Congratulations to the Garth Homer Foundation

Times Colonist, Pedro Arrais, March 29, 2023

Bruce Homer couldn’t trust himself to drive after he opened an envelope containing a $34-million cheque made out to the Garth Homer Foundation this month. “I probably would have gone off the road,” said Homer, vice-chair of the foundation founded by his uncle.

Homer got a call from a lawyer’s assistant informing him that he had dropped off an envelope at the office — with a suggestion that he might want to pick it up at his earliest convenience.

Homer had been told earlier that the foundation was mentioned in the will of the late Kathleen Sheret, daughter and last surviving family member of Andrew Sheret, who founded a plumbing supply company that still bears his name. Kathleen, who died in 2021, never married and had no children.

Sheret’s connection with the foundation began when she met Garth Homer in the 1960s. The two formed a fast friendship through their common work on social causes. She became an important mentor for Garth Homer and shared his vision to assist those with diverse abilities.

The foundation he started provides funds to support people with developmental and other diverse abilities to make a life and a place in the world.

“We had known for a long time that the foundation was mentioned in the will, we just didn’t know the amount,” said Homer. “The way the lawyers put it was that we would share in ‘what was left’ of the estate. I figured that we would get one, maybe $2 million — if we were lucky. The first thing I did when I opened that envelope was to sit down and take a deep breath.”

He believes the $34-million legacy donation is among the largest private donations for community care for people facing cognitive disabilities or challenges in aging in B.C. and Canada.

The gift is ‘truly transformational’ and will ensure his uncle’s vision — and Sheret’s — continues for generations. “This donation will change lives.”

The Garth Homer Foundation provides funding both to the Garth Homer Society and other organizations delivering support and quality-of-life enhancements in Greater Victoria.

Homer is still processing the ramifications of the donation, but does not have any immediate plans for the money.

“We will continue to do what we have always done. Now we can perhaps think outside of the box and go above and beyond to broaden our reach and depth of support for hundreds of individuals and their families,” he said.

Some of the money may go into an existing endowment fund or be used for matching grants for donations to the Garth Homer Society.

The $34-million bequest is the same sum that Sheret left to the Victoria Eldercare Foundation in January. That foundation is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for seniors. It was one of the largest legacy gifts for seniors care in Canada.

“These gifts are all about people — and how we can care for one another,” Homer said.

NOTE: The Garth Homer Society is a Hansbraun tenant, located at Gateway Village since 2017. We congratulate the Foundation on receiving this bequest. For more information about the important work they perform in the community, please visit