Capital for Cause: Back to Basics – Calgary hosts Canadian impact investors and venture philanthropists at 3rd annual Social Finance Summit

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Natasha Robbie –


Be LocalApril 17, 2017 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Calgary, AB – For the third year in a row, Calgary is playing host to some of Canada’s most influential impact investors, venture philanthropists and successful social entrepreneurs at the Capital for Cause: Back to Basics event, 8am-4pm, April 24 at Eighth Avenue Place (525 8 Avenue SW.)

Capital for Cause is the brainchild of Gena Rotstein and Patti Dolan. Rotstein (founder and former CEO of Dexterity Ventures Inc.) is the founder and current CEO of Place2Give Foundation - a donor-centered charity search engine that provides donors with the tools they need to search, evaluate and give to Canadian and American charities that align with their passions. Dolan is a portfolio manager with Sage Investment Advisors who has an ardour for helping investors align their investments with their personal values. Rotstein and Dolan created Capital for Cause to help advise and educate investors on social finance and mission-related investing.

Participants will explore new business models addressing two critical issues that are commonplace in major cities across Canada – food security and affordable housing.  The day-long summit is a multi-layered experience that begins with a keynote address from Jason Switzer, Executive Director of ACTia - an association that focuses on addressing issues facing the clean technology industry, with key interests in innovation and public and private financing. Two panel discussions will follow Switzer’s presentation, featuring a number of renowned Canadian thought leaders in the food and housing industries. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in one-on-one conversation with panellists to discuss and learn how municipalities across Canada are addressing the issues.

Rotstein says that food security and affordable housing were timely choices for the summit this year. “Financial evidence suggests that traditional charity is not an effective solution to these complex problems,” says Rotstein. “By highlighting different businesses who are tapping into consumer behaviour alongside social beliefs, we can demonstrate viable solutions that are pushing the needle on the food and housing question.”

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food security as, “Access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.” Canada is therefore by no means immune to food insecurity. A study in Ontario found that among adults, total healthcare costs, including inpatient hospital care, emergency department visits, physician services, same-day surgeries and home care services, increase significantly with the level of household food insecurity.

Panellists for the food security discussion include Michael Ableman of Sole Food Street Farms in Vancouver, Meghan Dear of Localize, Darren MacLean of Shokunin restaurant, and Janet Henderson of 7K Ranch and Slow Food Canada, who will serve as moderator. Each panellist will offer their own unique perspective and experience working in the realm food production and security.

Affordable housing panellists include Season & Jason Mosby, owners of Pure Property Management – a company that builds affordable, energy efficient homes, Twyla Hayes, founder and owner of Lifehouse – an age-in-community dementia home, and Paul Leroux a Tiny Home homeowner. The discussion will be moderated by Barb Davies of Thrive.

Tim Richter, CEO of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, has this to say on the issue: “Homelessness is an extreme form of poverty and social exclusion. Simply put, people who are homeless do not have safe, affordable, appropriate, permanent housing to which they can return whenever they choose. This includes people who are absolutely homeless and are living on the streets or in shelters, the ‘hidden homeless’ who are staying with friends, relatives or in institutional settings, and those ‘at risk’ of homelessness, whose current economic and housing situation is precarious.”

Dealing with homelessness has traditionally been the role of shelters, soup kitchens and halfway homes. Capital for Cause will show other ways of tackling the problem via profit models that benefit the end user and investors alike.REAP Logo

Since its inception, Capital for Cause has focused on supporting local businesses. To this end we are also pleased to highlight the contributions of SPUD, Our Daily Brett, and Katalist Koffee, who are keeping our guests nourished throughout the day.

Capital for Cause is part of Down To Earth Week – an initiative of REAP Business Association. REAP is a local non-profit organization comprised of over 140 local business members at the forefront of the new economy. REAP is committed to demonstrating that businesses can make a fair profit while contributing to healthy and prosperous communities.

Tickets to Capital for Cause and other Down To Earth Week events can be purchased at:


Point of Note:

Compared with adults in food-secure households, annual healthcare costs were on average 16 percent (or $235) higher for those with marginal food insecurity, 32 percent (or $455) higher among those with moderate food insecurity, and 76 percent (or $1092) higher among those with severe food insecurity.”

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