Vision 20/20:
Sights on Solutions

Environment Funders Canada Conference

May 26-28, 2020
Manteo Resort Waterfront Hotel and Villas
Kelowna, BC

We are fortunate to be gathering on the land which is the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Syilx/Okanagan People.


Environment Funders Canada warmly invites members and other philanthropic funders to join our 2020 Conference, which will take place in Kelowna B.C. the week of May 25th. While the reality of negative environmental impacts in Canada and around the globe are clearly evident, we are opting for a solutions focus for the 2020 conference program. What’s working and why? How are funders engaging with new solutions? How can solutions be scaled up? How are Indigenous and other local communities inspiring new approaches and poised to thrive as a result? How can we work together to advance a future that is good for people, planet and place?

Our motivation is to provide the philanthropic community with networking opportunities and knowledge sharing that focus on promising solutions that funders can be instrumental in advancing.

The conference program will be available soon, but we are honing in on the following themes, with speakers and sessions to be confirmed in the following weeks:

  • Natural Climate Solutions
  • Technological Solutions for Environmental Challenges
  • Transition Solutions for a Low Carbon Future
  • Transformative Financial Approaches for Sustainability
  • Innovative Funding and Evaluation Practices.

The conference is guided by a strong Advisory Committee, noted below, and chaired by James Littley of the Okanagan Basin Water Board.

Environment Funders Canada’s commitment to reconciliation, inclusive communities and a future that is good for people, planet and place will underpin the planning and delivery of all of the conference programming. We are also taking tangible steps to address the carbon footprint of our conference, through green practices and the inclusion of a recommended carbon offset fee. We hope you will support our efforts to make this year’s conference the greenest yet

Environment Funders Canada – 2020 Conference Advisory Committee

Chair: James Littley, Okanagan Basin Water Board

Committee members:

  • Kariann Aarup, de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation
  • Kris Archie, The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada
  • Jennifer Canham, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Margaret Herriman, Max Bell Foundation
  • Ashley Hardill, Coast Funds
  • Caroline North, North Family Foundation
  • Hedy Rubin, Real Estate Foundation of BC
  • Carolyn Scotchmer, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation
  • Andre Vallillee, Metcalf Foundation
  • Wendy Vanasselt, Wilburforce Foundation
  • Karen Wilkie, Carthy Foundation

The Venue and Surroundings

Located on the shores of Okanagan Lake in the BC interior, the Manteo Resort offers fine rooms and facilities in Kelowna. With a backdrop of rugged mountains and a foreground of crystal blue lake waters, it is a naturally inspiring location. We are fortunate to be gathering on the land which is the unceded territory of the Syilx (Okanagan) Peoples.

The BC Interior is a unique environment that combines mountains and desert landscapes. The hot dry summer climate has made this a top fruit growing region for many years and now it is home to a large variety of vineyards and wineries.

The grasslands and deserts of the Interior are unique and well worth exploring. Our pre-conference field trip will take guests out for a visit to this fascinating and fragile landscape that features rattlesnakes and cactus.

This summer, the Governments of Canada and British Columbia and the Syilx/Okanagan Nation signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formally work toward establishing a national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen. According to Parks Canada, “protecting this area, we will help support the recovery of over 30 federally listed species at risk, and over 60 provincially listed species, including American badgers, flammulated owls, yellow breasted chat, desert night snakes, and western rattlesnakes. “