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

New Leadership for the Alberta Real Estate Foundation

New Executive Director will lead Foundation into its thirtieth year

The Alberta Real Estate Foundation (AREF) is pleased to announce that Patti Morris will become its new Executive Director.

“I am eager to be part of AREF at such an exciting time,” said Patti. “After 30 great years of delivering value to Albertans, AREF is ready to refresh and renew and there couldn’t be a more challenging and rewarding time to help guide the organization”.

“The Board of Governors is committed to our 2021 Interim Strategic Plan,” said Doug Leighton, Foundation Chair. “Patti is ideally suited to help us reach the important objectives of reviewing our governance and operations, reconnecting with stakeholders and the public, and renewing our outcomes to best deliver on our mandate. She has the expertise to help us reach those goals.”

Patti’s experience is highlighted by over 30 years of innovative strategic thinking, strong organizational capability, and inspiring leadership. She has a deep understanding of how non-profits operate and a personal interest in the real estate industry.  Most recently, Patti was the Chief Executive Officer at Wellspring Calgary where she led the effective start-up of the non-profit company and charity and oversaw its growth in the quality of offerings, satisfaction with services, and collaborative relationships.

Patti also serves as Director of the Calgary Firefighters Benevolent Fund Society and has been a member of several provincial health advisory committees.  She was previously the Chair of the Calgary Chamber of Volunteer Organizations (CCVO) and the Citizen Advocacy Society of Calgary. She served as a Committee Member on the Calgary Foundation’s Education and Lifelong Learning Grant Committee.

AREF also recently announced Janice Resch as Chair-Elect and future Chair of the Board of Governors effective November 1, 2021. Resch has been a member of the Board of Governors since 2018 as an appointment of the Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA). She has 25 years’ experience in real estate in Red Deer and has been deeply involved in several real estate organizations.

“My priority is to support the outreach and engagement of the Foundation’s stakeholders and beneficiaries,” said Resch. “I want to partner with real estate professionals and the public to advance the wonderful projects and organizations that AREF supports throughout Alberta.”

In 2021, the Alberta Real Estate Foundation will celebrate thirty successful years of delivering its mandate. This 30th Anniversary will be an opportunity for the Foundation to complete its review of governance and operations, reconnect with its stakeholders, and renew how it benefits the real estate industry and Alberta’s communities in an even more impactful manner.