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Established in 1962, the Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation is a charitable foundation located in Vancouver, BC. The foundation makes grants to qualified educational and charitable organizations in correspondence to the objectives established by the Hechts in their lifetimes.


Originally from Germany and Austria, Lotte Irene Loew and John Rolf Hecht met in Winnipeg during the Second World War and were married in Vancouver in 1945. Having identified a niche market in custom cutting, they purchased a sawmill on Mitchell Island and worked in shifts to supervise the 24-hour operation, eventually establishing Associated Fuels as a vehicle for the wood by-products. Surplus funds were reinvested in the company. Beginning with the 525 Seymour building, they acquired commercial and residential properties throughout Vancouver, creating one of the largest privately held real estate investment companies in Western Canada. Among the Hechts’ most prized acquisitions, the Rogers Building and Vancouver Block are now recognized as significant historical properties.

In 1962, the Hechts established The 1945 Foundation, quietly supporting many charitable groups in Vancouver. A particular area of focus was economic education that emphasized the importance of free market principles and the Austrian School of Economics.

Following their deaths – Lotte Hecht died in 1983 and John Hecht in 1988 – the residuals of their estates were bequeathed to the Foundation with the express purpose of continuing to carry out their charitable objectives. Although the Hechts intended that their names not be associated with the Foundation, in 1993 the Directors changed the name of “The 1945 Foundation” to “Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation” as a continuing tribute to their generosity.

525 Seymour Street
Vancouver Block
Rogers Building


In 2019, the Foundation disbursed over $13 million.

Foundation Objectives

The Lotte and John Hecht Memorial Foundation has two major objectives:

  • investigation and support of innovative medical research and practices, particularly in the treatment of cancer
  • economic education that promotes the principles of a free market and its relationship to individual freedoms.

The foundation has long recognized the importance of protecting and preserving its significant historical properties in Vancouver, BC, with the aim of commemorating the architectural and cultural significance for the benefit of the public.

The foundation also provides support to organizations that provide essential services to the needy in British Columbia, as well as to a few existing charitable organizations that come to the Board’s attention.

Funding for capital projects, endowments, scholarships or bursaries is not available.

Submission Guidelines

Applicants should email info[at] to discuss their project ahead of submitting a proposal. If appropriate, a letter of intent and supporting documents will be requested.

Submission Deadlines

There are three funding cycles each year.  Applications will be accepted at any time.


Information about funded programs in each category can be found below.

Current Funding Guidelines of the Medical Research Priority

The Hecht Foundation currently aims at supporting (non-exhaustive):

Research that is novel, innovative, and disruptive, with the major focus on cancer, according to the following criteria:

  • Out-of-the-box hypotheses, either with minimal or no preliminary data;
  • Research that proposes to challenge the status quo; non-conforming hypotheses; alternative and against-the-grain ideas;
  • Tangent to current line of a researcher’s investigation, serendipitous or collateral research findings;
  • Cross disciplinary research findings that are attempted to be tested in oncology;
  • Research that will not otherwise be funded through traditional funding mechanisms;
  • Study of non-patentable molecules and substances that would still offer valuable patient support;
  • Financial support of individuals, rather than establishments.

Operating costs for integrative clinics and centres aimed at improving cancer patients’ quality of life; equipment costs (considered on case-by-case basis); etc. – with an overarching aim to support treatment practices that would offer fast and non-bureaucratic solutions to disease treatment and would not otherwise be funded by the local government.

The foundation also supports a biennial prize in the field of healthcare. To learn more, please visit

Economic Education
The Free Market and its Relationship to Individual Freedom

  • Canadian Constitution Foundation
  • Institute for Liberal Studies
    Student Seminars
  • Junior Achievement of BC
    Student Programs
  • The Fraser Institute
    Student & Teacher Programs
    The Essential Scholars

Basic Necessities

The foundation provides operational support to organizations that provide basic necessities across the province, including:

  • Covenant House
  • Kelowna Gospel Mission
  • Our Place Society
  • Salvation Army British Columbia
  • Saint Vincent de Paul – Prince George
  • Union Gospel Mission



The Hechts had an admiration for Vancouver’s historical buildings and actively preserved the heritage character of their office buildings in accordance to their historic significance. The Foundation continues to provide ongoing heritage preservation of the Rogers Building and Vancouver Block, including maintenance and restoration of its landmark clock tower.

In recognition of the Hechts’ appreciation for the city’s historic properties, the Foundation celebrates the architectural and cultural significance of historic properties across Vancouver by promoting events and educational opportunities, including tours and workshops.

Learn more about the history and significance of the Vancouver Block and its ongoing restoration at


Alena Levitz
Executive Director
Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation

502 – 325 Howe Street
Vancouver, BC  V6C 1Z7

Tel: 604.683.7575
Fax: 604.683.7580
Email: info [at]

Please note that uninvited proposals may not receive a response.

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