We are excited to announce that our late President, Miriam Bergen, has made a historic gift to The Winnipeg Foundation through her will. The gift includes, among other things, Appleton Holdings, which operates as Edison Properties.
The gift was announced November 29, 2022, at a news conference at The Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg.
The gift is historic because it is the largest gift ever made to a Canadian charity by an individual. With her gift, Miriam leaves an incredible legacy that will benefit the people of Winnipeg for generations to come. The gift also honours the philanthropic spirit of her parents, Martin and Ruth Bergen.
The Bergens were long-time Winnipeg community builders whose philanthropic nature stemmed from the gratitude they felt when they immigrated to Canada. Their charitable giving was remarkable, unwavering, and often anonymous. “It was the act of giving, and not the recognition, that inspired them,” said Doris Gietz, Miriam’s cousin.
It isn’t surprising that growing up in this environment, Miriam also became a philanthropic leader.
“Miriam had a true love of humanity, and this gift is the culmination of her quiet, lifelong generosity,” said Doris. “Giving back was at the heart of so much of what she did.”
The Winnipeg Foundation called the gift “transformational” for the impact it will have on its ability to help the community it has long supported.
“Miriam Bergen will be remembered as a visionary for our community. Her incredibly generous gift will transform The Winnipeg Foundation’s ability to support the community,” said Foundation Chief Executive Officer Sky Bridges.
Miriam’s company, Appleton Holdings, will continue to run its operating companies, which include Edison Properties, Bergen Gardens, and the Assiniboine Athletic Club, on a business-as-usual basis.
“We at the company will continue to provide worry-free living for our tenants and will conduct our business in the manner of the Bergens, showing care and respect for all,” said Appleton Holdings President Frank Koch-Schulte. “We are excited about the benefits that will come to Winnipeg from Miriam’s gift.”
“There are times when you should give something because it's needed, and because you can.” - Martin Bergen
For more information:
Read the news release from the Winnipeg Foundation. https://www.wpgfdn.org/the-winnipeg-foundation/gift_announcement_nov2022/
Watch the news conference announcing Miriam’s gift. https://youtu.be/3R22WffruIc