Our Community Funds

The Community Fund consists of donations, large and small, from a variety of sources – individuals, corporations and foundations. Donations to this fund give the Foundation the greatest flexibility to respond to current community needs. A Named Fund within the Community Fund can be established with a minimum contribution of $5,000.

COLUMBIA VALLEY COMMUNITY FUND

This non-designated, open fund was established in November 2001.

These funds give the Foundation the greatest flexibility to respond to current community needs by providing grants to charities throughout the Columbia Valley– Spillimacheen to Canal Flats.

JIM AND GAETANE ASHWORTH COMMUNITY FUND

Established in June 2022.  Income from the endowed funds will be distributed to the areas of greatest need in the community.

KOOTENAY SAVINGS COMMUNITY FUND

Established in January 2010. This fund was established to hold the donation from the Kootenay Savings Foundation in perpetuity. Income from the endowed funds will be distributed to community priorities in education, health, social, culture, environment and economic non-for-profit priorities.

Our Donor-Advised Funds

These funds appeal to donors interested in creating their own family foundation as they enable the donor to have ongoing participation in the selection of charities benefiting from their fund. These funds can be established with a minimum donation of $25,000, which can be gifted on an annual or monthly basis over a 5 year period.

DOERR FAMILY COMMUNITY FUND

Established in December 2022. Income from this fund will be distributed in consultation with the donors.

Doerr Family

DOERR FAMILY YOUTH FUND (REMEMBERING TOMMY)

In memory of Thomas Gregory Doerr.  This fund will be proactively used to support youth in the Columbia Valley.

GORDON WILDER FUND

Established in December 2005. Income from this fund will be distributed in the Fairmont Hot Springs area in consultation with the Wilder family.

OUR CHILDREN’S LEGACY FUND

Established in September 2002. Income from this fund will be distributed in consultation with the donors.

TOM SANDERS MEMORIAL FUND

Established in December 2002. A student award of $2000.00 is given annually to a local high school graduate student. Chosen by the Kinsmen Club of the Windermere Valley.

WINGS OVER THE ROCKIES –  ROSS MACDONALD MEMORIAL LEGACY FUND

The Wings Over the Rockies Festival, established in 1997, aims to promote both immediate and enduring efforts for the benefit of birds, wildlife, and their habitats. It achieves this by leveraging public education, research findings, sustainable economic growth, and the collective abilities and assets of our communities. This approach seeks to harmonize human needs with the preservation of natural systems.

This endowment fund has been created to provide ongoing funding to assist projects in the Columbia Valley that will support community environmental education and/or land-based conservation such as habitat restoration, maintaining or improving ecological conditions, or species at risk protection.

This fund is dedicated in memory of Ross MacDonald.

Ross passed away in June 2023. Right up until his last days he remained a highly dedicated supporter of Wings Over the Rockies and its mission.
Across a Parks Canada career spanning thirty-four years, Ross worked to celebrate and protect Canada’s natural and historic treasures. Ross was an extraordinarily dedicated volunteer supporting a wide range of local natural and historic conservation efforts. Among his highlights, he was instrumental in efforts to celebrate the history of the renowned explorer David Thompson. He also played a critical role in establishing the Greenways Trail Alliance that strives to develop the trail systems enjoyed by many locals and visitors.
Ross was involved in Wings Over the Rockies for decades. In recent years he took on the role of Festival President. Practically, he was the Festivals greatest fan, cheerleader, and volunteer. He cared deeply about the Festival and infected many with his enthusiasm.
Those who knew Ross will remember his quick wit, infectious laugh, and a life-long passion for photography. He was never more alive than behind a camera.

On behalf of Ross MacDonald’s family, I want to thank Wings Over the Rockies Nature Festival for naming their endowment fund in his honour. His surviving family – two brothers, his son and myself – are touched by this remembrance. We all know how Ross has always been fascinated by the natural world and how it shapes us. He was always throwing himself into some environmental cause and finding a community project that fit his passion. Since coming to the Columbia Valley in 1998, Greenways and the Wings festival were an important part of Ross’ life. I have frequently heard him speak of Wings working towards establishing a fund to support local environmental projects. I know it has taken a lot of dedication as well as years of successful events to achieve this and am thrilled that the fund has come to fruition. Please tell everyone that it is so heart warming and an honour to know Ross’ work with you all is held in such high regard. Rolling up the sleeves, grinning into the storm and breaking out a bottle of wine if the going gets really tough has characterized most of my fondest moments with Ross. May recipients of the Ross MacDonald Fund benefit from his spirit of resilience as well as from the vision and success of the Wings Festival.

Eloise Meredith, widow

Our Field-of-Interest Funds

Donors are passionate about their causes that matter to them, ranging from education and the environment to children, the arts, culture and more. Since the Foundation supports all charitable sectors we have the ability to connect donors’ passions with local organizations through the creation of Field-of-Interest Funds. These funds can be established with a minimum donation of $10,000, which can be gifted on an annual or monthly basis over a 5 year period.

ANN TILLEY MEMORIAL FUND

Established in December 2002. Income from this fund will be distributed to the community of Canal Flats, as a first priority, in areas of literacy for children and adults, as well as women’s services and medical and health services.

ARNOLD ELLIS SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Established in February 2004. Income from this fund will be distributed to provide scholarships and bursaries to youth attending training and education at recognized post-secondary institutions.

FAIRMONT FAMILY FUND

Established in December 2001. Income from this endowment fund will be distributed to enhance the quality of life of families in the Fairmont Hot Springs area.

BIDDER BURSARY FUND

Established in October 2006 in honour of Robert Bidder. Income from this fund will be distributed to provide bursaries to youth attending training and education at recognized post-secondary institutions.

Community Foundation - Erwin Kloos

ERWIN KLOOS MEMORIAL FUND

Established in 2017, income from this fund supports Columbia Valley students entering post-secondary education, with particular focus on students pursuing trades and technical schooling. 

Columbia Community Foundation - John Mason Memorial Fund

JOHN MASON MEMORIAL FUND

Established in 2017 in memory of John; a dedicated family man with a love for adventure and community. This fund will provide funding to support Freestyle Panorama Ski Club skiers.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH FUND

Established by George & Arlene Loewen in October 2006. Income from this fund will be distributed to provide opportunities to youth for the expansion of their social, career and personal skills.

Alan J. Witherspoon Memorial Fine Arts Fund

Established in 2019. Income from this fund to provide a bursary to Columbia Valley youth pursuing an education in Fine Arts.

Mountain Relief Fund

Established in 2020 with seed funding providing by Kicking Horse Coffee through Rae McPherson. This flow-through fund supports youth mental health through access to counselling services. 

RADIUM ROTARY MENTAL HEALTH & WELLNESS FUND

Establishing in 2021 by the Rotary Club of Radium Hot Springs, this fund supports local mental health initiatives.

GORD FORBES MEMORIAL FUND

Established in 2021 in memory of William Gordon “Gord” Forbes. Income from this endowment supports youth skill development, recreation, and affordable housing.

Our Designated Funds

These funds support particular agencies or organizations, as named by the donor, in perpetuity.  These funds can be established with a minimum donation of $10,000, which can be gifted on an annual or monthly basis over a 5 year period.

COLUMBIA VALLEY ARTS & CULTURE FUND

Established in 2016, the income generated from long-term growth of the capital of this fund will be disbursed annually to Columbia Valley Arts Council, a charity whose purpose is to foster growth, awareness and appreciation of the arts in the Windermere/Columbia Valley.

INVERMERE PUBLIC LIBRARY ENDOWMENT FUND

Established in 2014 as an open fund.  Income from this fund is used solely for enhancing programs of the Invermere Public Library through their vision of providing a welcoming community hub that meets the evolving literacy needs of our valley’s diverse population.

SCHNIDER FAMILY LEGACY FUND

Established in 2015 as an open fund. Income from this fund will be directed to the Edgewater Recreation Society for the operation of Frank’s Rink.

The Edgewater Recreation Society is a non-profit society with a volunteer board of directors responsible for providing safe and affordable opportunities to anyone who wishes to use any of the venues.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION ENDOWMENT FUND 

For Environment. For Education. For Ever. 

Established in 2018, this fund fosters environmental stewardship and sustainability by supporting environmental educators through the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN), a registered charity supporting environmental learning in the local region. CBEEN’s Wild Voices for Kids program is strongly rooted in the Columbia Valley and has been running for over 20 years. 

HOSPICE SOCIETY OF THE COLUMBIA VALLEY ENDOWMENT FUND 

Established in 2017 as an open fund. Income from this fund is used solely for enhancing programs of the Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley.  This charitable organization exists to assist individuals and families in recognizing and accepting death as a part of life.  They support individuals and families during the dying and grieving process.

RADIUM HOT SPRINGS PUBLIC LIBRARY ENDOWMENT FUND

Established in 2017 as an open fund to enhance programs of the Radium Hot Springs Public Library. The Radium Hot Springs Public Library strives to offer programs and materials that reflect the needs and interests of the community and its service area, and will provide Library services and programs to inspire life stories and to promote literacy, education and community relationships.

COLUMBIA VALLEY FOOD BANK ENDOWMENT FUND

Established in 2020 as an open fund.  Income from this fund is used for to support the needs of the Columbia Valley Food Bank, a non-profit society serving residents from Canal Flats to Spillimacheen.

COLUMBIA VALLEY FOOD BANK – JIM ASHWORTH FUND

Established in 2020 as an open fund to commemorate and honor Vetran Jim Ashworth’s contribution to the Columbia Valley Food Bank. For his 101st birthday and during the COVID-19 pandemic, Burma star recipient Jim Ashworth walked 101 blocks raising funds for the local food bank. See more here on Jim’s walk.  Income from this fund is used for to support the needs of the Columbia Valley Food Bank.

COLUMBIA VALLEY GREENWAYS TRAIL ALLIANCE

An open fund established in 2023 to support the Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance in its work to promote sustainable trail systems that contribute to a vibrant healthy communities.

LAKE AMBASSADORS ENDOWMENT FUND 

Established in 2021 as an open fund. Income from this fund is used solely for enhancing programs of the Lake Windermere Ambassadors Society. This charitable organization consists of a group of concerned citizens, from diverse backgrounds, interested in directing water monitoring and stewardship of Lake Windermere, located in the Columbia Valley. The Ambassadors conduct water monitoring and community outreach to realize our vision of Healthy Waters for Healthy Communities.

COLUMBIA LAKE STEWARDSHIP SOCIETY ENDOWMENT FUND 

An open fund established in 2021 to support the Columbia Lake Stewardship Society in its work to preserve the ecological health and water supply of Columbia Lake for present and future generations through scientific investigation, collaboration and outreach – creating an example of the balance that can exist between nature and the needs of our communities.

Our Special Project/ Event Funds

These are temporary flow-through funds established to support a special project or event.

WOODCARVER PARK FUND

Established in 2021 as an open fund to support the fundraising efforts of the Radium Village Arts & Culture Society, the Woodcarver Park Fund is designated to the creation of Woodcarver Park on the former location of the ‘Home of a Thousand Faces’. Honoring the legacy of Rolf Heer, who donated his property to the Society following his passing in 2020, the park will include interpretive displays, ‘Tree House’, open grass area, seating, and a ‘river-of-logs’ to promote nature play. More information on the Woodcarver Park is available here.

PEAKS GYMNASTICS BUILDING DEVELOPMENT FUND

Established in 2023, a fund to build Peaks Gymnastics Forever home. Did you know that Peaks Gymnastics has the largest youth sports membership in the Columbia Valley? A new facility will allow Peaks to continue to offer affordable programs that appeal to all spectrums of athletes and ages from the Parent and Tot program, to Parkour, to our competitive stream of athletes. We will offer additional opportunities for cross sport training! From dance, skating, hockey, skiing, CrossFit and more, many sports look to our gymnastics facility to support conditioning and skill development. We are almost there! We need your help in the final push to make this project a reality!