Aviva announces 2013 Community Fund winners

Fifth year of competition concludes, bringing total donations over $4,500,000

Toronto, ON (Jan. 30, 2014) – Aviva Canada, one of the country’s leading providers of home, automobile, recreational vehicle, group and business insurance, is pleased to announce the 10 grand prize winners of the 2013 Aviva Community Fund. The winners were selected by a panel of independent judges after millions of votes were cast by Canadians over four rounds of the competition this past September through December.

A total of $1,000,000 will be shared among projects such as Alberta’s flood ravaged Camp Gardner, an extracurricular anti-dropout school program in Quebec, a pony sanctuary in Newfoundland and playground facilities in PEI, BC and Ontario.

30 great ideas, projects and initiatives qualified for the finals of the Aviva Community Fund in December. Each of the finalists is guaranteed to receive at least $5,000 towards their cause or a registered charity of their choosing doing similar work. A group of 10 finalists have been selected to receive grand prize funding to help bring the idea or project to fruition.

“We continue to be impressed with all of the great ideas entered in the Aviva Community Fund, and it’s clear that areas such as an active and healthy youth lifestyle and environmental sustainability are near and dear to many Canadians” said Debora Hendrickson, Senior Vice President at Aviva Canada. “We are proud that this year’s winners bring our donation total to over $4.5 million through 91 community and charity groups over the last five years.”

Within the $1,000,000 in funding are prizes for initiatives within two specific categories*: (1) groups supporting at-risk youth; (2) ideas supported by an insurance broker. Both of these specific prize winners are noted in the list below.

Launched in September 2009, the Aviva Community Fund encourages Canadians to share ideas and vote online at AvivaCommunityFund.org 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 congratulates the grand prize winners of the 2013 Aviva Community Fund:

  • Courtney & Skye Buck Memorial Courtyard at Raft River Elementary – Clearwater, British Columbia
    Named for a married school teacher couple who were killed in a car accident, the courtyard will be a dynamic and vibrant outdoor space at Raft River Elementary. With over 300 students, the school has reached maximum capacity with only one playground built for younger primary students. Funding will be used to build a court area for sports, accessible playground equipment and to revitalize the surrounding outdoor space.

  • Project Ecole Mt. Prevost: Let’s Get Moving! – Duncan, British Columbia
    The recent consolidation of schools in the area resulted in the loss of a playground and outdoor classroom suitable for younger children. Funding would be used to purchase all of the necessary equipment for a playground for younger students, an exercise area for seniors, an outdoor classroom for teachers, a community garden for neighbours, a sandbox for toddlers and a picnic space for everyone.

  • Help Rebuild Alberta Flood-Ravaged Camp Gardner – Calgary, Alberta
    Scouts Camp Gardner, located 20 minutes west of Calgary, was directly affected by the massive floods that ripped through much of Alberta in the summer of 2013. Roughly half of the two-dozen structures on the property were extensively damaged or written off. More than 5,000 youngsters experience wilderness learning and adventure at Camp Gardner every year. Funding will allow for a replacement Environmental Education Centre, a hub for many of the camp’s programs, to be constructed in 2014.

  • I Am Awesome! Self Esteem & Empowerment Retreat – Emo, Ontario
    This project is a weekend retreat to instill confidence and self-esteem in young girls from ages 10-14. Attendees will learn invaluable skills through various workshops including drama, music, visual arts, yoga, creative writing, internet safety and healthy cooking. Funding will allow for an expanded 2014 retreat for 75 young women with an opportunity to attend at no cost.

  • Vincent Massey Kindergarten Playground Renewal – Ottawa, Ontario
    This project was created in hopes of improving the school’s kindergarten yard and building a new playground to replace the current play structure that is small and dilapidated. Funding from Aviva Canada will help execute plans for an age appropriate play structure, naturalized space adjacent to the playground and numerous games to be painted on the surrounding asphalt.

  • Broker Competition Grand Prize Winner*
    Make a Splash for Stacey – Sundridge, Ontario
    In memory of school teacher Stacey Stillar, the town of Sundridge will build a splash pad suitable for people of all ages and free for everyone to use. Funding will allow the Make a Splash for Stacey foundation to reach its fundraising goal and meet its timeline to have the splash pad up and running by Canada Day 2014.

  • At Risk Youth Grand Prize Winner*
    WesForYouthOnline.Ca…….It’s OKAY to ask for HELP! – Walkerton, Ontario
    This project serves Walkerton and its surrounding area, a community that has been rocked by teen suicides, youth drug and alcohol use, and an increase in issues like self-harm, eating disorders, depression and anxiety. WesForYouthOnline.ca (WFYO) is a free and confidential online counseling service founded in memory of local youth Wes Cameron. Funding will pay for centre renovations and resources, a youth advisory committee facilitator, marketing products and workshop speakers, and will impact hundreds of vulnerable youth.

  • Paul-Hubert extracurricular anti-dropout program (Le parascolaire contre le décrochage scolaire au Paul-Hubert) – Rimouski, Quebec
    After participating in the Aviva Community Fund for the third year, the leaders of this program are rewarded for their perseverance with grand-prize funding. Funding from Aviva will provide much needed equipment and resources for extra-curricular activities such as music, robotics and sports. These programs reach almost 600 Paul Hubert High School students and are designed to engage and motivate those in danger of dropping out.

  • Souris Playground for ALL – Souris, Prince Edward Island
    In the fall of 2014, young students in Souris, PEI will be relocated to the local high school that is currently under renovation to become a consolidated institution. The school does not have a playground and funding from the Aviva Community Fund will provide a diverse outdoor play space with a variety of features to allow for universal access to children and adults of all abilities.

  • Change Islands Newfoundland Pony Sanctuary – Change Islands, Newfoundland
    The community of Change Islands relies on the pony sanctuary as a tourism draw thereby feeding the local economy. Today there are only 250 breed worthy ponies remaining in the province and the program is a breeding initiative to increase the population of ponies to a sustainable number. Funding will provide a new, larger barn and additional facilities including an office and store to help the sanctuary become self-sufficient and less reliant on donors and fundraisers.

$5,000 Winners**

  • Let’s Play Together! Evans Elementary Community Playground – Chilliwack, BC
  • North Island Wildlife Recovery Association – Errington, BC
  • Palsson Playground Improvement – Lake Cowichan, BC
  • Youth4Tap Windermere – Vancouver, BC
  • Community Playground at Qayqayt – Westminster, BC
  • SAINT-ANDRé Playground Project – Beaumont, AB
  • Shelter from the Storm – Edmonton, AB
  • The Cultural Café project: Jobs for the Visually Impaired – Markham, ON
  • The Lanark Animal Welfare Society (LAWS) needs your support! – Smiths Falls, ON
  • Une nouvelle cour d’école pour Gaston-Pilon! / A brand new schoolyard – Boisbriand, QC
  • Donnez un toit à notre piscine! – Quebec City, QC
  • Refuge Anni-Maux – Saint-Bernard, QC
  • Help Us Help Animals by Completing Our New Shelter! – Dalhousie, NB
  • Refuge Madawaska Shelter Inc. Let’s build! Construisons! – Edmundston, NB
  • Be Their Best Friend – Moncton, NB
  • A low cost cat spay and neuter program in Saint John – Saint John, NB
  • Youth Engagement Centre for At Risk Youth – Summerside, PEI
  • The St. Margaret’s Bay Skate Park Project – Hubbards, NS
  • Greyhound Pets of Atlantic Canada Facility – Musquodoboit Harbour, NS
  • A Beagle’s Dream – St. John’s, NL

**$5,000 will be allocated to each non-grand prize winning finalist for contribution to a registered charity of their choosing doing similar work.

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 company has more than 3,000 employees, 25 locations and 1,700 independent broker partners. Aviva Canada and its employees invest in positive change including through the Aviva Community Fund and Eva’s Initiatives, its partner in Aviva’s global Street to School program to help homeless and other at-risk youth reach their potential.

For more information visit AvivaCommunityFund.org or AvivaCanada.com.