The Dilawri Foundation, over the years has donated tens of millions of dollars to Canadian health and children’s charities and more recently, the Foundation announced the largest ever donation to a public library in Canada.
At a small event in a Central Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Ajay Dilawri committed $5 million to the Vancouver Public Library Foundation. The money will be used to reimagine over 3,000 square feet, enabling the library to create new and enhanced program spaces, services and resources for the Central library’s No. 1 customers – children and families.
“The Dilawri Foundation prioritizes the needs of the children in communities across Canada with programs that address their health and emotional well-being,” said Dilawri, one of three founders of The Dilawri Foundation along with his brothers Kap and Tony. “Parents and caregivers of young children who are new to Vancouver, and those who have lived here for years, gravitate to the Vancouver Public Library for learning, support, a sense of belonging, and community connection. Our goal is to help build a library of the future to address these needs for generations to come.”
The Children’s Library is the Vancouver Public Library’s most popular area, with over 1,100 programs operating for children throughout the year. However, the lack of space has impacted the development and creation of new programming to fill increasing demand. Children age five to nine are the library’s biggest users, borrowing an average of 70 items per year.
Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said: “I’d like to give a huge thanks to the Dilawri family. This donation from The Dilawri Foundation will ensure the Vancouver Public Library continues to be a central hub for learning and community building at both a local and national level. In recognition of this extraordinary contribution we are pleased to announce the two plazas outside Central library, facing Robson and Georgia streets, will be named Dilawri Square.”
Construction is estimated to begin in 2020 and will add innovative learning spaces with new sensory learning elements for young children, including those with autism and/or unique learning needs.
Once completed, the Central library will include new activity zones for toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged kids, and new resources to further expand the library’s early childhood education programs. In addition, the renovated space will offer support programs for parents, grandparents and caregivers and improved resources for the growing number of library users.
The Dilawri Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Dilawri Group of Companies, Canada’s largest automotive group with 68 dealerships representing 30 brands and over 3,500 employees across Canada. -CINEWS