British Columbia Sun

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Tech entrepreneur donates $14.5M to save threatened B.C. ecosystems


Key takeaways: 

  • Dax Dasilva says he likes to use some of his funds to purchase land in B.C and keep it from being developed.
  • Part of the Age of Union Alliance’s $14.5-million contribution to the B.C. Parks Foundation will go towards maintaining the Pitt River Watershed. 

A tech entrepreneur has given the B.C. Parks Foundation $14.5 million to save regional ecosystems.

The grant from the age of Union Alliance, led by Lightspeed Commerce founder Dax Dasilva, is the largest single donation in the foundation’s history, seeking to improve and expand the region’s parks system.

Part of the money will purchase land in Vancouver Island’s French Creek Estuary, a crucial eagle habitat.

“It’s a migratory stopping point as the eagles migrate and, of course, there are resident eagles, and subdivisions cover it,” Dasilva stated.

“If we didn’t watch it, I think we would be risking the future generations of eagles.”

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Dasilva also says he hopes his gift will inspire other successful business leaders to make donations.

Funds will also go to the Pitt River Watershed in Metro Vancouver and other projects. 

Dasilva, 45, was born and grown in B.C. and made his wealth with Lightspeed, a payment processing firm. He says he likes to use some of that fortune to purchase land in B.C and keep it from being developed.

“There’s a specialness to what we have here that can’t be replicated, and I think that we never want to be when we feel like we let it fall through our fingers and let it be lost,” he said.

Dasilva also expects his gift will encourage other successful business leaders to make contributions.

The previous year, a donation from the family foundation of Lululemon Athletica founder Chip Wilson and his wife, Shannon, let the foundation buy threatened Coastal Douglas fir ecosystems in the Strait of Georgia.

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