Aviva Community Fund: A million reasons to celebrate!

January 25, 2012 – Aviva Canada Inc. is pleased to announce the recipients of the third Aviva Community Fund competition, and this year Canadians helped select 12 worthy ideas representing communities nationwide. A total of $1,000,000 will be awarded to these diverse local projects, including school yards in Ontario and Alberta, an animal rescue facility in British Columbia and a youth camp in Quebec, among others. This unique competition created by property and casualty insurer Aviva Canada aims to lead, empower and support community initiatives across the country.

“We’re proud to be able to support such a great group of organizations in their efforts to improve communities across Canada,” said Maurice Tulloch, President and CEO of Aviva Canada. “We’d like to thank our broker partners who stepped up and got involved in the competition this year, along with our vendors and all Canadians that supported the Aviva Community Fund.”

Launched in September 2009, the Aviva Community Fund encourages Canadians to share ideas and vote for causes that are meaningful to their communities. After several rounds of voting to identify Canada’s favourite ideas, a panel of independent judges is tasked with reviewing the causes and selecting the winners.

Aviva Canada would like to thank the numerous community partners that contributed to the Aviva Community Fund this year including Abilities Foundation, Benevity, Canadian Mental Health Association, Child Welfare League of Canada, Diabetes Hope Foundation, Essential Accessibility, Food Banks Canada, Free The Children, Learning for a Sustainable Future, March of Dimes, National Alliance for Children and Youth, ParticipACTION, Psychology Foundation of Canada, Seeds Foundation and Volunteer Canada.

Aviva Canada congratulates the winners of the 2011 Aviva Community Fund:

Kitchen Equipment to Help Feed Bodies and Soul: Kamloops, BC – The PIT (People In Transition) Stop team serves meals to over 150 less fortunate members of the community every week at the Kamloops United Church. Support from the Aviva Community Fund will enable the PIT Stop team to add much needed equipment to their kitchen which is also used by community organizations and after school programs.

Northern Lights Wildlife Society, Bear Rescue Facility: Smithers, BC – NLWS is a volunteer based charity dedicated to rehabilitating injured and/or orphaned juvenile wildlife back into the wild. To aid in the growing demand on the bear rescue facility, the Aviva Community Fund will provide the resources to add fencing for a 10,000 square foot area, a shelter space and activity opportunities for the bears.

Holyrood School Courtyard Classroom: Edmonton, AB – With support from Aviva Canada, Holyrood Elementary School will create a vibrant outdoor courtyard classroom. The classroom will be used by the students, a local senior’s centre, an extended care facility and group home. The classroom will include vegetable gardens, native shrubs, small trees, log seating and pathways.

G.S. Lakie Convertible Theatre/Summer Arts Institute: Lethbridge, AB – Support from the Aviva Community Fund will allow G.S. Lakie Middle School to add lighting and other technical requirements to transform their multi-use foyer into a theatre to house summer arts programs, workshops and festivals for youth across Western Canada. The space can accommodate up to 700 spectators and is used by the school, various arts groups and the community at large.

Yorkton Skateboard, Bike and Walking Park: Yorkton, SK – Yorkton was hit hard by flood waters in 2010, causing severe damage to many homes and businesses. As part of the Brodie Avenue Redevelopment Project, funding from the Aviva Community Fund will be matched by the City of Yorkton for the construction of a skateboard, bike and walking park.

Kate’s Kause Accessible and Inclusive Playground: Elmira, ON – Elmira does not currently have a playground that is accessible for those with disabilities. Through funding from Aviva Canada, Kate’s Kause will build a playground structure with access for those with physical limitations, while addressing the needs of children with cognitive, visual, sensory and auditory disabilities.

St. John School’s Field of Dreams: Guelph, ON – St. John School has a vision to see their entire playground and surrounding green space transformed into a shady, more naturalized and stimulating outdoor environment for students and the community. With support of the Aviva Community Fund, the school will add a junior kindergarten enclosure, outdoor classroom, outdoor reading room and a volleyball court.

St. Joseph’s Villa/S.I.M Gym (Seniors in Motion): Dundas, ON – The SIM Gym at St. Joseph’s Villa is a fitness program that supports active aging and reduces the impact of age-related injuries and health problems. Funding from Aviva Canada will allow St. Joseph’s to increase their space and SIM program by 75%, accommodate a growing wait list, add new programs, expand hours of operation and increase membership.

Cameron Street Public School’s Yard Revitalization: Collingwood, ON – Cameron Street Public School, with Funding from Aviva Canada, will create natural play spaces where children can play and learn throughout their property. Improvements include an outdoor classroom with a sensory and vegetable garden, landscaping, resurfaced baseball diamonds, tarmac areas and a natural playground.

Give our Lions a Place to Roar (Lincoln Centennial Public School): St. Catharines, ON – After over five years with no outdoor play structure, Lincoln Centennial Public School will use funding from the Aviva Community Fund to create an outdoor playground for their community and students, including a special-needs class.

The Cascades Club: Chelsea, QC – The Cascades Club is an active waterfront community organization that has been operating summer camps, as well as swimming and various boating programs, since 1920. Support from Aviva Canada will assist in securing a 1/3 acre waterfront property so the 800 members and hundreds touched through outreach programs may enjoy and benefit from waterfront activities on the Gatineau River.

All Natural Play Area – Centre de plein air Domaine-Notre-Dame: Sainte-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, QC – The Centre de plein air Domaine-Notre-Dameis a camp facility that encourages education, respect and accountability. The camp uses science workshops, cooking creation and expression, physical games, horseback riding and general camping to help youth aged 2 to 14 to develop. Funding from Aviva Canada will help create a cooking laboratory, recycling amenities, resurfacing of sport areas as well as the addition of picnic tables and change room facilities.

About Aviva Canada

Aviva Canada is one of the leading Property and Casualty insurance groups in Canada providing home, automobile, recreational vehicle, group and business insurance to more than three million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the world’s sixth-largest insurance group, the company has more than 3,000 employees, 30 locations and 1,700 independent broker partners. Aviva Canada and its employees invest in positive change including through the Aviva Community Fundand Eva’s Initiatives, its partner in Aviva’s global Street to School program to help homeless and other at-risk youth reach their potential.