Alberta Real Estate Foundation Announces New Major Grants Category

Three decades of grantmaking benefitting the Alberta real estate industry and Alberta communities

March 3, 2021: During these unprecedented times, the Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF) has increased annual funding to better support the real estate industry and Albertans.

The Foundation will celebrate its 30th Anniversary this year. To mark this milestone, the Foundation has doubled its annual funding budget to $4 Million to distribute to qualifying projects that advance its mandated support for the real estate industry and in turn, all Albertans. Notably, $2 million of this increase will be allocated specifically to a 30th Anniversary Legacy Grants Fund for projects valued at over $250,000. This new one-time fund is in recognition of the Foundation’s 30 years of distributing grants to support real estate education, research, law reform, and related priorities.

Formed by the Government of Alberta in 1991, the Foundation has the mandate to support and advance the real estate industry and serve the public interest by funding real estate education, law reform, research, and other activities. Over the last three decades, the Foundation has awarded more than $23 million in grants to over 650 projects.

Economic and pandemic circumstances have created an unpredictable and challenging time and the Foundation is focused on contributing to Alberta’s real estate recovery. Real estate, including real assets and property (land), is crucial to the prosperity of the province and is an area in which the Foundation can make a tangible difference as Albertans get back on their feet.

To best respond to a post-pandemic recovery, the Foundation’s Board recently completed an in-depth review and refinement of the Foundation’s grants criteria, processes, categories, and management. As a result of this review and economic considerations within the Province, the Foundation is revising its funding programs:

  • Sponsorships (for requests under $10,000)
  • Development and Investment Grants (for requests between $10,000 – $250,000)
  • One-time 30th Anniversary Legacy Grants (for requests over $250,000+)

The Sponsorship Program allows the Foundation to respond nimbly to the needs of its stakeholders across the province and strengthen its connection to the industry through the support of industry-related initiatives and community events.

Development and Investment Grants support and advance education, research, law reform, and other activities related to real estate under three categories: Real Estate Leadership, Built Environment, and Land.

The 30th Anniversary Legacy Grants program, a special one-time $2 million major grants program, aims to fund projects that will bring transformational and long-term change for the real estate industry in the new and emerging world that fosters healthy, vibrant communities across Alberta.

“Our Board has taken the bold move to double the Foundation’s grants this year,” says Chair Doug Leighton. “We are encouraging ambitious funding applications and collaborative partnerships that will advance and improve real estate and benefit communities across Alberta.”

The next grant deadline is May 3. Visit

About the Alberta Real Estate Foundation

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation was established in 1991 under the Real Estate Act. It has three related mandates: to educate professionals and the public; support law reform and research; and support other projects to advance and improve the real estate industry. The Foundation fulfills this mandate by funding projects that support the industry and benefit Albertans; connecting people; and sharing knowledge in collaboration with the real estate industry and public stakeholders.

The Foundation’s revenue is generated by real estate transactions, both sales and rental, across the province. Whenever a consumer deposits money in trust through a licensed real estate broker, property manager, mortgage broker, or commercial broker on a real estate transaction, the small amount of interest earned on that deposit is forwarded to the Foundation. The Foundation then invests those public funds through its sponsorships and grants.

For more information about the Alberta Real Estate Foundation visit or contact:
Patti Morris, Executive Director
Ph: 403-228-4786 ext. 2
Sarah Stuebing, Communications & Community Investment
Ph: 403-228-4786 ext. 3

Call for Volunteers – External Committee Members (deadline: March 26, 2021)

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF) was established under the Real Estate Act to advance and improve the real estate industry and benefit Albertans. The Foundation aggregates and re-invests the interest on broker trust accounts into education, law reform, research, projects, and activities to advance and improve industry and real estate best practices across the Province.

Since its inception in 1991, the Foundation has invested more than $23 million in over 640 projects and initiatives across Alberta. It is planning to significantly increase its grants in 2021 to further support and advance real estate and its important role in Alberta’s recovery.

This year also marks the Foundation’s 30th Anniversary – an exciting opportunity to engage with all its stakeholders, discuss future opportunities, and create a new Strategic Plan. This initiative will be led by AREF’s Executive Director Patti Morris and the Board’s newly-formed Engagement Committee.

We are Recruiting

The AREF Board is seeking candidates who would be interested in serving as a volunteer “External Member” on its Finance, Engagement, and Governance Committees.

Preferred Skills

  1. Finance Committee: Skills, experience, and expertise in finance, risk, and investment; Ideally with a CPA or similar qualification.
  2. Engagement Committee: Skills and experience with outreach, communications, stakeholder engagement, and strategic planning.
  3. Governance Committee: Skills and experience with governance, policy oversight, human resources, and reporting.

Applicants with experience and knowledge of the real estate industry, real estate (real property and assets), and community investment (grant-giving) best practices will be given preference.

Applicants should be residents of Alberta, and we welcome applicants who represent the wide diversity of Alberta’s population. We seek individuals with a demonstrated ability to think broadly, creatively, and collaboratively, who will bring fresh perspectives to the Foundation and add value to its initiatives.

The AREF Board has just seven Directors, nominated from the real estate industry and selected from the community, all from Alberta. Committees are therefore small with between two and four members of the Board on each. Consequently, external members can be expected to play a significant and valuable role in the work of each committee.

Committees typically meet four to six times per year. Meetings may be in person or, especially at this time, by video-conference.

The positions are voluntary and without compensation. External committee members will, however, work directly with our capable Board, acquire valuable experience, play a role in shaping the future of the organization, and make a significant contribution to the real estate industry and Alberta.


To apply, please submit an expression of interest (email and/or cover letter) together with a brief CV highlighting your relevant experience and expertise and identifying which committee interests you.

Applications should be directed to the Foundation’s Executive Director Patti Morris at

If you require further information, please contact the Chair of the Board, Doug Leighton, by e-mail at


The Foundation would like to receive expressions of interest by Friday, March 26th, 2021.