The Yellowknife Community Foundation was formed in 1993 to provide interested individuals and organizations with a means of supporting projects in our community for the enduring future. It embodies a simple concept – that people working together can make a difference.
Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of the citizens of Yellowknife, and the surrounding area by: identifying and addressing current and anticipated community needs; and, raising, managing, and distributing money from donated funds to meet those needs.
Our goal is to make sure donations have a lasting impact. Using our Investment Policy we steward funds under our administration, hoping they will grow and continue to have an impact long after the original gift is made.
The Foundation is not dedicated to any specific area of support. In carrying out our mission to identify and address community needs, grants are made to local registered charities in support of projects which: advance the welfare of the needy and alleviate human suffering and poverty: assist and promote arts and cultural activities, sport, recreation and community development; advance education; assist and advance the provision of medical services; and assist and advance other community activities or facilities of a charitable nature.
The Foundation is administered by a Board of Directors of respected community leaders who are appointed by a committee of community representatives. This leads to nominations from a cross-section of community interests so the appointed Board members will always have the needs of the community at heart. The Board of Directors publishes an annual report to provide the community at large with an update on its activities. The Foundation is a member of Community Foundations of Canada.
There are many ways of giving to the Yellowknife Community Foundation. You can give through: an outright gift of money, a pledge of financial support over a period of years, a dedicated life insurance policy, a bequest in your Will, the transfer of an existing fund, or the offering of real estate or other property for conversion into the investment fund.
Donations to the Foundation are eligible deductions for Income Tax purposes. You can contribute to the Yellowknife Community Fund, which the Board uses to target areas of significant need in the community, or you can arrange to set up your donation as a separate fund in your name or in the name of someone you wish to be remembered. You may also designate the grants from your gift to a particular field of interest within the Foundation’s mission.
Your gift will enable the Yellowknife Community Foundation to grant monies in support of many worthwhile local causes. We invite you to share in this effort to make a lasting donation to the well-being of our community. For more information, please phone or write to us. We can advise you on how to make your gift work best for you and for the community.
Born in Hamilton Ontario and educated in London Ontario (Fanshawe College), Robin is a long-term resident of Yellowknife moving here in 1978 to work for Stanton Yellowknife Hospital in the Medical Laboratory. He has been married for over 34 years to Colleen and together they have raised two adult sons.
Professionally, Robin has worked all his career with the Stanton Territorial Health Authority. He started as a Medical Laboratory Technologist and later became the Manager of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Services. During this time Robin served as a Director at large on the Canadian Society of Transfusion Medicine board.
Robin retired after 34 years in the fall of 2012 from the Stanton Territorial Health Authority from the position of Director of Operations.
Robin has been actively involved for over 25 years in short speed skating at the local, territorial, national and international level. He has served terms on both the Yellowknife Speed Skating Club as the Coach Coordinator and the NWT Amateur Speed Skating Association as the Coach/Officials Coordinator. Robin currently is a certified Level 2 coach and Level 3 Referee.
Robin enjoys playing hockey, snowshoeing, cycling, fishing and gardening.
Elaine Keenan Bengts
Elaine Keenan Bengts has lived in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories since 1970 where she attended St. Patrick High School from grades 7 through 12. After high school she attended the University of Alberta where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in 1979 and her LLB in 1982. Elaine has spent her entire career in Yellowknife, originally with the firm of Searle, Richard Kingsmill before launching her own firm in 1988 under the name of Keenan Bengts Law Office, focussing largely on family law. In 1997, she was appointed as the Northwest Territories= first Information and Privacy Commissioner and in 1999 she received a separate appointment from the Government of the newly formed Nunavut to act as their Information and Privacy Commissioner as well. In January, 2015, Elaine closed her family law practice to concentrate fully on her role as Information and Privacy Commissioner for the two Northern Territories. In addition to her roles as lawyer and Information and Privacy Commissioner, Elaine is very active in the community and is well known in Yellowknife for her work with children’s sport.
Sophie moved to the Northwest Territories in 2016, first living in Fort Liard and then eventually moving to Yellowknife in 2018. Sophie is a graduate from the University of Guelph, soon starting her Masters at the University of Saskatchewan studying Governance and Entrepreneurship in Northern and Indigenous Areas. She currently works as the Youth Resiliency Program Officer for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. Sophie loves to be outside, spending time with family and friends and discovering different parts of Canada’s North!
Director, Technology Service Centre – Education: Bachelor of Commerce, Queen’s University; Masters Certification in Project Management.
Laurie joined the Technology Service Centre (TSC) in January 2008 as Manager of Client Services and has fulfilled the Director’s role since January 2009. Prior to joining the GNWT, Laurie had 20 years’ experience in Information Technology and Project Management at Bell Canada. She has significant experience in systems development, project management and process development. Laurie was directly involved in leading-edge digital telecommunications and broadband solutions for residential and business customers in southern Ontario.
During her tenure at TSC, Laurie has overseen the ongoing expansion of the GNWT municipal, territorial and internet networks across the NWT, as well as the evolution of desktop, telecom and mobile technology to approximately 5000 Government, Agency and Board staff. The Division works closely with all GNWT departments to deploy and support core applications and programs for internal staff and NWT residents. The TSC has partnered on major initiatives including Devolution, Mackenzie Valley Fiber Link, the new Stanton Hospital and strategic Departmental amalgamations.
In addition to the Yellowknife Community Foundation, Laurie volunteers for many community events and enjoys exploring all that the north has to offer.
Jason moves to Yellowknife in 2014. An Industrial Engineer by profession with over 25 years, Jason has worked in Asia, Europe, New Zealand and North America, in mining, manufacturing and engineering consulting. Jason is currently the CEO at the Yellowknives Dene First Nation. He enjoys travelling with his family and volunteering.
Born and educated in Australia where she worked as a child clinical psychologist, Bronwyn came to Canada in 1968. With her husband, Andy Langford, she has made Yellowknife her home since 1978.
First hired to come north as Supervisor of Special Education with the Department of Education, she subsequently held a variety of positions with Health and Social Services, Education, Culture and Employment and Justice, most recently as Deputy Minister of Justice. On her retirement Bronwyn was appointed as a Commissioner with the Human Rights Commission, and spends much of her other time on projects related to anti-poverty, early childhood development and safe schools.
Ian Legaree and his wife Shawna Lampi-Legaree moved to the Northwest Territories in 1984. He is one of the originating members of the Yellowknife Community Foundation. Other volunteer contributions include coaching swimming for nearly 15 years, the Arctic Winter Games and various mentorship projects. He was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship by the Rotary Club of Yellowknife in 2007. Ian is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and Confederation College and is the Director of Sport, Recreation and Youth for the Government of the Northwest Territories.
Rosella has called Yellowknife home since 1980. Over the years, she has worked for communications and graphics firms, and for a variety of non profit organizations. She has also volunteered for organizations including Folk on the Rocks, the Yellowknife Garden Collective, Meals on Wheels. When not working, Rosella enjoys walking local trails with her dog. Rosella came to the Yellowknife Community Foundation in 2010 as a part-time Executive Director, and is committed to helping the organization grow and continue to make a positive impact on the lives of Yellowknifers.
A long-time human resources practitioner, Hilary Jones joined the NWT Mine Training Society as General Manager in 2006, Hilary has played a pivotal role in improving the quality of programs, increasing enrolment, and building partnerships. Prior to MTS, Hilary led the NWT Tourism Training Group and was a founding member of the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council. She was instrumental in establishing occupational standards and certification for diamond polishers – a global first. She played a significant role in the establishment of diamond polishing factories in the Yellowknife area and was the Director of Operations for Arslanian Cutting Works (NWT) Ltd., for six years. She spends her volunteer time between the Yellowknife Community Foundation and Scouts Canada as a Group Committee Chairperson. .
Shawn McCann has been a part of the GNWT team for nearly 20 years, with a background in communication and strategic planning, and has worked in Intergovernmental relations since 2012. As the Director, Intergovernmental Relations, Shawn is responsible for the Intergovernmental Relations unit which provides advice and assistance in support of mutually respectful intergovernmental relations between the territorial government and provincial, territorial, national and international governments.
Shawn was born and raised in Yellowknife. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies at the University of Calgary with a focus on northern planning and development.
She has received NWT Volunteer awards and the Golden Jubilee Medal for past volunteer work with youth and joined the board of the Yellowknife Community Foundation in 2017.
Shawn and her husband Jordan Martin have two children.
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