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Giving in Abundance to the Arts Sector

As the son of Hungarian immigrants, Gábor Vaski finds himself committed to two cultures: that of his homeland and his adopted Canada. “My family has always been very community oriented…to our own culture and to supporting the Canadian mosaic.”

This feeling is what led him to establish the Vaski Family Performing Arts Fund in 2005. “My wife Lisa and I felt a very strong obligation to do something that will be a legacy of thanks for the opportunity to grow up in this country.”

Gábor shares that creating a fund to support arts and culture is a natural fit for him, “…because of my background as a musician–a singer and sax player–and my friendship with Rob MacIsaac inspired me to get involved with Burlington Community Foundation.”

The goal of the Vaski Fund is to “support performing artists in Burlington–not just the amateur groups or worthy up-and-coming professionals that the city is backing.” Gábor modestly explains, “the Fund is still a work-in-progress…we are hoping it will grow to where it has a little bit of clout as there are a wide range of possible funding opportunities out there in the community.”

Starting in 2009, the Vaski Fund has granted to several Burlington charities. Gábor shares, “We’ve had a couple of great payouts, like one to the Burlington Student Theatre. Our goal is to build our Fund to $100,000 and my idea was that with a theatre right across the street, ultimately we’d be able to sponsor an event or community theatre.”

Thinking ahead is key, according to Gábor, “It is important to keep in mind that our lives are but fleeting moments. In my opinion, if you have the wherewithal to leave a legacy, leveraging your wealth in a way that helps your community for the long-term is a lot more rewarding than concentrating on your momentary well-being. Even if your Fund just covers a small sign on a city flowerpot, it is helping to make the city more beautiful for everyone.

Gábor and Lisa Vaski moved to Burlington in 1995 because, “the community was close to my in-laws, close to Toronto, and homes were reasonably priced.” Gabor likes Burlington so much that since 2000, he’s worked in the city as well, as a senior financial consultant.

Looking to the future of the city, Gábor shares, “I see lots of opportunity. There is probably a need at almost every level for continuing development. I think the Burlington Community Foundation has lots of opportunities to support the city.”

Gábor believes that Burlington has much to offer to budding philanthropists of every economic background, “There are certain cultures and faiths that believe when you give you create a sense of bounty. If, in your own mind, you have the wherewithal to donate something it creates a mental sense of abundance. Many people who donate may not consciously express themselves in this way. But, at a subconscious level, they understand that putting into a Fund creates a sense of abundance.”

“Gábor and Lisa Vaski, through their Family Performing Arts Fund, are supporting a vital arts community in Burlington.” Colleen Mulholland, Executive Director, Burlington Community Foundation, says, “It will be exciting to see what other meaningful charities will benefit from their help in the years to come.”

More information on the Vaski Family Performing Arts Fund. Give now by contacting Colleen Mulholland at 905 639 0744 x222 or cmulholland@burlingtonfoundation.org. Discover our more than 60 funds created by local donors & fundholders or agencies that you can donate to through us directly, or by visiting Canada Helps.