Trusts & Funds

The Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs is grateful that our funds and endowments open up opportunities for participation in the Institute's events and have also sustained the operations of our conference programming and year round activities. These gifts are critical to the viability, vitality and accessibility of the Couchiching Institute. We welcome and thank you for your generous designated contributions to these funds and trusts and the important arenas they support.


The Kurt Swinton / Aczel Scholarship Fund

Supporting Students, Youth and Couchiching Volunteersd

Kurt Swinton, President of Couchiching 1980-83

Kurt Swinton, President of Couchiching 1980-83

The Kurt Swinton / Aczel Scholarship Fund honours two dedicated Couchiching members - the late Kurt Swinton, a former prodigious member and President of the Institute, who was devoted to adult education and the free dissemination of ideas and Catherine Aczel Boivie, a dedicated Vancouver-based member of Couchiching Institute.

 The fund provides scholarships for Canadian students, young professionals and others who have significantly contributed to the Couchiching Institute through its committees, or who have a special interest and connection to the annual conference topic and seek to contribute meaningfully to the conference and/or have demonstrated a passionate interest and engagement in Canadian public affairs often within under-served communities across Canada and will raise awareness of issues and concerns arising from their experience within these communities.


The Eric Koch Trust

Supporting Conference Speakers

Eric Koch, Author and  Former Broadcaster

Eric Koch, Author and Former Broadcaster

Established in 2005, the Eric Koch Trust honours the singular contributions to the Institute and its programs made over the years by author, broadcaster, professor and distinguished member of the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs, Eric Koch. The trust ensures the diversity of voices at the Summer Conference by offsetting the costs of bringing outstanding speakers to our signature annual event.

As a German Jewish refugee in Britain, Eric's studies at Cambridge University were abruptly interrupted in 1940 when he was shipped as an "enemy alien" to an internment camp in Quebec. Alongside fellow erudite internees, including Kurt Swinton, another former Couchiching president, he engaged in provocative stimulating discussions while "isolated from the "Real World" and devoted to interesting, important, and, to some extent, survival subjects. "We had Couchiching," Eric says. Once out, he and other illustrious internee alumni greatly enriched Canadian cultural life, including the future development of the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs.

John Kirton, Madeline Koch, and Alan Pearson are the trustees of the Eric Koch Trust.


The Probyn-Eastman Fund

Operational Support

Barbara Eastman and the late Stephen Probyn

Barbara Eastman and the late Stephen Probyn

The Probyn-Eastman Fund was established in honour of Dr. Barbara Eastman (CIPA President, 1988-90) and her late husband and business partner Stephen Probyn (CIPA President, 1994-96) who have been longstanding champions of Couchiching. Stephen Probyn was one of North America's foremost authorities on green energy and the independent power industry. He was an entrepreneur, regulatory expert, and advisor to governments on energy and environmental policy. Founder and Chairman of The Probyn Group of companies, he pioneered long-term financing and investment essential to the "greening" of large-scale electrical power development in North America, the Caribbean, and Europe and launched the first public companies to specialize in renewable energy in Canada and the UK. He advanced public opinion and government policy favourable to a new era of sustainable energy technologies. As The Probyn Group's President since 1989, Barbara continues the legacy they built together.

The Probyn-Eastman Fund is designed to direct funds towards the Institute's general operations. This support includes marketing, website development and maintenance, coordination of youth scholarships, coordination of our year-round events across Canada, the Summer Conference program development, and the day–to-day operations and administration that the Institute requires.

Gifts from this fund are prudently disbursed at the discretion of the Couchiching Institute Board of Directors.


For more information about our Trusts and Funds or if you are interested in bequeathing a gift contact:

2016 Summer Conference

The Canada Project

Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World

August 5-7, 2016
The YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia, ON

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Couchiching Connects
April 2017
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