Founded: 1931
Incorporated: 1945
Registered Charity:  119220135  RR0001

Many Canadian writers die poor. Canada cannot afford to abandon any writer who gives to our cultural heritage a gift that will last forever. Milton Acorn, Roger Brien, Alfred Desrochers, Mavis Gallant, Mollie Gillen, Norman Levine, Dorothy Livesay,  E.J. Pratt—these are only a few of the distinguished men and women who have been forced to turn to the Foundation for help. Why? Because literary and artistic success do not necessarily lead to economic success. Fame, unfortunately, does not pay bills.

Although many government and other programmes help writers during their working lives, when they can no longer work, the social safety net of the Old Age Pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement often is not enough to raise them above the poverty line. Here is where the Foundation steps in. And its modest grants are often all that separate humiliation from dignity, misery from decency.

“Until the time comes when we can be assured that Canadian authors, who have made a substantial contribution to the cultural heritage of Canada, are not in danger of living out their final years in abject poverty, there will be a need for the Canadian Writers’ Foundation. And while there is that need, the Foundation seeks the financial support of Canadians so it may continue to help senior Canadian writers in financial distress,” Marianne Scott, President of the Foundation.

The Foundation’s Directors are all volunteers and many are writers themselves. If you would like to make a donation—and/or know of a Canadian writer who might need the support of the Foundation, please contact us. Tax receipts are issued for all donations bequests and memorial tributes.

The Canadian Writers’ Foundation is the only registered charity that provides continued financial assistance to approved senior Canadian writers in times of extreme financial distress. Pierre Berton—who served on the Foundation’s board for more than thirty years—considered it “essential to the literary well-being of Canada.”

Current Directors:

  • Jean Boisjoli, author, lawyer, journalist
  • Sandra Campbell, retired professor, Pauline Jewett Institute, Carleton University
  • Barbara Clubb, City Librarian, Ottawa Public Library (Ret’d)
  • Arthur Drache, Charity and Tax lawyer, author/co-author of 13 books and several hundred articles
  • Anthony Hyde, novelist
  • Seymour Mayne, author, Professor of English, University of Ottawa
  • Marianne Scott, National Librarian of Canada (Ret’d)
  • David Staines, Professor of English, University of Ottawa

Current Advisors to the Board:

  • Gaston Bellemare (Quebec), Founder and President, International Poetry Festival; retired co-founder of Écrits des Forges at Trois-Rivières
  • Neil Besner (Manitoba), Professor of English, retired, University of Winnipeg
  • Clive Doucet (Nova Scotia), author, public speaker
  • John Flood (Prince Edward Island), President, Penumbra Press; author and editor; retired professor
  • Louise B. Halfe (Saskatchewan), writer, poet
  • Thomas Hodd (New Brunswick), Associate Professor of English, uMoncton
  • Gwen Hoover (Ontario), retired public servant, Canada Council for the Arts
  • Jeff Keshen (Newfoundland & Labrador), Vice-President (Grenfell Campus), MUN
  • W.H. New (British Columbia), writer, professor (retired), UBC
  • Al Pope (the Yukon), Yukon writer
  • Roger Tulk (Ontario), writer; former National Secretary Treasurer. Canadian Authors Association

Current President:

  • Marianne Scott                    2008 –

Executive Secretary:

  • Suzanne Williams