Our Foundation is named after Michael Young, my brother. He was born with challenges. He did not finish school. He did not have a big career, never married or bought a house. He died after an epic battle with cancer at the age of 52. Yet, if the best way to measure achievement is the distance travelled, not the end point, Mike was a massive overachiever.
He had unwavering compassion. His enthusiasm was unceasing, even in his last days. Mike was a gentle soul. He only gave, never asked. He instantly forgave all wrongs. His focus was always on the positive. If we needed to see the good, if we needed to aim high and if we needed to be shown the right way, Mike was our guide. To this day, we still have “what would Mike do’s” to guide us. He was a giant.
The aim of our Foundation is, simply, to follow in Mike’s footsteps. It was was formed in 2001 initially to fund cancer research, then expanded into the Arts and the environment in 2003. Since its inception, the Foundation has concentrated on only a few projects at a time, preferring to invest in depth in those it follows. Notable partnerships to date have included: The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Kawartha Land Trust, Evergreen Brick Works, Artscape Youngplace, the Young Center for the Performing Arts, and an ongoing relationship with the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Our principal focus since 2018 has been a program with The Nature Conservancy of Canada to help develop Land Trusts and regenerative farming. This environmentally-driven work has since broadened to become “Our Anthropocene Project.” We are not currently accepting proposals for new projects.