About the Foundation

Our Mission:

To Improve Human & Planetary Health Through Food  

The majority of The Arrell Family Foundation’s grants and investments are in the areas of food research, food security and sustainability and transforming food policy across Canada. We also support select hospitals in Toronto and surrounding areas, mental health initiatives, innovative research,  indigenous reconciliation and Cystic Fibrosis.

The foundation supports a wide array of projects in our areas of focus, from research to capacity building, bricks and mortar, convening and policy advocacy. We also co-create projects and programs with grantees and partners, both private and public, often with the goal of getting the government to ultimately fund on an ongoing basis.

We support registered Canadian charities or Canada Revenue Agency qualified donees only.

Giving Back through Helping Others

Board of Directors

Laura Arrell

Managing Director

Laura Arrell is the managing director of the Arrell Family Foundation, which works to improve human and planetary health through food. A director of her family’s foundation for many years, she has been running it since 2015. 

Prior to working at the foundation, Laura worked at US investment bank, Raymond James. She was at Raymond James 15 years, working most recently as Managing Director, US Institutional Equity Sales.  She is also mother to three children, and is passionate about cooking and anything related to food, and travel.

Tony Arrell


Anne Arrell

Treasurer and Secretary

Tony and and Anne Arrell both have small town backgrounds raised in rural Ontario. Tony grew up in a family where his mother spent much of her professional career in the service of the Children’s Aid Society. His father was judge in the juvenile and family court system and was very involved with societal problems.

Anne’s background was also a humble one with a widowed mother and 5 young brothers and sisters. Anne and Tony met as students at the University of Guelph where they both graduated and have been involved over the years.

Tony and Anne always have had the idea that if they were successful in life, they would try and spend a lot of their resources and time helping others. Tony has been very fortunate in the investment business, as an investor and as one of the founders of Burgundy Asset Management — a business in which he is still very involved.

The Arrell‘s established their family foundation 15 years ago to pursue philanthropy in education and medical research. In recent years that support has expanded to include food security and quality. In the recent pandemic the foundation has been an active supporter of food security for those in need. The Arrell Family Foundation supports research and systems change in Canada via investing in food and healthcare initiatives which often involve advocacy and policy work. 

Tony grew up in a small town, Caledonia Ontario. Tony grew up in a family where his mother spent much of her professional career in the service of the Children’s Aid Society. His father was judge in the juvenile and family court system and was very involved with societal problems.

Tony attended the University of Guelph, earning a BSc; and later an MBA from Schulich. While at Guelph, he hot very interested in investments and opened an investment account at SOMETHING; he bought his first stock at age 20. This early interest led to an early career in investment research, as an analyst and Director of Research at several prominent firms.  Tony was inspired early on by several excellent businesspeople, such as George Gardiner and Warren Buffet.

Tony was a founder of Burgundy Asset Management, where he remains actively involved as Chairman. The firm has been very successful got its clients and is well known for its support of philanthropic activities. Throughout his career, he has been recognized for his business and philanthropic achievements; including Honorary Doctorates from both universities he attended as well as receiving the Order of Canada.

The Arrell‘s established their family foundation in 1999 to pursue philanthropy in education and medical research. In recent years that support has expanded to include food security and quality.

Anne Arrell grew up in a small town, Elmira Ontario. She attended the University of Guelph, graduating in 1968 with a BHSc (Hon). Tony and Anne met at University in Anne’s first year and married upon her graduation.

The Arrell’s bought their first farm in 1969 and have had an operating farm for most of their time together after that; breeding and raising beef cattle, among other things.

Anne taught high school Family Studies for seven years before becoming a mother and coordinating the development of four young Canadians!

Anne has been very supportive of Tony’s career in the investment industry, particularly in the early days of Burgundy Asset Management, which was founded over 30 years ago. She has had a long involvement in philanthropy and has been very active in the charitable world, including: the executive of Timothy Eaton Memorial Church; Cystic Fibrosis; the Garden Club of Toronto; and The National Ballet. Recently, Anne became the Chair of the Arts Access Foundation.

Anne Co-Founded the Arrell Family Foundation with Tony in 1999.

Ashleigh Arrell






Richard Rooney


Advisory Committee

Alan Bernstein

President & CEO of CIFAR

Alan Bernstein is President & CEO of CIFAR, where he has elevated CIFAR to become one of the world’s preeminent global research organizations. He is one of Canada’s leading scientists, with over 225 peer-reviewed publications with landmark contributions to hematopoiesis, retrovirology and cancer. He has also authored or co-authored over 70 opinion pieces in the press in Canada and the US on the importance of science and research to improving health and well-being.

Between 2000-2007, he served as the founding president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) where he led the country through a major transformation in the organization and funding of health research.

He is or has been a member of advisory and review boards in Canada, the U.S., U.K., China, Italy, Portugal, France and Australia, including the Sabin-Aspen Vaccine Science and Policy Group, the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Canada’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force.

Alan’s contributions to science and science policy have been recognized with numerous awards and honorary degrees, including Officer of the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, the McLaughlin Medal from the Royal Society of Canada, the Award of Excellence from the Genetics Society of Canada, the Gairdner Foundation Wightman Award, induction into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, and the 2017 Henry Friesen International Prize in Health Research.

Tom McCullough

Chairman and CEO of Northwood Family Office

Tom McCullough is Chairman and CEO of Northwood Family Office, Canada’s leading multi-family office. He has spent over 35 years in the wealth management/family office field.

Tom is a frequent speaker on issues relevant to families of wealth and is the co-author of three books — Family Wealth Management: 7 Imperatives for Successful Investing in the New World Order, Wealth of Wisdom: The Top 50 Questions Wealthy Families Ask, and the soon-to-bereleased Wealth of Wisdom: Top Practices for Wealthy Families and Their Advisors

He is an Adjunct Professor and Executive-in-Residence in the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management MBA program. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Wealth Management and a member of the board of directors of the Ultra High Net Worth Institute. He was recently awarded ‘Best Individual Contribution to Thought Leadership in the Wealth Management Industry’ in North America by the 2020 Family Wealth Report Awards.

Franco Vaccarino


Dr. Franco Vaccarino is the former President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guelph, Canada, one of Canada’s top comprehensive Universities. As president he created a new strategic framework which has led to a renewed commitment and leadership role in sustainability and internationalization for the University. He has also been a champion for student mental health, believing that one’s state of well-being is the single biggest predictor of personal or professional success.

Previously, Dr. Vaccarino served as Vice-President of the University of Toronto and Principal of University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), where he led the growth and expansion of both corporate and academic functions of the UTSC, including the development of a forward-looking master plan that has paid major dividends for the University and the community.  Dr. Vaccarino has also served as former Vice President, Research and former Executive Vice President, Programs at CAMH, Canada’s largest mental health and addictions teaching hospital.

Beyond his organizational leadership roles, Dr. Vaccarino is also an internationally recognized neuroscientist serving as a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Guelph, and having previously served as Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology and Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto. In addition to being a highly published professor and scientist, Dr. Vaccarino has received numerous distinguished awards for his scientific contributions and continues to be invited to speak around the world on issues pertaining to neuroscience and mental health.

His contributions to the scientific community have been recognized at the highest levels, including major awards and recognitions from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CCNP). In 1999, he was appointed by the Minister of Health, as a Member of the Interim Governing Council – responsible for the creation and establishment of the CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the core federal pillar for funding of health research in Canada).  In 2004, he served as the principal editor of the World Health Organization’s “Neuroscience of Psychoactive Substance Use and Dependence” report, the first comprehensive report published by the WHO focused on the biological basis of substance dependence. Dr. Vaccarino is a member of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) and in 2015, he was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (FCAHS), considered among the highest honors in the Canadian Health Sciences community. He is also the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Organizations We’ve Supported

Food/ Planetary Health

  • Arrell Food Institute at University of Guelph
  • The Stop
  • Community Food Centres Canada
  • Nourish
  • Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario
  • Food Secure Canada
  • UHN Food RX

Mental Health

  • CAMH Bridging Clinic
  • CAMH Recovery Clinic

Indigenous Reconciliation/Food Security

  • Northern Manitoba Food Culture Community Collaborative
  • Northern Ontario Indigenous Food Security Collaborative


  • Canadian Institute For Advanced Research (CIFAR)
  • Brain Canada
  • rTMS
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Parkinsons


  • St Michael’s Hospital
  • CAMH
  • Collingwood Hospital
  • Toronto Western


  • L’Arche
  • New Circles