YIP Project

YIP Project

Youth in Philanthropy Program, a project to encourage the involvement of high schools in rural Manitoba to set up Youth Advisory Committees. This six-year program is initiated by The Thomas Sill Foundation and jointly sponsored by The Thomas Sill Foundation and the Morris Area Foundation (MAF).  The local high schools in Morris and Rosenort, and the community foundation will establish a joint Youth Advisory Committee which will research grant applications.

The Thomas Sill Foundation will make $3,500 available to the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) for a period of 3 years with the expectation that the MAF will continue to fund the program for another 3 years.  It will be up to the YAC committee to make recommendations to the MAF as to how the grants will be awarded.  The YAC is also responsible for establishing a School Youth Endowment Fund with the MAF.  Students will learn about foundation philanthropy, but they will also learn about how important the charitable sector is to their community. Hugh Arklie representing the Thomas Sill Foundation, recently presented the first cheque of $3,500 to the group.

Bigway “Round it UP”

Morris Bigway Foods has partnered with the Morris Area Foundation to “Round it UP” heading into the Endow Manitoba Challenge Saturday November 18th. Staff of Morris Bigway have been encouraging customers to “Round Up” their purchases to the even dollar amount –  even more if the customer wishes.

Morris Bigway’s owner Pat Schmitke says  “his staff is more than willing to help support the worth- while activities of the Morris Area Foundation”.

Funds collected at the till are accumulated and forwarded to the Morris Area Foundation in time to be added to the total on this Saturday November 18th.  “It really adds up this year” says MAF president Del Stevenson.

“The Winnipeg Foundation & the Province of Manitoba will stretch your donation (up to a maximum of $4,000) at a ratio of $2.00 for every $5.00 of donations to The Morris Area Foundation”.



If you can’t make it into Morris Bigway, simply:

Go to the Endow Manitoba Website (www.endowmanitoba.ca) on November 18, 2017, go to The Morris Area Foundation location, make a donation on line with your credit card and print off your tax receipt.

The Morris Area Foundation covers the entire Rural Municipality of Morris including the communities of Rosenort, Lowe Farm, Aubigny, Sperling and the Town of Morris.

Grant Activity – Lowe Farm School

The Morris Area Foundation Inc., now in its only 4th year is pleased to announce its annual grant award winners for 2017. A total of $3,900 was given to 4 projects. Above, Lionel Wiens Grant Committee chair presents an award to the Lowe Farm School Principal Marla Brandt and Lowe Farm School PTA Chair Marie Doell to assist in the completion of Phase 2 of the Lowe Farm School Playground Project. Other awards were given to: The Sperling Rink Board to buy equipment necessary for its Weekly Kids Night, The Valley Agricultural Society, home of the Manitoba Stampede for Grandstand repairs, and The Canadian Cancer Society for an informational day meeting in the MAF area for their “Travelling Wig Caravan”.

Since its beginning in 2013, the Morris Area Foundation has provided grants with the help of The Thomas Sill Foundation, Canada 150 and generous support of past and current residents of $21,500 to area organizations.  Morris Area Foundation Inc. is building a legacy for the communities we serve.  The Foundation partners with donors to build permanent endowment funding to support projects in the area into the future. The Morris Area Foundation Inc. covers the entire Rural Municapility of Morris including the communities of Rosenort, Lowe Farm, Aubigny, Sperling and the Town of Morris.

DON’T FORGET ENDOW MANITOBA DAY “SATURDAY NOVEMBER 18TH” WHEN YOUR DONATION TO THE MORRIS AREA FOUNDATION WILL BE “STRETCHED” (every $5 donation to the MAF will be stretched by another $2 from The Winnipeg Foundation and Province of Manitoba – so the MAF will end up with $7).

For more information contact:  Email: info@themafinc.com  Website: www.themafinc.com  or call 204-746-2504

24-Hour Giving Challenge

The Morris Area Foundation is once again participating in the Endow Manitoba 24-Hour Giving Challenge, an annual, province-wide campaign that encourages Manitobans to contribute to their local community foundation during the month of November.

Help your community flourish forever! Give to the Morris Area Foundation on Saturday, November 18th and your $5 gift becomes $7.

Make an Online Gift Now!

Grant Activity – Morris General Hospital

Report from Morris General Hospital – Palliative Care

The granted funds from the Morris Area Foundation were used to help cover expenses related to a renovation this past summer, of the Palliative Care Suite at the Morris General Hospital. The project included new furniture, a new air conditioning unit and a fresh coat of paint and other miscellaneous work. We thank you for your interest and support of this project.

Grant Activity – Morris & District Centennial Museum

With funds from the grant from the Morris Area Foundation and money from other sources, The Morris & District Centennial Museum Inc. chose to educate the public as to the roles Alexander Morris and his son, Edmund Morris played in the development of our town and our country. The Town of Morris was named after Alexander Morris. His role in negotiating Treaties 3,4,5 and 6 as well as redoing Treaties 1 and 2 with the Indigenous people of the area has greatly influenced our development as a province and a country. His work as a cabinet member in Sir John A Macdonald’s cabinet and then serving as Lieutenant Governor of the area has not been given the recognition it should have received. It is somewhat shocking to find so many locals had very little or no knowledge of his work. The same can be said for the artistic skill of his son, Edmund Morris.

Edmund Morris was a portrait artist who was commissioned by the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta to paint portraits of Indian Chiefs as part of a permanent record. We are pleased to have an original portrait done by Edmund Morris on display at the museum.

Over 100 people attended a dessert and coffee gathering at the museum on July 1. We had photos of Alexander Morris, special charts prepared as well as copies of Treaties 1, 2, and 3 available for the visitors to scan. We also updated the museum brochure which will become part of tourism promotions.

Oh Happy Day Splash Park

The Oh Happy Day Splash Park officially opened to the public on Friday August 18, 2017. The grand opening event was held at 1:00 pm on Friday, August 25, 2017 and the community was invited to come for cookies and freezies to try out the new splash park. This event was well attended including business sponsors, town officials, employees and of course lots of families with children. We are very thankful to all businesses, organizations and community members that have contributed to this project.

For our fundraising we received a Government of Canada Community Paces Grant and had an amazing response from the businesses throughout Morris and surrounding area. We also received a $5,000 grant from the “Canada 150” Community Foundations of Canada /Morris Area Foundation. These funds were used for our opening event, the supplies for the landscaping, advertising as well as our new sign.

A very exciting part of this project is that we have seen many new faces attending the splash park since it opened on August 18, 2017. With new people and families coming out to use the splash park it is great to see the community forming and our outdoor recreation growing.

Indigenous Gathering of Nations Village

VAS Indigenous Gathering of Nations village

The Valley Agricultural Society Fair Committee has over the last few years been developing a more diverse exhibition.  Our goal is to include cultural venues to the Manitoba Stampede. The Fair Committee members approached Ginew First Nations and Manitoba Metis to create cultural awareness and cultural teachings. Members of the Fair Committee met with several respected Indigenous cultural Teachers from Ginew First Nations, Josephine Hartin, Lucy Ducharme and Gail Lakatos. In the spring of 2017 the new vision for indigenous cultural gathering place was realized that this was a great fit for the Manitoba Stampede. Our combined vision was to create the “Gathering of Nations” an Indigenous village with several Tipi’s lodges, drum dances and indigenous teachings of several different tribes, Ojibway, Cree, Dakota Sioux and Metis to the Manitoba Stampede.

We recognize the funding announced in February 2017 from the Morris Area Foundation donation would be the initial dollars to achieve our vision.  The Gather of Nations Village was started with several Tipi’s (Teepee’s) set up on the ground to serve as a village.

For July 2017 Manitoba Stampede and Exhibition; The VAS Fair Committee and  Members of the First Nations community were able to meet with fair guests and share in traditional teachings such as beading, dancing, wildlife tanning, treaties just to name a few. On Saturday, July 22, 2017 an afternoon presentation in the Rempel Free Stage and an evening performance of the Indigenous Dances were performed by the Summer Bear Dancing Troupe; before over 3000 people in the Stampede Grand Stand arena. The Evening performance ended with great applause and was posted live on Facebook and has been viewed over 2000 times.  The sharing of this rich culture and celebrate the history was a fantastic welcome addition to the Stampede and build healthy friendships with our local communities.

This year we rented several Tipi’s to populate the Gathering area. The Valley Agricultural Society is having two 16 foot Tipi’s being made and painted to reflect the Southern Manitoba area and will be on display for 2018. The Village area has also been expanded this fall to accommodate more room for more indigenous events such as large POW WOW’s and Indigenous art exhibits.  These main tipi’s for future years and will be surround with other sizes and types of Tipi’s.

It is our intention to add to the village every year and work with our Indigenous First Nations communities making connections and building positive relationships in friendship for years to come.

James Buhler

VAS Fair Director

Home of the Manitoba Stampede

Photo credit; Barbara Shewchuk

Annual General Meeting – 2017

A year has gone by quickly and we are again getting ready for our Annual General Meeting.  On behalf of The Morris Area Foundation, we invite you to attend our 3rd Annual General Meeting on June 8th at 7:00 pm at the Riverview Golf and Country Club in Morris. With your generous donor support, we have made significant progress. With your ongoing support, we hope to continue growing.  President Del Stevenson commented that “A lot has changed for the MAF since the start a mere 3 years ago. Starting with slightly more than $3,000 from a grant from the Morris Lions Club, our Endowment Fund now sits at over $135,000. Thanks to great support from organizations like the Thomas Sill Foundation, the Winnipeg Foundation, the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th and most of all the great support we have received from present and former residents and businesses of the Morris Foundation area, which includes the entire RM of Morris including the communities of Rosenort, Lowe Farm, Aubigny, Sperling and the Town of Morris”.  Want to hear more? Join us Thursday June 8th, 7pm. for coffee, cake and conversation.

At the meeting we will present our financial picture, our activities throughout the previous year and our strategies and growth prospects.  We will also be discussing future grants and have speakers from a few local charities.

Come and meet the board members, have coffee and share your ideas or concerns with us. We would love to see you at the meeting.  We would like to continue updating you on our progress.

Could you please provide us with your email address for further correspondence.

Read More Here

Community Funds for Canada’s 150th

The Morris Area Foundation Inc. in partnership with the Community Foundations of Canada are pleased to announce awards under the Community Funds for Canada’s 150th.

In celebration of Canada’s 150th. year –  The Valley Agricultural Society in Morris, will receive $5,000 for the Development of an Aboriginal Community at this year’s Manitoba Stampede and Exhibition July 20 to 23, 2017 “to encourage cultural and communal growth.”

The Morris Area Recreation Commission in Morris, will be receiving $5,000 for the Morris Splash Park which will be constructed this summer for “an inclusive, community supported splash park that will increase outdoor recreation and community spirit.”


These initiatives are made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between The Morris Area Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.