The Barrie Community Foundation was incorporated as a registered charity under the Canada Corporations Act on April 25, 2005. It is Canada’s 150th community foundation. The purpose of the foundation is to create permanent endowments where the income from the endowments is granted to worthwhile charitable community causes. As a member of the Planned Giving Counsel of Simcoe County, Alan Atkins saw community foundations making a difference in communities across Canada. Local communities with populations smaller than Barrie (Orillia, for example) had already established a community foundation. Alan along with colleagues, Patricia McGrail and Jim Harmsworth applied for and were granted the charter to establish the Barrie Community Foundation and along with Michael Walker became the first directors of the Foundation. An agreement had been reached with the Huronia Communities Foundation to share administrative resources to reduce costs. Gary Morehouse of the Huronia Communities Foundation was thus named as the Barrie Community Foundation’s first executive director.
The first permanent endowment fund was set up by Scott and Betty Franklin on December 14, 2005 as a Health Care Endowment Fund. (Grove Park Home Health Care Endowment Fund)
The first memorial endowment fund was established on December 20, 2006 to honour the memory of William (Bill) Porter, a long-time resident of Barrie and a passionate supporter of the local Barrie Public Library. To honour Bill’s life, Eileen Porter established the Library Endowment Fund – In memory of William C. Porter.
A second memorial fund was established on March 31, 2007 to honour the memory of young K’Leigh Cundall who had a “great love of books and libraries ….” The K’Leigh Cundall Children’s Library Fund will ensure that “K’Leigh’s memory and name will always be alive here” (Barrie Public Library).
Since then a total of fourteen additional endowment and flow-through funds have been set up through the Foundation.