Supporting thriving communities is at the heart of Chip Wilson’s philanthropy.

He and his family call Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood home and believe strongly in making lasting contributions for generations of British Columbians to come. This is why The Wilson 5 Foundation is choosing to invest in two areas: the outdoors including BC’s parklands, and health care.

The environment and our health are connected in profound and everyday ways. And when it comes to health care, the Wilsons are delighted to announce a $1M gift to support Vancouver General Hospital and the team of world-class innovators at Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) and the Department of Urologic Sciences led by Drs. Martin Gleave and Larry Goldenberg.

“It always amazes me how people in all walks of life can be so passionate and dedicated to a sphere of the world others know little about,” says Chip. “I see this in Larry and Martin, and I sense the team is the best in the world at what they do.”

VGH is BC’s go-to place for treating the most complex and critically ill cases, including over 2,500 urologic cancer patients across the province every year. The urology specialists who care for these patients—saving, prolonging and improving their lives—also have thriving research programs under the banner of the VPC and its sister teams. They are advancing discoveries across the spectrum of urologic diseases: from cancers to transplants to everyday pelvic floor issues.

VPC stood out to the Wilsons because it is recognized and rated by its peers as one of the top facilities in North America focused on translational research—that sweet spot where lab discoveries turn into viable new treatments.

That passion, leadership, and capacity for globally impactful innovation spoke to Chip’s astute business sense. VPC’s record of accomplishments over the past decades speaks for itself and to the notion that success generates success. It is an attractive proposition to a philanthropist like Chip, who supports high-caliber, high-performing organizations with a demonstrated track record like the VPC.

For example, the team was the first to introduce today’s standards of care for hormone therapy and were the first to describe the use of less-invasive liquid biopsy (from blood samples). VPC also developed new cancer models that mimic the course of cancer resistance, which are now used worldwide to inform and test the development of progressive therapies to slow the spread of disease. They patented several targeted inhibitors and first-in-human trials of new anti-cancer drugs that boost survival outcomes for patients.

This is the kind of innovation and research that Chip and his family are championing right here in Vancouver, so that British Columbians are the first to benefit from cutting-edge therapeutic solutions that then become national and international standards of care. It’s innovation in areas that have fallen under the radar in the public eye until now.

“Urology issues are something most of the population deals with at some point in life, and, honestly, giving to this area is thinking proactively for the population at large,” says Chip. “We love the idea of acting for seven generations down the road. When thinking of what’s best for our generations 100 years away, we know whatever we do will work for everyone.”

The fact remains that within BC’s and Canada’s aging population, urological cancers will continue to rise. That is why urologic oncology is a high-priority programme for VPC and the Department of Urologic Sciences. And why the team and its leaders have partnered with VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation to launch an ambitious $35 million campaign. It seeks to elevate an elite organization to the status of an institute, attracting, recruiting and retaining more specialists to Vancouver to fuel homegrown innovation that will benefit people all over the world and across generations to come.

“It is inspiring to witness leaders like Chip join us to advance our bold vision,” says Dr. Larry Goldenberg, Director, Development and Supportive Care, VPC and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in Urologic Sciences at VGH. “Together, we can elevate our successes across all areas of urology, magnify our impact and translate seminal discoveries into lifesaving therapies.”

Community leaders have rallied behind the cause to support innovation today and help so many more people tomorrow, nurturing thriving communities. Join us as together, we transform urologic care. Give to the campaign today.


Learn more about how together, we are transforming urologic care.