Sad news – Edgar Kaiser’s awards program shutting down

For all of us in the charitable/philanthropic community it was a shock to hear all of Edgar Kaiser’s sudden death in January 11.

When he founded the Kaiser Foundation 25 years ago, it was to promote both understanding of mental health and addictions as health issues. (Not the universal view especially then)

The awards program he set up through the foundation recognized the excellent work being done by the thousands of Canadian organizations, communities and individuals who are engaged in the incredibly difficult and stressful jobs of mental health and addictions. Their contribution was not being recognized or rewarded adequately and so he decided to change that.

Last year the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users was awarded (among seven other worthy recipients across the country.) This is a good example of Edgar Kaiser’s understanding of the field.VANDU has been the object of media criticism which could obscure its role as a key organization in the community representing the needs of vulnerable populations. Edgar Kaiser and his foundation saw past that.

The sad news of Edgar Kaiser’s loss is compounded by the demise of his valuable work. Will some person or organization step forward to provide leadership so that his legacy can continue?


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