Skip to content

Hey, we gotta ask

Are you of legal drinking age?

Back to news Back to previous page

Mar 22, 2024

Sleeman Better Water Fund Supports Better Water For All

At Sleeman Breweries, we understand the importance of water. In the late 1840s, John H. Sleeman’s search for clean, reliable water brought him and his brewery to Guelph, Ont. From our earliest days, maintaining the health of our communities’ water across Canada has been a priority. The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, Sleeman Breweries is writing the next chapter in our commitment to better water for all. We are pleased to announce the launch of the Sleeman Better Water Fund, an annual grant to support Canadian water conservation and clean water accessibility.

“Water is essential to everything we make at Sleeman Breweries,” says President and CEO Mike Minami. “Supporting efforts to protect this resource fits with who we are as a business and what our employees and customers tell us matters to them.”

In its inaugural year, the fund is providing $40,000 to Canadian non-profit organizations that are creating positive change in our communities in the fields of water conservation and clean water access. Sleeman Breweries hopes to grow this initiative over time.

The inaugural recipient of the Sleeman Better Water Fund is Living Lakes Canada, an organization that collaborates with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, partners, and individuals to protect Canada's freshwater resources. Living Lakes Canada is affiliated with Living Lakes International, a global network of organizations committed to enhancing, protecting, restoring, and rehabilitating freshwater areas around the globe.

“The Living Lakes Canada team is dedicated to the work we do in watersheds across the country and grateful to the communities who welcome us into their stewardship practices,” says Georgia Peck, Lakes Program Manager with Living Lakes Canada. “Through collaboration and commitment, we envision a future where water is safeguarded, plentiful, and accessible to all, nurturing biodiversity and bolstering climate resiliency."

Through Living Lakes Canada’s programs, this water stewardship non-profit is recognized as a leader in community-based water monitoring. It collects the data needed to inform adaptive watershed management and freshwater stewardship in a changing climate. Living Lakes Canada builds community capacity and supports local stewardship efforts through community engagement and training, youth programming, government outreach, and more.

“In creating the Sleeman Better Water Fund, we explored the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and found that several of the goals fit with what we want to accomplish through the fund,” says Linden Gossen, National Environmental Health and Safety Manager. “The Fund aligns with Sustainable Development Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal 13 – Climate Action, and Goal 15 – Life on Land, which contains targets to protect groundwater.”

In their application, Living Lakes Canada noted that this grant funding will directly support their science-based programs which, at their core, foster better water for all living beings.

The donation provided through the Sleeman Better Water Fund supports four projects from Living Lakes Canada:

  • Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Framework - A water and climate monitoring network, currently deployed in the BC Columbia Basin, that gathers data to address scientific gaps and community needs and inform climate adaptation strategies. The approach used in the Columbia Basin can be applied in other Canadian watersheds.
  • Water Data Hub – A central repository for watershed data to make important information easily accessible and facilitate a coordinated approach to monitoring and stewardship.
  • Foreshore Integrated Management Planning (FIMP) program – An impact assessment tool that surveys habitat value and provides guidelines for future development with a focus on conserving lake ecosystems, supporting climate resilience and protecting species of concern. The FIMP Indigenous Knowledge and Values Framework Project, in collaboration with the Upper Nicola Band, offers ways of aligning Indigenous Knowledge and Western science to support climate resilient lake management.
  • National Lake Blitz – A program that engages volunteers nationwide in citizen-science lake monitoring, contributing to participants’ better understanding of climate and other impacts on lake ecosystems.

“We are very excited to support Living Lakes Canada with our inaugural donation through the Sleeman Better Water Fund,” says Minami. “In reviewing their application, we were impressed with not just the scale of their work but also their approach in making space for Indigenous Knowledge alongside Western science.”

Living Lakes Canada employs an Applied Reconciliation Coordinator who works closely with Indigenous groups in all project areas to create meaningful engagement and to incorporate Indigenous water priorities into projects.

Applications for the next round of funding through the Sleeman Better Water Fund open this fall. Visit to learn more about the Sleeman Better Water Fund and for updates on the next funding cycle.

The Sleeman Better Water Fund is administered by the Guelph Community Foundation, a local partner that facilitates charitable giving.

Photo credit: Travis Adams

Work with us