Your Foundation

The City of Kenora and the neighbouring communities of Reddit, Minaki, Sioux Narrows/Nestor Falls, the Indigenous Communities of Treaty 3 and the unincorporated areas surrounding Lake of the Woods are an inspiring and ideal place to live, work and raise a family. They have offered countless opportunities and given much to many. Your Community Foundation exists to ensure these opportunities continue for future

Vision: A Kenora and Lake of the Woods Region where life flourishes and communities grow.

Mission: The Community Foundation is dedicated to help improve community living and the quality of life for citizens and visitors to Kenora and the Lake of the Woods Region.

Mandate: The Community Foundation aims to strengthen the communities in which we serve by continuously striving towards three key objectives:

  • Endowment building
  • Broad and effective grant making
  • Community Leadership

Impact: The Community Foundation is the only organization within the region facilitating philanthropy, through the building of permanent endowment funds, for the benefit of the areas registered charities. The permanent endowments we are building will stay in your community forever.

Quick Facts

  • We have distributed cumulative grants of $3 million to over 69 local registered charities
  • $5.4 million in endowed funds as of December 31, 2019
  • We have two staff member and over 100 active and energetic volunteers.
  • We have two Youth in Philanthropy Groups: One at Beaver Brae and the other at St. Thomas Aquinas High School
  • We have several major annual fundraisers: The Festival of Trees, held each year at the beginning of the Christmas season, the Community Foundation Golf Tournament sponsored by Westland Insurance, Donny B’s and TBayTel, held in July of each year, and the 25 in 5 Giving Challenge held in May,
  • Your Loonie Bear bank on the Harbourfront has been generously donated by Andrew Paterson and Family.  Every loonie contributed helps to brighten, protect and improve the future of the region’s children by helping to provide grants to children’s charities

Your Foundation Founders

The Kenora and Lake of the Woods Regional Community Foundation was established by a group of caring community volunteers, who wanted to make a difference in our region today and into perpetuity.

Many individuals and organizations have played key roles in our development over the past several years and we wish to recognize their outstanding contributions.

We acknowledge the efforts of the Community Foundation Steering Committee in developing our terms of reference in 2004.

Sheila Alcock
Carol Fehr
Dale Hogg
Gerry Koroll
Jim Lunny
Marion MacAdam
Jack Martin
Geordie Mc Ewen
Rory McMillan
Garry Norris
John Palson
Don Parfitt
Randy Seller
Ted Szajewski
Lorne Temple
Kelly Williams

The 2004 – 2007 Inaugural Board of Directors is recognized for their commitment and dedication in the establishment of a Community Foundation in the Kenora and Lake of the Woods Region:

Don Parfitt – President
Lorne Temple – Vice President
Randy Seller – Legal Counsel and Grants Committee Chairman
Andrew Paterson – Asset Development Committee Chairman and Dream Fund Chairman
Sid Friesen – Investment Committee Chairman
Geordie McEwen – Treasurer
Lucia Melnick – Director
Marie Seymour – Director
Kim Koivukoski – Director

The City of Kenora

The City of Kenora supported the establishment of our Community Foundation with an inaugural gift of $280,000 to the Community Endowment Fund in 2005.  We are indebted to the City of Kenora for launching our Community Foundation and for providing yearly financial support since 2005.

The Thomas Sill Foundation

The Thomas Sill Foundation donated $100,000 to the Community Foundation at the time of our inception. Their endowment fund supports general community needs. They were also the inaugural sponsors of the Youth in Philanthropy Program at Beaver Brae Secondary School. We are indebted to the Thomas Sill Foundation for their magnificent leadership gifts.

The Township of Sioux Narrows – Nestor Falls

The Township of Sioux Narrows – Nestor Falls has provided yearly operating dollars to the Community Foundation since 2005.  To date 44 Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls recipients have received community grants and are seeking ways to build endowments in the area.  Their support has been greatly appreciated.

Copperfin Credit Union

Copperfin Credit Union has been our lead operating sponsor since inception by providing sponsorships to our yearly charity fundraising events and contributions to our operations.  Copperfin also established their own endowment fund in 2006 and Copperfin staff created their endowment fund benefiting Community Needs in 2010.

Westland Insurance

Westland Insurance been instrumental in providing a location for the Community Foundation with complimentary office space since 2013. In addition, the staff created their own endowment fund benefiting community needs, in 2013.

89.5 the Lake

Since 2009, 89.5 the Lake has provided 4 complimentary radio scripts to us everyday. The scripts highlight the voices of our donors, recipients and volunteers.

Lorne Temple

On November 18, 2009 the Kenora and Lake of the Woods Regional Community Foundation bestowed the title of Director Emeritus on Mr. Lorne Temple. Establishing a Community Foundation in the Kenora and Lake of the Woods has been Lorne’s dream and passion for over a dozen years.  He has worked tirelessly to build partnerships and connections favorable to the growth of our young foundation.

He was our inaugural president, in addition to serving as vice-president, treasurer, chairman of the Marketing Committee and was instrumental in securing the Kenora Dragon Boat as one of our major fundraising events.  He has made countless presentations on our behalf and recruited dozens of donors and volunteers.

Lorne has set the bar very high for our directors and volunteers.  He has made a real difference to his community and certainly exemplifies our mission statement of improving community living and the quality of life for citizens and visitors to the Kenora and Lake of the Woods Region.

Ted Szajewski

Ted Szajewski played an important role in promoting the establishment of a Community Foundation in the Kenora and Lake of the Woods Region.  He understood the building of permanent endowment funds and the concept of using the revenue from the investments to support local charities.  He remains one of our best ambassadors.

Dale and Cindy Hogg

Dale and Cindy Hogg worked for many years behind the scenes in the Kenora region to help launch our Community Foundation in 2004.  They were also the first donors to the Community Foundation with a very significant gift of $10,000 as well as covering the cost of our incorporation.  They are committed community builders and we recognize their early efforts and continued support.

Andrew Paterson

Mr. Paterson was instrumental in the establishment and growth of the region’s Community Foundation as well as being its major donor with a $500,000 endowment donation for an apprenticeship program for First Nations Youth. Through Mr. Paterson’s leadership, the Paterson Foundation in Thunder Bay has also contributed $1 million to the Paterson Medical Centre, serving the Kenora Region and Indigenous Communities. Mr. Paterson is President and CEO of Paterson Global Foods Inc., a conglomerate of international agri-food and related businesses, with annual revenues of $1 billion. He is a Director Emeritus of the Cancer Care
Manitoba Foundation, having served as Board Chairman for ten years and is currently the Vice-President of the Paterson Foundation.

Mr. Paterson and his family have been residents on Lake of the Woods for five generations and are keenly aware of the needs of the local community. It is for that reason that he chose to establish a program benefiting local First Nations youth and helping them gain valuable job skills.