Canadian composer Ann Southam, who passed away last year at the age of 73, has left a legacy gift of over $14 million to the Canadian Women’s Foundation. The majority of the donation will be used for the newly-unveiled Ann Southam Empowerment Fund, an endowment that will generate earnings to support the CWF’s operations and programs, which include investment in job-training initiatives and safe housing.
Southam, who had been involved with the foundation for over 12 years, helped to found the CWF’s Girls’ Fund, which focused on programs to improve the self-esteem, critical thinking and personal safety skills of girls age 9 to 13. Said Southam of the program in 2007: “There is so much pressure on girls today and they lose ground as they reach adolescence. My dream is to get to them before that and give them every chance in the world to succeed.” The Order of Canada member’s gift will double the size of the Girls’ Fund program.
“Ann was special and unique. She was also unassuming – she really didn’t care about personal recognition,” Beverley Wybrow, president and CEO of the foundation, said of Southam in a release. “But she would absolutely love the idea that her final gift might inspire others to give women and girls a chance for a better life.”
For more information, or to donate to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, please visit canadianwomen.org