"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

- Jack Layton

August 22, 2021 will mark the tenth anniversary of Member of Parliament and Leader of the Official Opposition Jack Layton’s untimely death. While Jack is dearly missed by many, his spirit of service and optimism lives on. Jack believed change is possible when we all come together - so that’s exactly what we’re doing. The Layton Legacy is a project that commemorates, celebrates, and inspires others to see the world the way Jack did. The project will culminate in a national online celebration of Jack’s life on August 22, featuring a lineup of activists, special guests and artists assembled with the help of Barenaked Ladies lead vocalist, Steven Page.

 The Legacy will be providing a new scholarship to commemorate Jack’s passion for teaching and working with students. Two awards will also be granted: the activism award, which will aid activists who share Jack’s vision of transformative change, and the Indigenous leadership award, which will support Indigenous changemakers in their leadership journeys. The winners of the scholarship and awards will be announced at the August 22nd virtual event. 

Know someone who might be a good fit for a scholarship or award? Please nominate them here.


More than ever, Jack's message of love, hope and optimism is needed as we face challenges from building a just recovery, tackling climate change, to bringing about true reconciliation. Jack was a tenacious fundraiser and he always took action. He helped raise millions of dollars over his career for worthy causes and campaigns. Now it’s our turn to give back. 

As we commemorate the 10th memorial anniversary of Jack’s passing and remind Canadians of his contributions to our society, please consider making a generous donation towards the Layton Legacy today. 


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The Institute for Change Leaders is a Canadian registered charity that can issue official donation receipts (no. 763310679 RR 0001). ICL is brought to you by the Faculty of Community Services at Toronto Metropolitan University.

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