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Victoria Foundation welcomes new board members and March launch of Community Grants

A new-look Pulse publication and annual Vital Signs add to a busy year for the organization
The Victoria Foundation welcomes new board chair Rajiv K. Gandhi, and new director Tamara Napoleon.

For 86 years, the Victoria Foundation has created opportunities for donors to make lasting and meaningful contributions in their community.

Guiding the way is a volunteer board of directors who have worked with staff over the decades to grow Canada’s second oldest community foundation into the sixth largest of nearly 200 nation-wide.

What does that mean?

Charitable gifts from donors are used to create permanent, income-earning funds, whose proceeds are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes. To date, the Victoria Foundation has invested more than $269 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities here in Greater Victoria, in addition to those elsewhere in B.C. and Canada.

Welcoming new board members

A number of new faces have joined the Victoria Foundation’s board table, volunteers who serve a maximum of two, three-year terms.

At the helm is new Board Chair Rajiv K. Gandhi, a lawyer and advisor originally from Nova Scotia who graduated from the University of Victoria law school in 1997 before establishing a practice focusing on corporate and commercial financing, wealth planning, high technology transactions and land development.

Gandhi replaces outgoing chair Zaman Velji, who played an integral role with the Foundation, especially during the response to COVID-19.

Tamara Napoleon has also joined the board as a new director. A member of Saulteau First Nations, Napoleon co-leads Miller Titerle + Co’s Indigenous Law Group, focusing on economic development, government-to-government agreements, corporate structuring, the implementation of Indigenous rights and title and natural resource regulation. Recognized in 2020 as a Lexpert Rising Star, one of the leading lawyers under 40 in Canada, she also volunteers with the BC Cancer Foundation Board and her own Nation’s economic development entity, the Mistahiya Group of Companies.

In addition, former Board Chair board chair Dr. Grace Wong Sneddon has started her term as the Victoria Foundation Honorary Governors President, following Rasool Rayani, who has come to the end of his term.

Looking forward to this year’s Community Grants Program

Coming up this spring is the launch of the 2022 Community Grants Program, to support eligible organizations across the Capital Region with flexible, general operating funding to build resilience for the short and long term. The Foundation is broad in scope and provides supports across the charitable sector including the arts, education, health and wellness, the environment, food security, housing, homelessness, and mental health.

Organizations are welcome to apply from March 11 to April 14 via the Foundation’s online grant portal. The granting process is built on trust-based philanthropic principles to promote equity, centre relationships, increase accessibility, and support the sector overall.

Anyone interested is encouraged to reach out to the Foundation’s grants team, to talk about your organization, needs and ongoing work. The Foundation particularly wants to hear from organizations new to this granting stream and from those who represent equity-deserving groups.

And coming up this summer is a new-look for the Foundation’s Pulse publication, highlighting the significant work the Foundation and local organizations are undertaking around the region, followed by the Vital Signs in the fall – the annual community check-up that provides essential guidance for community giving and planning.

To learn how you can get involved, and make a lasting difference in your community, visit