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This Act is current to April 2, 2024
See the Tables of Legislative Changes for this Act’s legislative history, including any changes not in force.

University Foundations Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 471

2Foundations continued
3Foundations are agents of the government
4Capital of foundations
5Purposes and powers
8Investment powers
9Liability of members
10Investment counsel
11Distribution of funds and property
13Annual audit required
14Exemption from property taxes
15Business Corporations Act does not apply


1   In this Act:

"board" means the board of a foundation;

"foundation" means a foundation listed in section 2 (1).

Foundations continued

2   (1) The following foundations are continued as corporations:

(a) The University of British Columbia Foundation;

(b) Simon Fraser University Foundation;

(c) Foundation for the University of Victoria;

(d) University of Northern British Columbia Foundation;

(e) Royal Roads University Foundation.

(2) A foundation referred to in subsection (1) consists of a board of 5 members appointed by the board of governors of the relevant university.

(3) The term of office of a member appointed under subsection (2) is 3 years.

(4) A person may be reappointed but must not be a member for more than 6 consecutive years.

(5) Members serve without remuneration other than the payment of expenses incurred in discharging their duties under this Act.

(6) [Repealed 2003-48-37.]

(7) The board of governors of the relevant university must designate as the chair one of the members of the board of the foundation.

(8) A vacancy in the membership of a board does not impair the power of the remaining members to act.

(9) A board may, by bylaw,

(a) determine its own procedure,

(b) provide for the regulation and conduct of its meetings, and

(c) elect an acting chair in the absence of the chair.

Foundations are agents of the government

3   Each foundation is for all purposes an agent of the government.

Capital of foundations

4   (1) The capital of each foundation is one share with a par value of $100.

(2) The share in each foundation must be issued to and registered in the name of the Minister of Finance and must be held by that minister on behalf of the government.

Purposes and powers

5   (1) The purposes of each foundation are as follows:

(a) to develop, foster and encourage public knowledge and awareness of the relevant university and the benefits to the people of British Columbia in connection with that university;

(b) to encourage, facilitate and carry out programs and activities that will directly or indirectly increase the financial support of, or confer a benefit on, the foundation for support of the relevant university and programs in which that university is involved;

(c) to receive, manage and invest funds and property of every nature and kind from any source for the establishment, operation and maintenance of the foundation and to further the purposes of the foundation.

(2) Each foundation has the powers and capacity of a natural person of full capacity.

(3) Some or all of the accumulated capital of a university that is available for investment, whether it belongs outright to the university or is held in trust, may be transferred to the relevant foundation as the board of governors of that university may direct and, on being transferred, vests in that foundation subject to conditions the board of governors may specify at the time of transfer.

(4) If capital that is transferred under subsection (3) arose from a gift, devise or bequest to the university, the foundation is subject to any conditions in the gift, devise or bequest to the same extent as the university.

(5) A foundation to which capital has been transferred under subsection (3) may transfer the capital back to the university from which it was received.


6   A board may establish the bylaws of the foundation.


7   (1) On behalf of and in the name of the foundation, a board may raise or secure the payment or repayment of money in the manner it decides.

(2) In particular but without limiting subsection (1), a board may raise or secure the payment or repayment of money by the issue of debentures.

Investment powers

8   (1) Subject to a contrary intent expressed in a gift, devise, bequest or trust, section 15 of the Trustee Act does not apply to investments made by each foundation, and a board may make investments that a prudent person would make.

(2) If money is transferred to a foundation by a university, subsection (1) applies to the investment of that money.

Liability of members

9   A member of a foundation is not personally liable for loss or damage suffered by a person as a result of anything done in good faith in the exercise of a power given by this Act.

Investment counsel

10   (1) A foundation may employ the services of investment counsel and set their remuneration.

(2) Investments or reinvestments must be made under the direction of the board or by the investment counsel subject to the approval of the board.

Distribution of funds and property

11   (1) A board may determine by resolution the manner in which the funds and property available in each year are to be used and distributed for the benefit of the university and its programs, faculty and students.

(2) In making a determination under subsection (1), the board must be governed by the provisions of any gift, devise, bequest or trust or any conditions in a transfer under section 5 (3).

(3) If, in the opinion of a board, the directions, terms or trusts imposed by a donor, settlor, transferor or will-maker are no longer in the best interests of the foundation, the board may apply to a judge of the Supreme Court for an order authorizing such variation of the directions, terms or trusts as the court, having the intent of the donor, settlor, transferor or will-maker in mind, considers will better further both that intent and the best interests of the foundation.

(4) Sections 86 and 87 of the Trustee Act apply to the application referred to in subsection (3).


12   A board may

(a) appoint the officers and employees it considers necessary, and

(b) by resolution determine the terms and conditions of their employment.

Annual audit required

13   Unless the Auditor General is appointed in accordance with the Auditor General Act as the auditor of a foundation, the board must appoint an auditor who is authorized to be the auditor of a company under sections 205 and 206 of the Business Corporations Act to audit the accounts of the foundation at least once each year.

Exemption from property taxes

14   Property vested in a foundation is exempt from taxation under the Community Charter, the Local Government Act, the Vancouver Charter, the Taxation (Rural Area) Act and the School Act if the property is being used for educational purposes in connection with a program operated by the relevant university.

Business Corporations Act does not apply

15   (1) Subject to an order under subsection (2), the Business Corporations Act does not apply to the foundations continued under this Act.

(2) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by order, direct that some or all of the Business Corporations Act does apply.