History of the Foundation

Brandon Area Community Foundation is a local foundation created by and for the people of Brandon and Southwestern Manitoba. We are here to bring together individuals and groups who wish to make an on-going difference in their community. In 2015 the foundation entered its 50th year, BACF got its beginnings when five local gentlemen – Joseph Secter, Stephen Magnacca, Reginald Lissaman, Robert Addison Clement and Victor Rosenman – gathered their collective faith in the future to create the Brandon Area Foundation, on May 11, 1965, as a lasting legacy for generations to come.

A $25,000 gift from Gwen and Joseph Secter in honour of their Silver Anniversary established BACF as the second oldest Foundation in Manitoba. Though gone from Brandon for fifteen years, the Secter’s paid generous tribute to the community in which their marriage, family and business began – and in an era when an average annual salary just topped $5000. Fast-forward fifty-nine years and today’s Brandon Area Community Foundation has just passed the $15 Million milestone and returned over $10 million in grants benefiting a variety of community projects in Brandon and Southwestern Manitoba. 

Building upon the vision of its founding fathers, BACF was guided in the early years by committed volunteer directors such as Marjorie McPhail Code, Donald MacKay, A.A. Hirschfield, Ted Johnson, Manse Binkley and Bob Hawley. In more recent times, extraordinary leadership was gained from Zella Mills, Rudy Bidinosti, Lynne Bailey, Merv Dillabough, Millie Murray, Reid Lumbard and Mona Kille.

Under the direction of the Foundation’s dedicated Board of Directors, BACF uses the income earned from strategically invested funds to give grants to a wide variety of community projects in the fields of health, art, culture, heritage, recreation, environment and social issues as well as programs specifically benefiting children and seniors. As the Area in the name indicates, BACF grants are also distributed beyond Brandon’s borders to benefit rural rinks, arts groups, playgrounds, seniors clubs and social programs in communities throughout Southwestern Manitoba.