A Milestone Year for the Trans Canada Trail Foundation
Valerie Pringle and Hartley Richardson’s joint message
As bold as it was to think that we could connect 24,000 km of trail across this immense country, it was equally ambitious to think that we could raise the necessary $50 million and trigger an additional $25 million from the federal government. But, thanks to incredible support, raise it we did. Just think of the good will and good faith that went into this successful outcome. It’s truly motivating and heartwarming.
Our efforts at the Foundation are continually energized by the knowledge that Canadians are inspired by The Great Trail. The country responded to the vision of a lasting gift to Canada from Canadians. That vision, in turn, moved people to donate. It was understood that a gift to TCT was a gift for a greener and healthier country – in other words, an investment in our future. Our donors were thinking of their children and their children’s children, imagining generations to come enjoying the benefits of an active lifestyle.
We are so grateful for all the gifts we received – from the $25 million grant from the federal government that matched one dollar for every two raised, to the thousands of donations from Canadians. It has been a pleasure to reach out, make personal connections across the country and accept those donations with full appreciation.
This fiscal year, Jack Cockwell, our new Honorary Campaign Chair made an additional $2 million donation, bringing his total contribution to $5 million. We believe that this is likely the largest gift in support of trail development in Canada. Jack believes, as we do, that every minute you spend walking on a trail will leave you healthier and refreshed. His financial support allows all Canadians to benefit, and for that we are incredibly grateful, as well as humbled by his generosity.
In this celebratory moment, we are delighted to partner with Hudson’s Bay Company for their Canada 150 project, the Grand Portage. HBC has committed to raising $1 million for the Trail through the sales of commemorative merchandise. You can read more on this wonderful project on page 15.
BMO committed $750,000 to bridge three of the remaining gaps in southern Ontario. Those sections of the Trail were once tracks for the Grand Trunk Railway, a building initiative supported by the then Montreal Bank in the late 1800s. We thank BMO for taking us from “rail to trail.”
Supporting The Great Trail’s waterways, RBC’s generous support of $1 million will develop three signature paddling routes, supporting 500 kilometres of water routes in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. These blueway and portage routes connect Trail users to Canada’s history and the routes that played an essential role in the lives of Indigenous peoples, early traders, explorers and settlers.
We’d like to extend our thanks to all the Chapter 150 donors who have so generously embraced our vision to connect The Great Trail for 2017. It has been an honour to work together on this common goal.
Finally, our thanks to the current and new members of the TCT Foundation Board and to the Chapter 150 campaign cabinet, who have given so generously of their time, expertise and financial support. Thank you for taking up the baton and carrying it forward. The Foundation will continue to dedicate ourselves to raising the funds to support The Great Trail as a national treasure.