As we’ve collectively celebrated the discovery of stem cells over the last year, we’ve witnessed some incredible moments. Moments that demonstrate how quickly the leadership and support for stem cell science are growing.
A Renewed Awareness
In March, we held the Renew the World Gala in Toronto, where stem cells were first discovered. The Gala marked the 50th anniversary of the discovery of stem cells by Drs. Till & McCulloch, and introduced 500 influential Canadians to this extraordinarily important field.
Heather Hiscox of CBC News: Morning hosting the Renew the World Gala
Click on the image to see the CBC coverage.
Like all progress, the Gala succeeded because of the dedication and commitment of individuals and organizations with passion for a cause. 20 major companies demonstrated their support and were joined by 50 leading stem cell scientists who spent the evening sharing their experiences, their breakthroughs, and their aspirations for the future.
The Gala also marked the official launch of the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation. This was supported by our Board of Directors that continues to grow. We are pleased to welcome Mr. Peter MacKinnon to the Board after his recent retirement as President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan. Three more preeminent scientists also joined the distinguished stem cell pioneers on our Science Leadership Council.
This year, we initiated our first major gifts leadership campaign. And we have already recruited 10 prominent Canadian business leaders and philanthropists as Founding Members of the Till & McCulloch Leadership Circle and as part of that secured our first $1,000,000 donation as a multi-year gift.
The Future is Emerging Now
We’re continuing to build on the inspiring year we have experienced so far. Awareness of the importance of stem cell science is growing. Canadian leadership is growing. Support for stem cell science is growing.
An important step we are taking is growing our team. We have begun looking for a Director of Development, and we will be adding a Program and Communications Officer later this year. These are important additions to the Foundation, particularly as we look to the future when we will be:
- Increasing our impact with new programs and outreach initiatives
- Expanding our Board of Directors
- Securing the support of prominent Canadians in the Leadership Circle campaign
- Further establishing our offices in Ottawa and Toronto
- Building our leadership in Western Canada
- Extending our presence in Quebec and Atlantic Canada
- Developing our long-term strategic plan
The inspiring progress that has been achieved in the last year is the result of a shared sense of purpose. Canada’s leadership in stem cell science is globally respected, and we’re proud of that. But more importantly, we can see that continued advances hold the potential to rid the world of heartbreaking disease.
In the year ahead, we ask you to lend your support and commitment. Together we are laying the groundwork for the next 50 years.