How Corporate Philanthropy Enriches Canada’s Cultural Landscape

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The guests are inspiring, the decor mesmerizing. Everything from the music to the food is world-class, and what used to be ‘should-attend’ is now ‘must-attend’.

And if you can’t make it, the FOMO is real.

Indeed, the calibre of Canada’s cultural events and initiatives has reached the next level over the past few years, a shift that can be largely attributed to an increasing desire for young professionals and their companies to be more philanthropic.

It starts, of course, at the individual level. Canadian millennials are making social responsibility a key part of their professional lifestyle – it’s no longer just about the open bar, but also about giving back, contributing to cultural exchange, and volunteering knowledge and time to causes they care about.


We see it every day: the young professionals and entrepreneurs we feature expect more from their labour than just a paycheque. They want to feel like they’re attached to, engaged with, and advancing their community. From crowdfunding services like Kickstarter to viral social media campaigns, this generation is pursuing innovative approaches to philanthropy.

And companies are listening. From grassroots to corporate, businesses from coast to coast are adapting their corporate culture to reflect their millennials workers’ values. It used to be that companies throw some cash at events for the superficial glory of having their logo appear on the sponsors list.

Not anymore.

Environmentalist Volunteers --- Image by © Simon Jarratt/Corbis

Environmentalist Volunteers — Image by © Simon Jarratt/Corbis

Now, they’re asking questions about the initiatives they support: How can it enrich the lives of their employees? Is there a long-term benefit? What can we do to make a bigger impact?

Large institutions, such as National Bank, have fostered a fruitful commitment to social responsibility over the past few years that has seen donations to and direct involvement with universities, amateur sports , cancer research, non-profits promoting entrepreneurial spirit, employee engagement and essential services, like the Breakfast Club in Canada.


The name of the game is no longer sponsorship – it’s philanthropy. And it’s win-win-win. Companies retain talent by reflecting their young professional employees’ principles; workers feel more engaged in their employment; and institutions benefit from meaningful monetary contributions and an engaged network.

In fact, you can get a first-hand glimpse of this connection between companies, employees, and their community on Thursday, June 9th at the Montreal McCord Museum’s ‘After Hours’ event for a night of dolce vita and plenty of surprises.

See you there.