Equine Foundation of Canada

equine foundation of canada, efac, bursaries for equestrians canada, wcvm funding equine

Since 1984, the Equine Foundation of Canada (EFC) has been funding projects, equipment, and students to improve the welfare of horses in Canada. Fundraising has always been a challenge for the EFC, but 2021 was particularly complicated by the pandemic, lockdowns, and the limitation of person-to-person contacts. This has been especially true in Alberta due to the economic slowdown. Several years ago, Eldon Bienert was instrumental in securing several significantly large donations that have sustained the foundation through these tough times.

In the early years, the foundation granted funds directly to equine studies students in small cash amounts of $1,000. More recently, due to the above-mentioned fundraising by Eldon Bienert, the foundation has granted endowments to be used for scholarship programs at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in Saskatoon, SK, University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine (UCVM) in Calgary, AB, and Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) in Charlottetown, PEI, for veterinary students with a primary interest in equine medicine. The foundation has discussed the expansion of the program to the other two veterinary colleges in Canada — Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) in Guelph, and St Hyacinth Veterinary School in Montreal — if and as funds become available. The most recent endowment was established at AVC in 2021 with the first scholarship to be awarded in the fall of 2022. The foundation’s board felt it appropriate to honour the EFC’s visionary first president George Wade, a businessman in Nova Scotia, by naming the scholarship the Equine Foundation of Canada George F. Wade Memorial Scholarship

In addition to the scholarships over the past five years, the foundation has supplied funds for the purchase of specialized equipment to the five Canadian Veterinary Colleges, including: 

2017 — WCVM: purchase of an equine teaching simulator 

2018 — OVC: purchase of an equine teaching simulator 

2020 — St Hyacinth: purchase of an equine teaching simulator 

2020 — UCVM: purchase of an equine teaching simulator and related diagnostic equipment

Since 2010, other than the veterinary colleges, the foundation has awarded funds to organizations in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario. These have been significantly smaller grants for the purchase of a horse mannequin for fire department rescue practice, disaster rescue trailers, safety equipment, and a horse skeleton mannequin for massage therapy training. Since its inception the EFC has donated in excess of $470,000 in support of veterinary student scholarships and $806,000 in support of research and equipment purchases.

Photos (above/below): The HCBC horse rescue mannequin named "Calamity," purchased thanks to a generous donation by EFC, is life-size and used to train BC's emergency responders.

The continued attraction of donations to support this charitable foundation to continue its mandate of “People Helping People Helping Horses” is challenging and in real need of support. For more information or to serve as a volunteer contact Bob Watson, President by calling 403-378-4323, or by email cbwatson@cciwireless.ca. To make a tax exempt donation to support our program, or a donation to Book of Memory of a human or animal friend, mail your cheque to: Susan Nelson, Treasurer, Equine Foundation of Canada, 326 Dyke Rd., R.R. 2, Falmouth, Nova Scotia, B0P 1L0.


Main Photo: First-year veterinary students exploring the digestive system of the equine simulator at the WCVM, made possible by a $50,000 donation from the EFC. Credit: Christina Weese

Equine Foundation of Canada


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