The Waskesiu Foundation Inc. was founded as a registered charity in 1999, and was originally called the Waskesiu Townsite Enhancement Society Inc. (WTESI). The original purpose of the organization was to facilitate resurfacing Waskesiu's tennis courts. Following completion of that project, however, WTESI was essentially left dormant - until a series of unforeseen events led to not only its revival but, ultimately, set it on a path towards being a vibrant, community-based charitable foundation that would positively impact Waskesiu.
Unforeseen Events Create a Need
In 2001, a particularly severe outbreak of spruce budworm in
much of western Canada, including Prince Albert National Park,
posed a threat to the white spruce forest in Waskesiu. The
community urged Parks Canada to take action. Parks Canada
agreed to spraying a biological control agent on the condition
the community raise and contribute about two-thirds of the total
Changing the Mandate and the Name
Don Ravis, then Chair of the Waskesiu Community Council,
wanted WTESI to play a leading role in accepting donations for
the spraying. To do so, however, it became necessary for
WTESI to revisit its rather narrow list of charitable purposes.
Long-time Waskesiu resident and lawyer, Jim Kerby, advised
the Council and WTESI regarding the preparation of new bylaws
and a revised set of charitable purposes. These included
adding a new mandate for environmental protection and
enhancement, and a revision of the charity's name to
something more fitting. Thus came into being the Waskesiu
Foundation. The response from the Waskesiu community for
funding to fight the spruce budworm infestation was immediate
and successful. The community leaders quickly recognized
that more – much more – could be accomplished in the Park
via the Foundation. Their instincts proved to be correct.
Enhancing the Waskesiu Experience
The long list of projects successfully completed by the
Waskesiu Foundation is truly impressive. The unquestioned
success of the Foundation, however, started with a clearly
stated mission – to "enhance the Waskesiu experience".
The Foundation does so by successfully partnering with
other local groups. It also does so by consistently identifying community-valued projects, raising sufficient funds, and constantly improving the community of Waskesiu. Since 1999, the Foundation has raised almost $2 million to re-invest in Waskesiu and area. Thanks to the generosity of donors and community partners, you can see (and enjoy) the results of that investment throughout the Waskesiu townsite, and beyond.
Looking forward, the important work of the Waskesiu Foundation continues. We hope that the community will embrace the recently launched Planned Giving and Endowment initiatives as part of a longer-term vision for enhancing the Waskesiu experience now, and for future generations.
See our Objects and Purposes for the scope of our charitable activities.
The following principles and beliefs govern the way our Foundation makes decisions and pursues our mission.
Click here to read or download our Waskesiu Foundation brochure.
Waskesiu Foundation - Enhancing the Waskesiu Experience
A charitable organization supporting recreational, social, cultural and environmental activities that enhance the Waskesiu experience