Joyeuses Fêtes et bonne année!

After a very busy year 2020, it is good to take a well-deserved break to virtually meet up with our loved ones and family. We are almost halfway through this great partnership adventure and already the impact of our collective work is being felt. Certainly, the pandemic has consumed our energies, but it has also made it possible to consolidate our network despite the remoteness and confinement. What else can we wish for the next year than to continue this great momentum. Of course, the challenges in terms of producing and promoting knowledge about the philanthropic sector are enormous. So too are the needs to better understand how philanthropy can strengthen its esprit de corps and combine its efforts with those of other social actors to reduce social inequalities and our ecological footprint. To all members and friends of the network, the national PhiLab team, Katherine, Peter, Benoit and I wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year 2021.

Jean-Marc Fontan  Co-directeur du Réseau PhiLab

A few of PhiLab’s Hubs wish to share some of the significant elements of their 2020 year. Enjoy your reading!


PhiLab Québec

As a recent addition to the PhiLab Quebec team, it’s been a pleasure to see all the important work coming out of our Hub over the past few months. From the journée d’étude and our Special Editions on “the Invisible Causes of philanthropy “(1) and “Evaluating Philanthropy” (2), to journal articles, media appearances, and the steady progress of our forthcoming book on Philanthropy in Quebec, the Fall 2020 semester has been an extremely busy time for the Quebec Hub.

This, of course, is not surprising. The work we do has taken on an added level of urgency within the COVID-19 context. Likewise, the pandemic has emphasized the perpetual state of social, economic, and health inequities that shape Canadian society. As we move into 2021, we must continue to foreground this complexity in our efforts to support, critique, and better understand the non-profit and philanthropic sector, and its role in creating a more equitable and just Canada.

As 2020 comes to an end, I hope you all take some time to relax, reflect, and recharge. From myself, Diane Alalouf-Hall, and David Grant-Poitras, I want to wish you all Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. We’ll see you all (over Zoom) in 2021.  

Adam Saifer Director,
PhiLab Quebec


PhiLab Ontario


In 2020, PhiLab Ontario was accepted for ANSER – ARES 2020 Conference Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research (ANSER)/Association de recherche des organismes sans but lucratif et de l’économie sociale (ARES), part of the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences 2020 (Western University, London – June 3-5). Our participation was cancelled due to the pandemic, except for Dr. Susan Phillips, as a keynote for the conference. The title of the roundtable was the Philab Ontario: Activities and Projects. The objective of the roundtable organized by Philab Ontario was to bring together a number of researchers from both academia and nonprofit sector who are interested in various foundations situations (Manuel Litalien, François Brouard, David Lasby, April Lindgren, and Ryan Gibson). The roundtable touched on ongoing projects mapping foundations, looking at hospitals’ foundations, examining practices/lessons learned about philanthropic support for Canadian journalism and presenting collaborative projects on comparing place-based philanthropy in the United States and Canada.
The Hub also organized the second roundtable titled: Collaborations, Partnerships & Mergers; knowledge Transfer & Mobilization. The roundtable sought to give a space to reflect on the role held by grant-making foundations. The format of the roundtable was twofold: 1) preliminary research findings; 2) updates on collaborative projects between academics and practitioners in each regional PhiLab hubs (Western, Ontario, Québec and Atlantic).

The Ontario Hub contributed to the Special Edition May 2020, Philanthropic Year – COVID-19. It managed the two regular newsletters: 1) A Reflection on Feminist Philanthropy and 2) Philanthropy, SDGs, and Covid-19. Some members of the Ontario Hub participated in other newsletters as well. Additionally, the Hub agreed to lead the February 2021 edition of COVID-19: Revealing Social Inequalities.

EDGE/Philab Toronto Event was scheduled on April 21st, but was cancelled due to COVID. The event was supposed to have presentations from Philab, EDGE, and Canadian participants in the philanthropic ecosystem, including networking.     Multiple research projects are at different stages of completion or approval.

Happy holidays, merry Christmas and a healthy New Year 2021.
Best wishes from Ontario!  

Manuel LITALIEN, PhD and François BROUARD, DBA, FCPA, FCA. Ontario Hub co-Directors for Philab Ontario.


PhiLab Atlantic


After quite a remarkable year (for everyone!), PhiLab Atlantic Hub pushed on, learning to adjust to the “new normal” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite numerous challenges in 2020, the Atlantic Hub was excited to connect with a new research member, Dr. Heidi Weigand at Dalhousie University, and introduce a new student at Grenfell Campus, Katy Nedeljakova. Research members of the Atlantic Hub continued (in alternative ways) with the research that was underway through virtual interviews and in-depth statistics/document analysis of the philanthropic sector in the region. Atlantic Hub coordinator, Brady Reid, also maintained connections with partners and explored avenues for collaboration in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, two provinces not yet represented by the Atlantic Hub – a key objective for 2021 to gain representation from all Atlantic Canadian provinces.

PhiLab Atlantic Hub student Miranda Ivany, with support from Atlantic Hub administration, pulled together an online webinar for environmental NGOs and charities in Newfoundland and Labrador to learn more about the research underway and to connect with this sub-group within the philanthropic sector of the province. Another research member, Shelley Price is working with an Indigenous group in Nova Scotia on re-visioning or re-storying climate justice. Numerous blog posts and other outputs were produced throughout the year as well.

The PhiLab Atlantic Hub would like to extend deepest appreciation to Dr. Roza Tchoukaleskya who was the Atlantic Hub director for the past two years and helped steer the Hub through the rough waters of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Dr. Tchoukaleskya remains a research members of the Hub, this isn’t goodbye, but thank you for all of your hard work thus far!

As the holidays approach and we adjust to virtual celebrations or socially distant gatherings, take some time to recharge to face whatever 2021 has in store. On behalf of PhiLab Atlantic Hub, we wish you all Happy Holidays and a prosperous New Year!

Dr. Kelly Vodden
Director, PhiLab Atlantic Hub




Thank you for the increasing number of people who follow our work and join us at our events. Please note that PhiLab’s offices will be close from December 22nd to January 5th.

For a quick overview of PhiLab’S work this year, we invite you to consult our Special Editions here.

We hope you enjoy and we wish you happy holidays!