Every community in Canada should have a community foundation.
That’s the plan put forward by Governor-General David Johnson and it’s a plan endorsed by B.C.’s Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon.
To show Guichon’s commitment, it was announced during a fundraiser held at Wells Gray Inn on Saturday evening that the lieutenant-governor has agreed to become the patron of North Thompson Communities Foundation.
The target should be healthy people in a healthy land in healthy communities, Guichon said during her remarks.
She thanked all those who have supported the NTCF during its 10 years of operation.
Guichon had a question about one of the groups the foundation has contributed money to.
“What is the BC Rabbit program,” she asked. “Are we getting rid of them or propagating them?”
The lieutenant-governor appeared relieved when informed that the program teaches cross-country skiing to youngsters.
Much has changed in the North Thompson Valley during the 10 years that the foundation has been in existence, foundation chair Cheryl Thomas said.
Two sawmills (Weyerhaeuser-Vavenby and Tolko-Louis Creek) have closed, as has the prison camp near Clearwater. On the other hand, two new community forests have been created, as has the Agriplex in Barriere and the community foundation itself.
The more than 90 people attending the fundraiser included many of the leaders of the North Thompson, she said.
“Are the people in this room here by accident? I think not,” she said. “You’re the people with the rolodexes.”
A Powerpoint presentation by Barriere resident Kevin Bryant outlined the foundation’s history.
Ten years ago, when Weyerhaeuser announced it was closing its Vavenby sawmill, it left behind $50,000 as seed money for a community foundation.
That money was matched by the Vancouver Foundation, which developed opportunities for yearly granting.
Since its inception, NTCF has given away about $45,000 to more than 30 projects from Blue River to McLure.
Below: B.C. Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon and her husband, Bruce Mailloux, talk with Clearwater Mayor John Harwood during a fundraiser held Saturday evening in the Wells Gray Inn. Guichon has agreed to be the patron of the North Thompson Communities Foundation.