Today, the Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation (OGYF) announced that it has finalized an agreement through which its cash and in-kind assets will be mobilized and invested within the community through the care of the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) Foundation.
After several months of research and community consultations, the volunteer Board of Directors of the OGYF has determined that it is in the best interest of the young people it serves, its supporters and stakeholders, and the charitable sector of the National Capital Region, to collaborate with another charitable organization for long term success. As a result of this new partnership, the OGYF has filed for voluntary revocation of its charitable status.
“Given the similarities in vision, mission, values, commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, leadership capabilities, stakeholder crossover, governance and operating structures, and most importantly the synergies that both Foundations share in terms of the young people they strive to empower, a union with the OSEG Foundation just made sense”, said Ian Sherman, Chair of the OGYF volunteer Board of Directors. “This partnership will ensure that the assets the OGYF worked so hard to accumulate over more than two decades, in partnership with community, are used for years to come as donors intended.”
“The significant contribution that has been made to the OSEG Foundation will lead to increased opportunities for young people in our community to play, learn and develop through sport”, said Roger Greenberg, Chair of the OSEG Foundation volunteer Board of Directors. “We were honoured to be selected by the OGYF to carry forward its vision and legacy within our charitable operations.”
“I am encouraged by what the future looks like for children and youth within the region”, said Danielle Robinson, whose executive leadership of the OGYF spanned more than 15-years. “Knowing that OGYF assets will be used as a catalyst for social change by leveraging the power of sport to improve their lives under the OSEG Foundation name and brand is exciting.”
Since pivoting to its new name and brand in the fall of 2020, the OGYF has remained nimble, active and responsive to the needs of young people throughout the region. In the past 12 months the OGYF has donated almost $1.5 million to more than 40 different charities in eastern Ontario and western Quebec.
The organization has a long history of making a meaningful difference in the lives of hundreds-of-thousands of young people. Since its inception in 1998, the OGYF has granted nearly $40 million to more than 300 different charities in an effort to include marginalized young people in activities they might not have experienced because of social and/or financial barriers. Throughout the last decade, the OGYF focused on making an impact in the areas of sport and recreation, youth mental health and addiction and post secondary education.
Just this summer, after a successful fundraising campaign, the OGYF funded 18 different summer camp programs enabling 4,129 young people to collectively attend 20,645 days of camp. These camp days provided 144,515 hours of physical, mental, educational, emotional and social wellness activities – something young people desperately needed after 15 months of increased isolation and loneliness resulting from a variety of COVID-19 restrictions.
The OGYF played a pivotal role in bringing Roger Neilson House to the region. Inspired by the spirit and compassion of Roger Neilson, a much-respected coach in the NHL, the OGYF led fundraising and construction efforts for the eight-bed pediatric residential hospice which offers compassionate care in collaboration with CHEO’s palliative care team. This facility, located on the CHEO campus, provides a home-like environment to children who have a significant risk of dying before reaching adulthood.
Roger Neilson House celebrated its 15th anniversary this past June. One month later the OGYF and CHEO Foundation celebrated reaching a $10 million milestone in their joint endowment efforts for the home. It was also announced that CHEO Foundation would take on all fundraising activities for the home moving forward. Since opening its doors in 2006, Roger Neilson House has had more than 5,500 admissions from across Ontario, western Quebec, and Nunavut, and has provided over 33,500 days of care.
As a result of this partnership, the OSEG Foundation will have a new opportunity to connect with young people wanting to pursue post-secondary studies at Algonquin College, Carleton University, La Cité Collégiale and the University of Ottawa. The OGYF established, in partnership with several corporate and community organizations throughout the years, 12 different bursary and/or scholarship funds at post-secondary institutions. The collective endowed value of the funds is more than $2 million. Annual disbursements help to remove financial barriers for nearly 100 students.
The OGYF leaves a legacy of 16 Rink of Dreams sites located across Ottawa and Gatineau and in the Towns of Arnprior, Smiths Falls and Lac-Cayamant. Rink of Dreams sites will see newly branded permanent signage, refreshed rink boards and a fresh coat of paint on existing sports lines. Constructed as year-round recreational hubs offering no-cost activities like skating, shinny hockey, ball hockey, basketball, yoga, court games, futsal and pickleball, among others, the Rink of Dreams sites have removed barriers for thousands of young people struggling to get the suggested 60 minutes of daily physical activity required to live their best lives. In the coming weeks the OSEG Foundation will initiate conversations to explore what opportunities exist to further engage children and youth at some of the Rink of Dreams sites in the future.
The two organizations will publicly celebrate their unity for young people at the Ottawa REDBLACKS home game vs the Montreal Alouettes on October 16.
The Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation empowers young people to realize their full potential with engagement in physical and mental wellness activities, post-secondary education studies and opportunities to lead social justice actions within their communities.
At the OSEG Foundation, we believe that by sharing our passion for sports through structured youth development programs, kids will have an opportunity to excel and reach their full potential.
For more information, please contact:
Danielle Robinson, President & CEO, Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation
[email protected] / 613-408-7966
Kimberly Biggs, Director, Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation Volunteer Board
President & CEO Agence POP Inc.
[email protected] / 613-513-4008