Burton family donates $3M to United Way, Médecins Sans Frontières and Amnesty International

TORONTO – United Way, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Amnesty International today jointly announced an incredible gift of $3 million from Alice and Grant Burton.
Alice and Grant Burton, long-time philanthropists from Toronto, will evenly split the $3 million between these organizations, allowing them each to significantly increase their capacity to fight local poverty, provide medical assistance to people affected by conflict, and promote an end to worldwide human rights violations, respectively.
Grant Burton is president of Starcan Corporation and director emeritus at the National Arts Centre while Alice Burton is an artist whose works have principally been exhibited in Toronto, Montreal, and New York.
“Alice and I have been donating to many causes since our marriage almost 50 years ago,” said Grant Burton. “Initially, these were smaller gifts closer to home. As our finances improved, we were able to increase the gift size and to broaden the geographic scope of our activities. Supporting the United Way was an easy decision due to the many causes, the organization funds in the Toronto area. Médecins Sans Frontières and Amnesty International appealed to us for the critical services and work they provide.”
Alice and Grant Burton’s donation marks the largest-ever gift for Amnesty International Canada, allowing the human rights organization to establish the new Burton Human Rights Impact Fund, 100 per cent of which will go towards crucial human rights work. The gift also comes with the invitation to all donors to come together and jointly match the funds by the end of 2020.
“We’re deeply appreciative of Alice and Grant Burton’s incredible generosity, which enables us to significantly increase our vital human rights work in Canada and around the world,” said Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada.
“We are deeply grateful for this incredibly generous gift that will help us bring medical care to vulnerable people who have been caught up in some of the world’s worst humanitarian crises,” said Joe Belliveau, Executive Director of Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada.
“It is thanks to the generosity of private donors like Alice and Grant Burton that our teams can act independently and can respond quickly to emergencies around the globe.”
United Way’s Alice and Grant Burton Challenge Gift is matching up to $1 million in first-time donations over $1,200, as well as donation increases made by current United Way Greater Toronto Leadership donors. This support powers United Way’s network of 270 community agencies across Greater Toronto, and reinforces a crucial community safety net.
“Alice and Grant Burton’s dedication to strengthening the region they love to call home is inspiring a new generation of donors to lead the fight against local poverty,” said Daniele Zanotti, President and CEO of United Way Greater Toronto. “We are grateful for the Burtons’ leadership and generosity for 50 years — supporting a network of agencies that ensure everyone has access to the programs and services they need to thrive today.” 
Media contact: Lucy Scholey, Media Relations, Amnesty International Canada (English branch), 613-744-7667, ext. 236, lscholey@amnesty.ca