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The Asper Foundation (Canada)

Last modified: 2015-06-30 by rob raeside
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[The Asper Foundation (Canada) flag] image by Ivan Sache, 3 August 2010

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The Asper Foundation

Quoting the website of the Asper Foundation:
"The Asper family believes that philanthropy is a driving force behind positive change in people’s quality of life throughout the world. For this reason, The Asper Foundation was formed in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1983 to build upon the philanthropic objectives of Dr. Israel Asper and the Asper family. The Asper Foundation undertakes and develops major initiatives in the areas of culture, education, community development and human rights locally, nationally and internationally. A number of major initiatives in corporate philanthropy are also carried out by the Asper family through their control of the CanWest Global Communications Charitable Foundation."

The Grant of Arms, Supporters and Flag to the Asper Foundation appears in the Public Register of Arms, Flags and Badges of Canada, 15 January 2003, Vol. IV, p. 265.

The flag is horizontally divided blue-yellow-blue-yellow-blue-yellow with a red triangle whose bas covers the central third of the bottom edge of the flag and whose vertical apex reaches the half of the uppermost blue stripe.

The flag is a banner of the of arms of the foundation, supporters and crest excluded. The coat of arms is described as follows:

Barry Azure and Or a pile reversed Gules;

Issuant from a coronet erablé Or a demi lion Gules charged on the shoulder with a Magen David and holding in its dexter paw a torch Or;

Two eagles Or membered Gules each gorged with a collar Azure pendent therefrom a hurt charged with a hand, standing on a mound of prairie grass Or above barry wavy Azure and Argent;


The alternating bands of blue and gold, colours which have significance for the Asper family, symbolize a series of steps that a person or organization can take while striving to better their situation. The red shape evokes both the "A" of Asper and the notion of reaching upward for excellence.

The coronet represents the Foundation's service to Canada. The lion symbolizes both the Jewish heritage of the creators of the Foundation and the spirit of its work, reaching out and making a difference in a great variety of situations. The Magen David, also known as the Shield or Star of David, refers to the Foundation's support of many Jewish community institution and initiatives. The torch has long been a symbol of striving for enlightenment, and in this instance, it represents the way in which help from the Foundation enables recipients to take a comprehensive look at their projects and use the support to best advantage.

The eagle is a bird noted for its strength and acuity of sight; therefore, it represents the ability of the officers of the Foundation to seek out and identify needs and respond to them. The gold hands are a reference to one of Mr. Asper's suggestions for a motto, "A helping hand". The grass and the blue and white wavy bars represent the Prairies and the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. Taken together these refer to Winnipeg, the Foundation's home site.

This is a key element in the Foundation's philosophy."

Ivan Sache, 3 August 2010