The Kimberley Foundation was created in 2005 by Dr. Hugh Morris in recognition of his late wife Pat. Established as a not-for-profit charitable foundation under the BC Societies Act, the Kimberley Foundation was designed to embody her love of learning, her commitment to service and community, and her pursuit of excellence in all things. To mark her life, the Foundation began its activities with the creation of the Pat Morris Prize, an award provided to support a graduating student from South Delta Senior Secondary in Tsawwassen BC, with formal study toward a degree at a college or university, study abroad in a summer programme, or apprenticeship with a master artist, craftsperson or practitioner. After four years of recognizing amazing young students, in 2019, the Board of Directors decided to create a larger initiative that would recognize Pat’s dedication and lifelong passion of helping others in her community. A new “Community Matters” grant program has been established in place of the Prize to provide others with the opportunity to create and serve their own local communities.
With the passing of Dr. Hugh Morris in 2012, and a generous infusion into the Kimberley Foundation from his estate, the Directors of the Foundation have expanded the Foundation’s mandate and chosen to commemorate his life through the establishment of the Hugh C. Morris Experiential Learning Fellowship, a travel support award designed to replicate the South African Chamber of Mines Gold Medal and Research Travelling Scholarship which, in 1954, enabled Hugh to embark on a journey across North America and to visit nearly 65% of its mines while engaging with scholars at leading institutions in Canada and the United States. He would later credit this experience as the foundation of his future life of leadership and achievement. The Hugh C. Morris Experiential Learning Fellowship supports graduate students to embark on their own journey and transformation in the fields of earth, environment and sustainability.
In 2016, the Directors of the Kimberley Foundation decided to add to the memorial prizes in Pat and Hugh Morris’s name, and to breathe new life and a living future into the Foundation’s activities by creating initiatives aimed to support and impact the next generation of pioneers and to target mone of the most pressing issues of the future: climate change. The first initiative in this direction was the FOCUS! Climate Change Student Video Competition, to raise the voices of youth as they confronted the climate crisis and to raise awareness of positive action that they imagined would help mitigate its impacts. In 2019, in response to growing concern about the lack of climate change education unfolding in Canadian schools and with the collaborative vision of Tom Harding (Educator, West Point Grey Academy) and Dr. Travis Fuchs (Researcher in Residence, Crofton House), the Board of Directors created the Climate Collaborative for Educators, an immersive 5-day professional development program for BC Educators. The unique program combines: multidisciplinary climate change literacy (science, policy, economics, eco-justice, and Indigenous ways of knowing); hope-focused, eco-anxiety reducing and arts-based pedagogical approaches; and “Monday-ready” innovation examples delivered by researchers, pedagogical experts, and leading innovators. With a shared foundation in place, participants then work together to co-create new climate change curriculum (individual lessons, multi-disciplinary units or a multi-year learning scaffold), climate learning resources and toolkits, and school-wide climate action initiatives.
From its start in 2005, the Kimberley Foundation has now evolved into a charitable organization that actively works to works to design and implement initiatives targeted to youth, educators and communities, that inspire, impact, and facilitate positive, environmentally responsible action and which build resilience and spark hope-based solution-making to mitigate the impacts of climate change.