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The New Canada Life Provides Remarkable Gift to Manitoba Museum

April 12, 2019

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Gift supports Museum’s capital campaign to tell Manitoba’s stories & paves the way for Manitoba Museum to create the James W. Burns Founder Endowment Fund

WINNIPEG, April 10, 2019 – Today, the new Canada Life announces a $750,000 donation to the Manitoba Museum’s capital renewal campaign, Bringing Our Stories Forward. The gift comes jointly from Canada Life and Power Corporation of Canada, in honour of the late James (Jim) W. Burns, former President and Chief Executive Officer at Great-West Life. The donation helps fund the renewal and expansion of 42 per cent of the Museum’s galleries and will assist the Museum in developing and upgrading educational programs for students in kindergarten through Grade 12.

“Building strong communities means more to us at Canada Life than simply writing a cheque. Our goal is to make a positive impact on the world around us by supporting Canadians from coast to coast to coast,” says Paul Mahon, President and Chief Executive Officer for the new Canada Life. “Jim Burns was dedicated to the community and instilled those values during his tenure at Great-West Life, which continue today under the new Canada Life. We’re proud to honour his legacy with this gift that
will ensure our community history continues to be preserved and well-represented through The Manitoba Museum.”

Canada Life has been a Manitoba Museum sponsor at-large since 1976 and a presenting sponsor of the museum’s school program since 1999. Over 1.5 million students have experienced the Museum’s bilingual, interactive school programs with the unwavering support of Canada Life.

“It’s a historic day for the Manitoba Museum – we’re thrilled to receive Canada Life’s generous donation, which is one of the largest corporate gifts in our history,” says James Cohen, Chair of the Manitoba Museum Board of Governors. He notes that the funds qualify for the Government of Manitoba’s matching program which provides 50 cents on the dollar, increasing the donation’s total impact to over $1 million. “We are so appreciative that Canada Life has the foresight to not only sponsor our school programs, but also to support the galleries upon which these programs are based and create a lasting legacy for Manitoba.”

Additionally, in light of the corporate donation, the Manitoba Museum Foundation Board of Directors plans to create a special fund in honour of James W. Burns, who was also a Founder of the Museum. The funds will come from the Museum’s existing agency fund at The Winnipeg Foundation. It will be known as the Manitoba Museum Founder Fund in Honour of James W. Burns.

“My grandfather was first and foremost a Winnipegger and a Manitoban. He loved this city and province’s history as much as he supported its present and future,” said Don Burns, Jim Burns’ grandson and Chair of The Burns Foundation – created by Jim Burns to support worthwhile causes in a wide variety of fields exclusively in Manitoba. “The Burns Foundation is announcing today that we will add $100,000 to the Museum’s fund recognizing Jim. On behalf of my grandfather’s three children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, I want to thank Canada Life, Power Corporation and the Manitoba Museum Foundation for this special tribute.  He would have been proud and honoured.”

“The Manitoba Museum is honoured to receive support of this magnitude from Canada Life and Power Corporation for our capital renewal,” says Scott Craig, President of The Manitoba Museum Foundation. “We are grateful to The Burns Foundation for its contribution to the endowment fund honoring Jim Burns, which will grow under The Winnipeg Foundation’s stewardship to provide a lasting legacy in his memory - supporting the Museum’s mission in perpetuity.”

Formerly known as Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life, the company announced its move to one new brand last week. Driven by the mission to improve the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians, the company has contributed close to $200 million to Canadian communities since it has been designated an Imagine Caring Company over twenty years ago.

About Great West Life, London Life, Canada Life

Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life are leading financial planning, insurance, wealth management and benefits specialists, focused on improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. Our customers across Canada have trusted us to provide for their financial security needs and deliver on the promises we have made. Together, we serve the financial security needs of 13 million people across Canada. Great-West Life, Canada Life and London Life are members of the Power Corporation group of companies

As an Imagine Caring Company, we support the principles of corporate citizenship and benchmarks for community investment established by Imagine Canada. Our companies contribute at least one per cent of pre-tax profit in support of the communities where our employees and customers live and work. This includes $13.3 million in contributions to non-profit, charitable and community organizations in 2018.

About The Manitoba Museum

The Manitoba Museum is the province's award-winning centre for heritage and science. It is unique in its combination of human and natural history themes and renowned for its vivid portrayal of Manitoba’s rich and colourful history, Planetarium shows, and Science Gallery exhibits. The Museum features immersive dioramas, multi-dimensional interpretation, science and astronomy education, and quality school and community programs. The Museum has collected and protects over 2.9 million artifacts and specimens, including the Hudson's Bay Company Museum Collection. 

The Manitoba Museum is accredited by Imagine Canada for excellence in non-profit accountability, transparency, and governance.

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