Message from Valerie Pringle, Chair of the TCT Foundation Board

A legacy that unites all Canadians

I am deeply connected to The Great Trail. I was smitten 20 years ago when I first saw the thin red line on a map of Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific and the Arctic oceans. At first, it was just the idea of it – the bold vision of a recreational trail from coast to coast to coast that is open to all.

Today, the Trail is a brilliant way to get outside, spend time in nature and get some exercise, which we know makes us healthier and happier.
I, and many others, worked hard to connect the Trail across the country, and we continue to raise essential funds for this national legacy.

We are so grateful to our many wonderful donors for their support in the past financial year. Last June, Enterprise Rent-a-Car Foundation gave a generous gift to improve accessibility on the Trail. Meanwhile, Teck renewed their commitment by supporting Trail enhancement projects in the Kootenays, British Columbia. Another incredible gift from Sherritt International will help make the Trail safer and better in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.

On a personal note, I am indebted to Hartley Richardson, my wonderful co-chair, who retired this year and who was instrumental in raising funds for the connection of The Great Trail. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the members of the TCT Foundation Board, who continue to offer their expertise so selflessly.

So, now what? Even though the Trail is connected, it isn’t complete. And that brings us to the next phase – the one where we breathe life into that word ‘connection’ by reaffirming our commitment to the continued growth, enhancement and preservation of The Great Trail. We call it the Deeply Connected Campaign.

After all, connection – meaningful connection – is a central idea of The Great Trail. The physical Trail connects us to our Canadian landscape and therefore to our history, geography and all who have blazed those trails before us. It connects us to ourselves and to one another.

My connection to The Great Trail is profound. It’s love, actually. There are so many amazing moments I have experienced along the Trail, like the joy I felt standing alongside the great-great-great-grandson of Chief Isadore on the Chief Isadore Trail in Cranbrook, British Columbia – a moment when history, culture and community came together. There is the meditation that comes when I walk beside the Niagara River with my dogs.

By supporting Canada’s national Trail, you are leaving something tangible for your children and your grandchildren. You are celebrating your connection to Canada. Thank you so much for supporting this national legacy.