’s message, I spoke about how in today’s political climate there’s a greater need than ever to decrease polarization and increase collaboration in the charitable sector. This is why Tides Canada continues to bring together an expanding network of communities, philanthropists, foundations, businesses, and governments.

Ross McMillan, President & CEO. Photo: Zack Embree

Ross McMillan, President & CEO
Photo: Zack Embree

Our sector continues to be under attack, with a lot of false narratives, unfounded claims, and misinformation intentionally being spread on social media and in the mainstream media. Polarization, unfortunately, is increasing, and it is happening by design. There are orchestrated, well-funded campaigns propagating these false narratives, and it is no coincidence that aligned political and corporate interests are rallying against organizations in the social change sector, trying to frame all of us as something we are not.

In fact, Tides Canada is an organization that is deeply committed to speaking openly and acting with integrity. We do this by collaborating with both donors and social change leaders, by building bridges among sectors, and by working with diverse parties to find shared solutions to tough challenges. This work is needed even more today. We are proud to share with you in this report some of Tides Canada’s innovative work in 2017 to bring people together to create impact and strengthen our sector.

A wonderful example is Powered by Data, a new shared platform project that works with nonprofits, funders, and governments to provide open access to Canadian grantmaking data and increase the sector’s capacity to better use, share, and learn from it. Data is increasingly a part of the world in which we live, but for nonprofit organizations, concepts like open data are often unfamiliar. Powered by Data levels the playing field, creating a data environment where nonprofits and funders alike can benefit.

Another example of collaboration comes from the Northwest Territories. The NWT On The Land Collaborative brings together government partners, philanthropists, corporations, and Indigenous leaders to co-fund and collaborate around grantmaking for Indigenous-led on the land programs. In 2017, the Collaborative raised and disbursed more than $600,000 across 35 projects that are—among other things—providing cultural revitalization opportunities, fostering well-being and justice, enhancing community strength and resiliency, stewarding the land for future generations, and building sustainable economies.

I also invite you to read the story of an anonymous donor behind the Coalition for Action on Toxics, which is working to reduce toxic chemical and pesticide exposure in Canada to protect the environment, wildlife, and human health. Our work with this donor reflects how Tides Canada is supporting a new generation of philanthropists who want to get deeply involved in the projects they fund, and are looking for smarter and more strategic ways to do philanthropy. Our new philanthropy advisory service is providing philanthropists like her with the strategy, expertise, and tools needed to achieve the deep and lasting outcomes they are looking for. It’s a unique kind of support for a new generation of philanthropists who are raising the bar in our sector.

As many of you know, this is my last Year in Review letter. After 18 years witnessing the maturation of this organization from a small, new nonprofit into the remarkable force that it is today, it is time for a change, for me and for the organization. I am excited about the next phase of the journey—for both myself and for Tides Canada. I have the utmost confidence that Tides Canada will continue to grow as a dynamic and innovative force for positive change in our country.

As always, I thank you, our steadfast and visionary community. Thank you for continuing to place your trust in Tides Canada, and for working in partnership with us. Your support means everything.

Together we’re creating uncommon solutions for the common good.

With gratitude,


Ross McMillan
President & CEO

Shared Platform Projects

Tides Canada’s shared platform is home to over 50 unique and aligned projects across Canada working on community-led solutions that further our mission.

Clean Energy and Climate Solutions

  • Enviromentum
  • Project Neutral
  • Shift

Healthy Oceans

  • Great Bear Education and Research (GBEAR)
  • Marine Plan Partnership for the North Pacific Coast (MaPP)

Healthy Watersheds

  • BC Freshwater Initiative
  • Canadian Freshwater Alliance
  • Forum for Leadership on Water
  • Mackenzie Water Initiative*
  • Rivers Without Borders Canada
  • Slave River Coalition

Resilient Communities

  • Above Ground
  • AIDS-Free World Canada
  • Arctic Funders Collaborative
  • ArtBridges/ToileDesArts
  • The Base
  • Connecting Women with Scarborough Services
  • Dene Nahjo
  • Diasporic Genius
  • The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund*
  • East Scarborough Storefront
  • FireLight
  • Get REAL
  • IndigenEYEZ BC
  • Indigenous Place Making Council
  • Inner Activist
  • Innovative Young Indigenous Leaders Symposium
  • Jane’s Walk
  • Northern Youth Leadership
  • Ontario Indigenous Youth Partnership Program
  • Organizing for Change
  • Our Voices
  • Powered by Data
  • Qanak
  • The Reading Partnership
  • Reel Youth
  • Resource Movement
  • Sacred Seeds Collective (formerly known as Mno Wiisini Gitigaanan)
  • School for Social Entrepreneurs Ontario
  • Social Venture Partners Toronto
  • summerlunch+
  • Together Project

Protected Land and Forests

  • Give Green Canada*
  • Nexwagwezʔan – Dasiqox Tribal Park Initiative
  • Rainforest Solutions Implementation Project
  • Sea to Cedar

Sustainable Food Systems

  • BC Food Systems Network
  • Canadian Biotechnology Action Network
  • Farms at Work
  • Not Far From The Tree

Sustainable Livelihoods

  • Binners’ Project

Learn more about our shared platform and our innovative environmental and social change projects.

* Projects that were active in 2017 but have since closed.

Feature Project

Powered by Data maximizes availability and impact of data for the public good

In an increasingly data-driven world, Powered by Data works with nonprofits, governments, and funders to help establish frameworks that will enable the social sector to better share, use, and learn from data.


Tides Canada receives donations from a wide range of individuals, governments, and organizations, including foundations, charities, nonprofits, and businesses. Our donors help us connect and empower a wide range of people and initiatives across the country to take on environmental and social challenges.

We sincerely thank our community of donors for their ongoing support and for working alongside us to build a stronger Canada.
*includes all donors of over $1,000

Foundations, Charities, and Nonprofits

Foundations, charities, and nonprofits 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.

  • 444S Foundation
  • Abundance Canada
  • Agri-Food Management Institute
  • The Arab Community Centre of Toronto
  • Association of Mackenzie Mountains Outfitters
  • Bealight Foundation
  • The Blennerhassett Family Foundation
  • Brainerd Foundation
  • The Brian and Joannah Lawson Family Foundation
  • Building Opportunities With Business Inner City Society
  • Canadian Health Food Association
  • Canadian Union of Public Employees
  • Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario Division
  • The Caring Alliance
  • Catherine Donnelly Foundation
  • Central City Foundation
  • The Chawkers Foundation
  • Chisholm-Thomson Family Foundation
  • The Christina Mary Hendrie Trust
  • CJ Foundation
  • Common Counsel Foundation
  • Community Foundations of Canada
  • Counselling Foundation of Canada
  • The Cultural Conservancy
  • de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation
  • Denendeh Against DAPL
  • Donner Canadian Foundation
  • Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association
  • Echo Foundation
  • The Edith and Bernard Ennis Foundation
  • Edmonton Community Foundation
  • Endswell Foundation
  • Enterprise Rent A Car Canada Foundation
  • Face the World Foundation
  • Faith & The Common Good
  • Fort Nelson First Nation
  • Freedonia
  • Freshwater Future
  • Freshwater Future Canada
  • Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation
  • The Fyfe Foundation
  • George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation
  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  • Gordon and Patricia Gray Animal Welfare Foundation
  • The Gosling Foundation
  • Harbinger Foundation
  • The Harweg Foundation
  • The Helderleigh Foundation
  • The Helpalittle Foundation
  • The Houssian Foundation
  • The Illahie Foundation
  • Inspirit Foundation
  • Inter Pares
  • Ivey Foundation
  • The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation
  • Jackman Foundation
  • James Family Foundation
  • Jeanne Sauvé Foundation
  • The John and Pat McCutcheon Charitable Foundation
  • The Joyce Family Foundation
  • The Kiwanis Club of Toronto Foundation
  • Laidlaw Foundation
  • The Lawrence Family Foundation
  • The Lawson Foundation
  • Leanne Children’s Foundation
  • Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
  • The Mariano Elia Foundation
  • The Marjorie and Joseph Wright Memorial Foundation
  • The McLean Foundation
  • McLean Smits Family Foundation
  • McMillan Family Foundation
  • The Midloch Foundation
  • Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training
  • MLSE Foundation
  • National Indian Brotherhood Trust Fund
  • New Venture Fund
  • North Growth Foundation
  • The Northpine Foundation
  • Northwest Territories Power Corporation
  • NWT Recreation & Parks Association
  • Oak Foundation
  • Ottawa Community Foundation
  • Pacific Community Resources Society
  • The Peter Cundill Foundation
  • The Peter Gilgan Foundation
  • President’s Choice Children’s Charity
  • Private Giving Foundation
  • Raven Foundation
  • RBC Foundation
  • Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia
  • Renew Canada Society
  • RSF Social Finance
  • Sacred Fire Foundation
  • The Salamander Foundation
  • Schwab Charitable Fund, Richard and Susan Jacobsen Fund
  • The Sea to Cedar Foundation
  • Sigrid Rausing Trust
  • Silver Dollar Foundation
  • The Sitka Foundation
  • The Slaight Family Foundation
  • The Sprott Foundation
  • Stanford University, Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society
  • TD Friends of the Environment Foundation
  • Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office
  • TNC Canada
  • Toronto Foundation
  • Toronto Together
  • The Tree of Peace Friendship Centre
  • Trottier Family Foundation
  • Trust for Mutual Understanding
  • TSNE MissionWorks
  • UFCW Local 1518
  • United Way of Greater Toronto
  • United Way of Northwest Territories
  • The University of British Columbia
  • University of Toronto
  • Vancity Community Foundation
  • Vancouver Foundation
  • Vancouver International Airport Authority
  • W.C. Kitchen Family Foundation
  • Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation
  • Wasiabin Entertainment Group
  • Watson Family Foundation
  • West Hill, Highland Creek Lions Club
  • Wilburforce Foundation
  • The Winnipeg Foundation
  • York University
Individuals & Families

In 2017, we received more than 3,100 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.

  • Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation
  • Adrenaline Body Piercing & Tattoos
  • Alison Milne Design Limited
  • Alliance Data
  • Aviva Canada Inc.
  • Bell Canada
  • Bullfrog Power Inc.
  • Cannon Design Architecture, Inc.
  • Capital Fundraising Inc.
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
  • Cohen & Master Tree and Shrub Services Limited
  • Deloitte Management Services LP
  • Diavik Diamond Mines
  • Dominion Diamond Ekati Corporation
  • Dow Chemical Canada
  • Dragonfly Ventures Holdings Limited
  • Ecotone Software Consulting Inc.
  • Encorp Pacific
  • Filmswelike
  • Genus Capital Management
  • Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
  • J. Michael Robbins & Associates Inc.
  • Lush Handmade Cosmetics
  • Manulife Securities
  • Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
  • Mountain Equipment Co-operative (MEC)
  • New Roots Herbal
  • Nimmo Bay Resort Ltd.
  • Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales
  • Ocean Light II Adventures
  • Osmington (Union Station) Inc.
  • Patagonia Inc.
  • Peter Raab Personal Real Estate Corp
  • Rana Law
  • Red Leaf Studios Inc.
  • Renewal Funds Management Co. Limited
  • RSA
  • Sobeys National
  • TD Bank Group
  • The Bank of Nova Scotia
  • The Big Carrot
  • The Pint Public House
  • United Parcel Service

We partner with local, provincial, territorial, First Nations, 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.

  • BC First Nations Health Authority
  • BC First Peoples’ Cultural Council
  • BC Housing
  • BC Interior Health
  • BC Ministry of Environment – Water Protection
  • BC Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation
  • City of Edmonton
  • City of Port Coquitlam
  • City of Rossland
  • City of St. Catharines
  • City of Toronto
  • City of Vancouver
  • City of Vancouver – Pacific National Exhibition
  • Community Government of Whati
  • Government of British Columbia – Provincial Health Services Authority
  • Government of Canada – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Government of Canada – Canada Council for the Arts
  • Government of Canada – Canadian Heritage
  • Government of Canada – CBC Radio
  • Government of Canada – Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Government of Canada – Foreign Affairs Trade & Development Canada
  • Government of Canada – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • Government of Canada – Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Government of the Northwest Territories
  • Government of the Northwest Territories – Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations
  • Government of the Northwest Territories – Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  • Government of the Northwest Territories – Department of Health and Social Services
  • Government of the Northwest Territories – Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment
  • Government of the Northwest Territories – Department of Municipal & Community Affairs
  • Hamlet of Aklavik
  • Hamlet of Fort Liard
  • Hamlet of Kugluktuk
  • Northumberland County
  • Okanagan Basin Water Board
  • Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development
  • Ontario Ministry of Education
  • Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • Pacific National Exhibition
  • Peterborough & the Kawarathas Tourism
  • Province of Manitoba – Health, Seniors & Active Living
  • Province of Manitoba – Indigenous and Municipal Relations
  • Regional District of Central Kootenay
  • Town of Fort Smith

Feature Donor

A donor on her support for a toxic-free Canada and her journey in strategic philanthropy

­Every day, Canadians are unknowingly exposed to toxic chemicals in our air, water, food, and more. We talk to an anonymous donor of The Dragonfly Fund about her partnership with Tides Canada and how she became involved in the issue of toxics in Canada.


In 2017, more than 200 organizations across Canada received support from Tides Canada and its community of donors to effect positive and lasting environmental and social change. The following is a summary of Tides Canada grants, programmatic activities, collaborations, and project expenditures in 2017, classified by issue area. For more details on grants and activities, please contact info@tidescanada.org.

Feature Program

The NWT On The Land Collaborative brings together diverse partners to support on the land programs that connect people with their land, culture, and community

In the Northwest Territories, many of our partners identified the need for more accessible funding and resources for on the land programs, and so in 2015 the NWT On The Land Collaborative was launched.


Donor advised funds are a flexible and cost-effective way to manage charitable giving. Tides Canada partners with a diverse community of fund holders – individuals, charities, foundations, nonprofits, and businesses – who share a passion for environmental and social change.

7th Generation Fund
Aguacene Fund
Alberta Clean Economy Fund
Alexander Graham Bell Innovation Fund
Animal Spirit Fund
AnQi’s Little Angels Foundation Fund
Arctic Marine Fund
Auerbach Family Fund
Aurora Fund
Ayalik Fund
BC Community-Based Marine Conservation Fund
BC Marine Planning Fund
Bealight Fund
Burton Family Fund
Butterfly Wings Fund
Canadian Food Funders Collaborative
Capacity for Conservation Fund
Chaloult Wallace Fund
Chauvel Fund
Chosen Waters Fund
CNIS Surgical & Obstetrical Skills Education Fund
Coalition for Action on Toxics
Coast Conservation Capacity Fund
Communications & Broadcasting Canadian Trust Fund
Community Investment Research & Development 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
DLN Fund
Don Rubenstein Housing Fund
Dr. Bik May Wai & Dr. Chung Nin Lam Endowment Fund
Dragonfly Fund
Dragonfly Strategic Grantmaking Fund
Elements Fund
Emerging Northern Leadership Fund
Endswell Long-Term Fund
Energy Scoping Fund
Équiterre Fund
Friends of Qatuwas Fund
Friends of Qqs Conservation Support Fund
Funding Awesome Fund
Gitanyow Wilp Sustainability Fund
Glenn Powers and Melanie Wong Foundation Fund
Gord Downie Chanie Wenjack Fund
Great Bear Analysis and Strategy Planning
Great Bear Sea Fund
Great Lakes Water Fund
Harbinger Fund
Hollyhock Scholarship Fund
Hoops 4 Hope Fund
Illahie Fund
Indigenous Authority and Leadership Fund
Indigenous Ecotourism Opportunities Fund
Indigenous Stewardship Fund
Jantzi Research Fund
Jesse and Julie Rasch Foundation Fund
John Kenneth Galbraith Prize Endowment Fund
Jokabeca Foundation Fund
Jon Gates Foundation Fund
Language Documentation and Revitalization Fund
Lindalee Tracey Award Fund

Lunapads Global Opportunity Fund
MacGavin Fund
Mackenzie Watershed Fund
McMillan-Dobell Fund
Mentoring Excellence BC Fund
Michael and Amelia Humphries Earthrise Legacy Fund
Naramata Conservation Fund
Natural Burial Association Fund
New Literacies Fund
Nonprofit Centers Fund
Northern Manitoba Food, Culture & Community Fund
Northern Ontario Water Fund
Northern Sustainable Livelihoods Fund
Northern Terrestrial Conservation Fund
Northwest Territories Water Fund
Not Far From The Tree
NWT On The Land Collaborative Fund
Ontario Indigenous Youth Partnership Project Fund
OSEA Education and Research Fund
Our Living Waters Fund
Pacific Salmon Watersheds Fund
Pacific Wild Fund
Planeterra Fund
Power of Giving Fund
Prescription for Change Canada Fund
Prospective Conservation Areas Fund
Rani Luthra Charitable Fund
Reverence for Life Legacy Fund
Richardson Family Fund
Rideau Institute Research Fund
Robert Huber Memorial Fund
Salmon Aquaculture Innovation Fund
SHLF Endowment 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
Terrevive Fund
the deer crossing the art farm fund
The Funding Network-Toronto Fund
The Get REAL Movement
Tides Canada Arctic Strategy Fund
Tides Canada Science Integrity Project Fund
Tlatsini Conservation Endowment Fund
Transformation Fund
Twin Island Protection Fund
Twyla Roscovich Memorial Fund
Tyee Solutions Society Fund
V. Paul Lee Family Foundation
Valerie Elia Fund
Vancouver Bicycle Fund
Vancouver Tomorrow Fund
Vern’s Community Fund
Wellbeing Fund
Wild Faith Fund
YouMeWe Foundation Fund

A donor advised fund at Tides Canada is an easy and efficient alternative to creating your own charitable or private foundation. Simplify your giving and join our community of changemakers.

Financial Results

Grants & Activities

The following is a summary of Tides Canada grants, programmatic activities, collaborations, and project expenditures in 2017 by interest area and grants made by donor advised funds.


The following is a breakdown of Tides Canada revenue sources in 2017.

How We Applied Our Funds

The following is a breakdown of Tides Canada expenses in 2017.

View Tides Canada’s audited financial statements.



Andrew Heintzman, Chair
Justin Ferbey
Nabil Harfoush, PhD
Sandy Houston
Michael Jantzi
Ed Levy, PhD
Jennifer Lynn
Peter MacLeod
Liisa O’Hara
Jane Rabinowicz
Jodi White

Executive Team

Ross McMillan, President & CEO
Elissa Beckett, Vice President, Development & Strategic Initiatives
Anne Marie Johnston, Chief Operating Officer