Vancouver, BC–Tides Canada announced it has changed the organization’s name to MakeWay.
“No organization takes on a name change lightly. But it was clear that the time has come to define ourselves. For too long we’ve been defined by others,” said CEO of MakeWay, Joanna Kerr.
A quiet leader in environmental and social justice philanthropy in Canada for the last 20 years, the organization says they sought a name reflecting the momentum of change it enables.
“In these tragic and hopeful times, MakeWay’s purpose is ever clear. The gaping inequities laid bare by the virus and the anti-racism protests crystalize how much justice matters. New leadership is rising, and the dramatic changes needed to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss seem more possible. More of us are seeing our interconnectedness. Right now, there is an opportunity for a transformative shift, and it is time to make way for nature and communities to thrive together,” said Kerr.
Smear campaigns about Tides Canada have repeatedly misconstrued the purpose of Tides Canada’s international philanthropic funding and have also conflated it with the US-based Tides Foundation. Tides Canada was singled out by the Premier of Alberta during the launch of a 2019 public inquiry to scrutinize international funding for the Canadian environmental movement as being “anti-Alberta”.
“This very expensive un-public government inquiry has yet to say anything. Probably because there is no bogeyman. Only 1% of Tides Canada’s funding has gone towards pipeline-related activities since 2005. Instead, we have been proudly partnering with international and Canadian funders to protect vital marine and terrestrial environments and support Indigenous stewardship,” said Kerr.
The change is made on the organization’s 20-year anniversary under new leadership from Kerr, who joined the organization in 2019. Hailed by sector leaders as an invigorating call to action, the name “invites us to commit to what we want to make way for. It’s time for us to heal—to be collaborative, bold, and listen to all voices, not just human, but all living things,” said MakeWay board member, Denise Williams.
Tides Canada was originally named after the Tides Foundation in the U.S., though over time the organizations have diverged and no longer hold any legal, financial, or governance connections. MakeWay builds partnerships and provides services, grants and solutions to help nature and communities thrive together.
MakeWay is a national charity and public foundation with a goal to enable nature and communities to thrive together. We do this by building partnerships, providing solutions, grants, and services for the charitable sector across the country.