Helen Burstyn

Helen Burstyn

Helen Burstyn


Investing in Community

October 21th, 1:15-3:15 pm

Helen Burstyn will discuss the impact of investing time and money in the non-profit and charitable sectors. Volunteers and philanthropists are doing more than 'good works' when they contribute their personal and professional resources to community-based organizations. The value of this is hard to quantify and easy to under-estimate. They are making significant investments that deliver substantial social and economic ROI. A strong public sector and private sector cannot function without a strong third sector -- the 'communities sector' -- which relies on the engagement of professional volunteers and venture philanthropists. 


Helen Burstyn has enjoyed a 35-year career in government, business, academia, broadcasting and community service.   

Helen is currently the Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Social Venture Zone at Ryerson University and the co-host of Toronto Files, a weekly public affairs program on RogersTV. 

The former Chair of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Helen also served for several years as the Government of Ontario’s Special Advisor, Social Enterprise and Chair of the Partnership Forum, the province’s advisory body on the not-for-profit and voluntary sector.

Helen is a director of many non-profit and charitable organizations, including Evergreen, which she has chaired since June, 2014, the Canadian Opera Company, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Toronto Public Library Foundation, Luminato, The Walrus Foundation, Harmony Hall Centre for Seniors, The Learning Partnership, and the Koffler Centre for the Arts. She is a co-founder of The Pecaut Centre for Social Impact and Gilda's Club Greater Toronto, and was a founding member of Equal Voice. She served for nine years as a Trustee of CAMH and is a past-president of the Canadian Club of Toronto. 

Helen is the author of Eleven Out of Ten: The Life and Work of David Pecaut. She is the recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Community Leadership and the Ontario Citizenship Award for Volunteer Service.

She has four daughters and three granddaughters, and lives in Toronto.