Durham College (DC) announced today that it has named the Centre for Food (CFF) at the Whitby campus after Mr. W. Galen Weston in recognition of a $1-million grant being made to the college by the W. Garfield Weston Foundation (the Foundation). One of Canada’s most prominent business executives, Mr. W. Galen Weston is a leader in food innovation who has been at the forefront of change in the food retailing and baking industries for more than five decades. From bagging groceries in the supermarket to Executive Chairman of George Weston Limited, he has remained committed to the continued advancement of the food industry through teaching and learning.
Focused on the field-to-fork concept, the CFF opened to students in September 2013. Home to a range of complementary programs, the Centre boasts numerous sustainable features and extensive grounds including an apple orchard, agricultural planting fields and a ramped garden feature with a pollinator garden and two-acre arboretum, providing a teaching and learning environment for students, the local agri-food industry, community organizations and the general public. In addition, the grounds include an unheated hoop house, gardens and greenhouses that support applied learning and research while growing produce for use in the Centre’s kitchens and laboratories. The CFF also features Bistro ’67, a full-service, teaching-inspired restaurant, and Pantry, a unique retail store for student-created goods, which are both open to the public.
“Durham College is honoured to receive this significant gift from the W. Garfield Weston Foundation,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “On behalf of the college, in particular the hundreds of students studying in our CFF programs, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the W. Garfield Weston Foundation for its generosity. Mr. W. Galen Weston is one of Canada’s most accomplished businessmen and philanthropists and well renowned for his leadership in the food processing and distribution industries. The Weston family has long supported the field-to-fork concept and we are extremely proud to have his name linked permanently to the CFF.”
The second significant contribution made by the Foundation in the last two years, this gift is being used to establish $100,000 worth of scholarships and bursaries for students studying in a two-year field-to-fork program; develop new research and testing programs related to food product development and food processing studies; and to purchase equipment to support new research programs related to agriculture and agri-food products.
“I have spent my entire life working in the food business and have seen it evolve dramatically since my younger days working in the bakery with my father. I am proud to be supporting the innovative programs offered in the Centre for Food,” said W. Galen Weston. “These young people are the future leaders of our industry.”
“Ontario’s food and beverage manufacturing sector is the third largest in North America with manufacturing revenues of more than $35 billion and the agri-food industry is the leader for goods production in Durham Region,” added Lovisa. “This gift will enable DC to further its commitment to bring the field-to-fork philosophy to life, harness the vibrant relationships in our region’s food industry, and provide a lasting legacy that will benefit our students and the region now and in the years ahead.”