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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. Over the past 50 years, the foundation has granted over $100 million dollars to various projects.


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.