Helen Burstyn

Helen Burstyn has enjoyed a 30-year career in government, business, and community service.

She served for over six years as the Chair of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, a government agency that makes grants to not-for-profit and charitable organizations in the social services, arts and culture, sports and recreation, and environment sectors. Together with the Honourable Eric Hoskins, she co-chaired The Partnership Project, an Ontario government initiative to strengthen the not-for-profit and voluntary sectors. She was recently named Chair of The Partnership Forum, an advisory body to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

During her 15 years in government, Helen served in various senior roles, including Director of Communications and Director of Community Economic Development for the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, and Deputy Secretary of the Premier’s Council.

After leaving public service, Helen was a senior partner in a global communications and marketing firm serving clients in financial services, health care, education, social services, manufacturing and government. She works with corporations to develop social investment strategies and with not-for-profits on their governance, community engagement, fund development and marketing programs.

Helen is an active volunteer and sits on the boards of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Luminato, the Walrus Foundation, the Canadian Journalism Foundation, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the Mayor’s Task Force on the Arts, The Learning Partnership and Harmony Hall Centre for Seniors. She is a founder and past-president of Gilda's Club Greater Toronto, a founding member of Equal Voice and Past President of the Canadian Club of Toronto. With The Boston Consulting Group and MaRS, she recently co-founded the Pecaut Centre for Social Impact, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating the next generation of social entrepreneurs.

Helen received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Community Leadership in 2010 and the Ontario Citizenship Award for Volunteer Service that same year. She was the provincial Liberal Candidate for Beaches-East York in the 2011 general election.

Helen has four daughters and a granddaughter. She has lived in Orillia, Windsor, Hamilton and Vaughan, but she was born and raised in Toronto and has lived there for the last 30 years.