Community Makes You. You Make Your Community.

Year-long campaign will introduce Canadians to local heroes from 191 communities

OTTAWA, March 5, 2014 /CNW/ - The foundation of my community starts with you - and me.

That's the simple, yet powerful, message at the heart of a new 'anthem to community' released today by the 191 community foundations across Canada as part of their first national awareness campaign. The campaign's goal: to celebrate the way our communities shape who we are, and to recognize the role we have in giving back to those communities.

"We want to ignite the passion we know Canadians feel for their communities. We're not asking for anything except awareness - and hopefully engagement," says Ian Bird, President of Community Foundations of Canada, the community foundation network.

The year-long awareness campaign, launching today, includes a series of print, broadcast and online messages, each featuring Canadians who embody the concept of 'Community Makes You. You Make Your Community.'

"This campaign has been powered by community champions every step of the way - it's remarkable how many people have contributed to this launch. Hundreds of people have already donated their time, lent their voice, and told their story to help us remind Canadians about the reciprocal relationship we all have with our communities," says Bird. "It's been an inspiring process and we're just getting started."

"Our campaign salutes Canadians all across the country who are making their homes better places to live. We can't wait to introduce these community champions - and encourage others to join them!" says Yield Branding President Ted Nation, whose firm developed the campaign and donated a significant amount of its time to make it possible.

The campaign's centerpiece is a spoken word-style 'anthem to community' created to capture the dedication and determination of the people behind Canada's community foundation movement.

Every month more Canadians will be added to the campaign's website, which already features people like:

Ray Lessard, Mississauga, ON - has made Mississauga home for more than 25 years, where he shares his time, expertise and resources with many organizations, including children's charities

Victoria Grant, Temagami, ON - has dedicated her professional and volunteer life to Temagami, including the creation of its community foundation - a model for shared action among the Bear Island Aboriginal community, townspeople and cottagers.

Rebecca Hurwitz, Clayoquot Sound, BC - a young leader who is devoting her time and energy to the conservation of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Region, one of Canada's most iconic natural environments.

Gurvinder Bhatia, Edmonton, AB - a passionate entrepreneur who inspired his friends and family to join together in giving a lasting gift to Edmonton.

Nataly Rae, Quebec, QC - a champion at the forefront of growing the culture of philanthropy in Québec for future generations.

Bill Mahoney, St. John's, NL - a decorated air force reservist and life-long resident of Newfoundland committed to helping members of our military and police services.

To learn more about the campaign, or to find the community foundation near you, visit www.communityfoundations.ca.

About Canada's 191 Community Foundations
Community foundations play a crucial role in how people give back where communities need it most. We connect people, families and companies with causes that inspire them - pooling resources, knowledge and expertise to achieve greater impact.  Collectively we manage more than $3.3 billion in assets and invested more than $143 million in Canadian communities in 2012 alone.

SOURCE Community Foundations of Canada

For further information:

Note to editors: Stories and photos of several community champions are available on the campaign's website. 

For more information:

Skana Gee
Media Relations Coordinator
902-223-5234
sgee@communityfoundations.ca 

David Venn
Communications Manager
613-236-2664 ext. 302
 dvenn@communityfoundations.ca