Communities in Unity ~ April 2015 


"Do your little bit of good where you are.   It is those little bits put together that overwhelm the world." ~Desmond Tutu~  


This month we are proud to present positive changes to the community, which will take place this October - "Nourishing the North." The Community Foundation has refocused our annual Gala to this new dynamic evening of friendship and socializing, wine and appetizers.


We are also very excited to bring special guest speaker Jowi Taylor to the event and to the region. Jowi's songs and storytelling are inspiring and entertaining, and his passion for Canada is clear. His presentation has been referred to as a "national treasure."


What is most important about this event, and about the work that we do, are the organizations and needs that will be nourished. Our Foundation provides opportunities for you to support - to nourish - community, to support these needs. We provide opportunities for you to be an instrument of change.


We welcome our new staff and we are excited to introduce to you our newest board members. Our board is a made up of a diverse group of volunteers who share a passion and energy for community. We also extend our sincere appreciation for our outgoing board members and for their commitment to our organization.


And just a reminder . . . take a few minutes out of your day to take our Grande Prairie Area's Vital Signs survey and tell us what you think your community's strengths and areas of need are. It's a bit like a community "report card" and an important tool that guides decision-making in all areas of the community. Whether you live in the City, County or nearby area, your voice is important!


Please feel free to contact me at 780-538-2820 or by replying to this e-mail to discuss how you can partner with the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta and how you can impact and inspire others in your community.


Your community makes you. And you make your community.



New Board Members and Officers 


At our AGM on Wednesday evening, the Community Foundation welcomed new board members Darren Kjemhus, Gareth Pugh, Sandy McDonald and Brooks Hoffos. The Board also appointed Ryan Blais as Chair and Amanda Reimer as Vice Chair. Devon Wardley is continuing on as Treasurer.


Our new directors bring to the board a variety of skills and backgrounds. The following provides some background on these committed individuals and highlights some of the reasons they are looking forward to being part of our organization:   


Darren Kjemhus: Darren brings to the Foundation experience in leadership, finance, corporate finance and relationship development. His business background and board experience will be a tremendous support to the work of the Community Foundation.


Sandy McDonald:

Says Sandy: "My wife and I have chosen to reside and raise our family here in this community, and, as a result, we have benefitted greatly as a family. My role on the board is a way of giving back and contributing to the short-term and long-term health of our community."   

Gareth Pugh: Grant says he has been fortunate that practicing law has given him the opportunity to get involved in various activities and organizations. Says Grant: "I interact with the low income community through educational seminars and outreach clinics and am involved with events that provide int eraction with several charities. These activities have really helped me understand community need

New Board Members & Officers 2015

s and strengths."


Scott Henderson:  "I was raised in small town Saskatchewan, and have a very strong sense of community.  I have witnessed a lot of parallels in Grande Prairie and wish to give back to this tremendous community my family now calls home".  


Brooks Hoffos: Brooks is a long-time member of the Grande Prairie area, is a passionate entrepreneur, and is involved in other community organizations. He values the direction, growth and opportunity that the Community Foundation has ahead of it and is excited to bring his skills to the board table.


At the AGM the members accepted our 2014 Annual Report, take a peek and tell us your thoughts. 



Your Voice is Important!   
Have you taken the Vital Signs Survey?


If you live or work in the City of Grande Prairie, County of Grande Prairie or nearby communities, tell us what you think about your quality of life? What's working? What would you improve?


Our Grande Prairie Area's Vital Signs survey results are used by community decision-makers and by local citizens to identify where the most "pressing" needs are in the community and where we need to "stay the course." It examines a number of topics including transportation, housing and homelessness, environment, education, sense of belonging and much more.


Vital Signs is the only project of its kind in our region, its purpose to inform our community by looking at both the statistics and citizens' perceptions . . . we know that the two can tell very different, but very important stories. Our communities can then be connected to the issues in an informed manner so we can most effectively respond to local needs and priorities.


Take the Survey Here which will be distributed this October. 



Exciting New Changes To Share  
Nourishing the North Wine & Auction - October 15, 2015 


We are honored to announce the Community Foundation has refocused our annual Gala to a new dynamic evening of friendship and socializing, wine and appetizers. It is our pleasure to announce the debut of our special guest speaker Jowi Taylor of Six String Nation.


"Nourishing the North Wine & Auction" will take place from 7 pm to 11 pm on Thursday, October 15 at the ENTREC Centre. The evening promises to be an unforgettable experience of friends and supporters coming together with a focus on partnering with the Community Foundation to nourish Northwestern Alberta. We look forward to seeing you there.


Jowi will spend time in our local schools sharing his stories with local and regional youth, nourishing and inspiring with his songs and storytelling of the history of our nation.  Meet Jowi by following this link


Nourishing our Community

With this event, our Community Foundation is focused on looking at ways we can nourish our communities. Nourishing the community is important to our organization through social change.   This community nourishing`` includes supporting projects like (but not limited to):


Children & Youth - Camp Tamarack. Inspiring confidence in a safe and nurturing camp environment for youth and adults of all ages and abilities.

Seniors - Elders Caring Shelter Society. Bridging the generational gap. Uniting elder & youth at a retreat to learn about heritage and culture.


Social Services - Salvation Army. Caring for those in need.


Sports & Recreation - Winning Edge Seminars on Health & Nutrition serving all ages.

Education - Student Awards. Helping students succeed and meet their goals.


"The Six String Nation guitar is no doubt one of Canada`s national treasures; a work of art that speaks to the eyes, the heart and the soul, and of course, to the ears when the strings are given their turn."
                          Marni Thorton, Professor, Music Business Management, Durham College


"May be the best presentation I have ever seen."
                         Simon Whitfield, Canadian Olympic Gold Medalist

Sponsorship Opportunities! 
Help Us Nourish Your Community 


We invite you or your organization to be part of our new event - Nourishing the North. Together, we can be a powerful force affecting positive change in our communities. Your sponsorship is greatly appreciated and will continue to impact the region through the work of the Community Foundation.


Please feel free to contact Heather Coney at (780) 538-2820 with any questions you may have. I thank you in advance for your consideration in continuing to partner in support of our region.


Your community makes you, and you make your community. 

Leaving a Family Legacy 
The Simpson Family Story

Many families choose the Community Foundation as a way of having a lasting impact on their community, long into the future. Working with the Foundation, these families can personalize their fund, working with us to determine where they would like their funds directed.


Simpson Phillips Family Fund

The Simpson Phillips Family Fund was established in 2006, by John Simpson and Betty Phillips Simpson. The fund supports high school football development programs, as well as other charitable causes in the community.


"We didn't want to just put money into a sports facility, but wanted to assist youth who couldn't afford to play a sport or attend a sports camp or event," says Betty. "We wanted to help youth by making a difference in their lives."


As a donor advised fund, during the granting process, John and Betty work with the Foundation to determine where their funds should be allocated. This gives them the ability to direct their funds where they feel the need is greatest.


The Simpson's requested the grants from their family fund be directed to the Composite High School football team to help the student's be the best they can and succeed in playing a sport they are passionate about. . They had experienced the benefits of the team first-hand in their family, and wanted to support other youth who too could benefit. Their fund also supports the community in need through the Community Impact granting process.  In 2014 funds were also directed to support the Seniors Outreach Centre.


Remembering Those We Love 
Brent Sears Memorial Fund 

There are many reasons why individuals, families and organizations choose to impact their community through establishing a fund. And there are just as many kinds of people and organizations that work with us to set up funds to reach community needs close to their hearts. This month, we want to share three of those stories.


The Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta is proud to work with families to help them celebrate the memory of their loved ones and carry on their spirit through a memorial fund.


Brent Sears Memorial Fund

 In 2010, the Peace Wapiti School Board No. 33 Education Foundation worked with our Community Foundation and with Ray and Pat Sears to honour the memory of their son Brent with the creation of the Brent Sears Memorial Fund.

Brent is remembered for this contribution to the community as a teacher, scientist, friend and neighbour.


The fund provides an award to a graduate of Sexsmith Secondary High School who is registered in a post-secondary education program. Priority goes to students in agriculture, education, or nursing.



Giving Back Through Education
Horselake Education Fund 


Our next fund is a true example of how a group of people came together to enhance their region through supporting the development of local youth.


Horselake Education Fund

Members of the small community of Horse Lake reserve, located just outside of Hythe, are working to help youth achieve their goals through the creation of the Horselake Education Fund. The Community Foundation is proud to work with the members of the Horse Lake First Nation in creating this fund, which will help educate and ensure success for students who chose to continue on to secondary education.


The fund was established in 2013 and is to be awarded to a Peace area resident who is registered at a post-secondary institution, with priority given to Aboriginal students from the Horse Lake First Nation. Financial need may be considered. Successful recipients will be asked to present to local high school students on the value of educational goals.


Of the 938 Horse Lake band members, 436 members reside on the Horse Lake reserve located just outside of Hythe, Alberta.


Heather Coney, Resource Development Coordinator 


"Being connected to the community and a part of the future of the community is extremely important to me. My passion is to motivate and inspire people to make a difference - today and for the future generations.  

I am very excited to have the privilege of being a member of the Community Foundation team!"   You can reach Heather at


"And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."  

~Paulo Coelho~



Stay Connected!
Stay up to date with the Community Foundation

Beginning summer 2014, Canada's e-communications laws changed  to protect you from unwanted communications.    


We don't want you to miss out on the latest Community Foundation news, impact stories, event invitations and so much more! So please consent to join our mailing list and remember you can unsubscribe at any time.  

Smart & Caring Leaders 

We are very proud of the continued relationship with the following corporate leaders. It is this dedication and partnership that ensures the work of the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta positively impacts our community. Please support those who support us!

  Vital Impact



Aquatera Utilities Ltd
ATCO Electric
Auto-Trac Alignment Ltd.
G & M Plumbing & Heating
Greenblade Landscaping Ltd.
LSM - Lee's Sheet Metal (2007) Ltd.
Northern Gateway Pipelines

 Neil Holdings Inc.
Prairie Villa Insurance

Royal LePage - The Realty Group; John Krol & Angie Peters

Willsey Davis & Co. LLP