Now Reading
$30 million new gift from Gary Slaight and family for enhancing dementia research, prevention and compassionate care
Dark Light

$30 million new gift from Gary Slaight and family for enhancing dementia research, prevention and compassionate care

The Slaight Family Foundation announced its newest phase of strategic philanthropy, with a $30 million donation to support seven Canadian organizations in enhancing dementia research, prevention and compassionate care. This investment comes at a critical time, with the number of Canadians projected to be living with dementia reaching nearly 1 million by 2030, a staggering 65 per cent increase from 2020.

This significant donation will foster strategic partnerships between healthcare institutions and community organizations, creating a seamless continuum of care for individuals with dementia and their families. The funding will accelerate the adaptation and implementation of proven models and programs across communities in Canada, ensuring comprehensive support for all, particularly underserved and vulnerable communities. Additionally, it will support the creation of better national awareness on both preventing dementia and supporting people living with it. Overall, this approach will promote more inclusive care, strengthen community support networks, improve public awareness and encourage bold action.

“One of the greatest healthcare challenges we face is the growing number of older Canadians living with dementia, projected to affect 6.3 million people between 2020 and 2050. This necessitates urgent action to drive meaningful change and improve lives,” said Gary Slaight, President and CEO of The Slaight Family Foundation. “Dementia care demands a comprehensive, collaborative approach. Through this funding to our exceptional partners, we aim to accelerate progress, foster innovation and enhance the lives of those affected by dementia.”

Egale Canada and Toronto Metropolitan University’s (TMU) National Institute on Ageing’s (NIA) report, “Coming Out and Coming In to Living with Dementia,” highlights the need to increase understanding and awareness of the unique needs of 2SLGBTQI people living with dementia among communities and care services. Through partnering with organizations like Egale, which focuses on improving the lives of 2SLGBTQI people in Canada, The Slaight Family Foundation aims to provide tailored support and essential resources to underserved populations. Some of these populations are detailed in the Alzheimer Society of Canada’s Landmark Report #2, “The Many Faces of Dementia in Canada.”

“Currently, more than 350 people in Canada develop dementia each day. That is more than 15 every hour. Yet many Canadians are not aware of what they can do to prevent it or how to access the right care and support,” said Dr. Samir Sinha, Director of Health Policy Research at Toronto Metropolitan University’s National Institute on Ageing. “This visionary and transformative donation from The Slaight Family Foundation will help foster greater collaboration, awareness and impact to better support those living with and affected by dementia, especially among Canada’s underserved populations.”

Recipient organizations, including The Alzheimer Society of Canada, Baycrest, Belmont House, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Egale Canada, Toronto Metropolitan University’s National Institute on Ageing (NIA) and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, will use these funds to strengthen existing programs, launch new initiatives and enhance cross-organization collaboration. For example, Baycrest will deliver a new leading-edge portal, using technology to provide personalized prevention strategies, advanced clinical care and crucial support to patients and caregivers beyond its campus.

“This partnership marks a significant step forward in addressing Canada’s dementia challenge,” said Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, Clinician Scientist, Staff Psychiatrist and Medical Head of Geriatric Clinical Research at CAMH. “By leveraging our collective medical and community expertise and working together, we can accelerate scientific breakthroughs, deliver personalized care and transform the lives of those affected by dementia across communities. This initiative underscores the immense potential of collaboration to drive innovation and create meaningful impact.”

Since 2013, The Slaight Family Foundation has funded several strategic initiatives across multiple organizations. These initiatives began with gifts to five Toronto hospitals to support priority healthcare issues, followed by programs addressing global humanitarianism, promoting the healthy development of children and youth across Canada, supporting Indigenous issues, initiating a seniors’ initiative to help seniors remain in their homes and communities, assisting with mental health challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting women and girls at risk in Canada and bolstering major theatres recovering from the impacts of COVID. This new $30M Dementia Initiative brings the total support for these strategic initiatives to $251.5 million.

The Slaight Family Foundation was established in 2008 by John Allan Slaight and his son Gary Slaight. Allan Slaight (1931-2021), known as Canada’s broadcast pioneer, was a leader in the music industry and a prominent Canadian philanthropist. Through the Slaight family’s generosity, the foundation proactively supports charitable initiatives in healthcare, at-risk youth, international development, social services and culture. Gary Slaight oversees the Foundation as President & CEO.



© 2024 Lifestyles Magazine International. All Rights Reserved.