Annual Reports 

 

2020

The Rockcliffe Park Foundation (RPF) is a registered charity, established by residents in 1996 when the Village of Rockcliffe was amalgamated with the City of Ottawa. Its role is to build and manage an endowment fund that financially supports programs and services in our community. 

 

The mandate of the RPF is to provide funds for the following three “pillars” of activity: conservation of our environment; preservation of the history and heritage character of Rockcliffe; and, support of community-building initiatives. The RPF works closely with the Rockcliffe Park Residents Association (RPRA), which plans and implements the projects and activities and shares these same three-pillars as guiding principles.

 

ANNUAL REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY FOR 2020

Disbursements and Development

For 2020, through the City of Ottawa, the RPF approved a $39,045 annual grant to the RPRA. These funds were to be used by the RPRA for the following initiatives:

 

In the area of the environment:

  • The maintenance of the public gardens, including Jubilee Lawn and Gardens, and sprinkler upgrade and maintenance;
  • The stabilization of the retaining wall and bank at the Pond;
  • Pond water testing; and,
  • Signage renewal at the Pond and the Village Green, supplies for annual invasive species clean up in these conservation areas.

 

In the area of history and heritage:

  • The restoration of the “Dogwalk” and plaque;
  • The development of a self-guided heritage walking tour;
  • The update to the “Welcome to Rockcliffe Park” booklet; and,
  • Printing of an updated “Heritage Plan in Brief” booklet.

 

In the area of promoting a sense of community:

  • Community events such as the popular Rockcliffe Speakers Program; the Carol Sing and Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Party; and outdoor movie nights in the summertime;
  • Communications such as The Rockcliffe News, signage for promoting community events, and the RPRA website; and,
  • Contribution to the annual upkeep of the RPPS soccer field and running track maintenance and upgrade.

 

Some of these projects had to be tabled in 2020 due to the pandemic. The RPF board would like to thank the RPRA, as well as thank our wider community, for their hard work and creativity in managing through the new challenges: the Lindenlea Community Association (LCA) who partnered with the RPRA to run virtual events for families in both neighbourhoods to enjoy, and the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre (RRCRC) that has done such vital work in our neighbouring community.

 

In 2020, the RPF worked to build up its endowment through its Annual Appeal. While it was somewhat scaled-down due to our recognition of the pressing needs of many frontline charities, the generosity of our neighbours brought in over $23K to the endowment.

 

Financial Management

The RPF board conducted its annual review of the endowment fund’s investment performance in June. Mark Ellis from RBC Dominion Securities, a Rockcliffe resident and the fund’s investment advisor, assisted the RPF board in this review. The endowed fund was $830,075 of Dec 31, 2020. Roy Williams, Treasurer in 2020, presented ongoing financial reports and guided the RPF board’s attention on financial matters.  Ouesley Hanvey Clopsham Deep LLP was re-appointed as public accountant.

 

Other Committee Work

The RPF Board continued to focus on the financial management of the endowment and began work on two areas of review: a disbursement policy review led by Anthony Carty and an investment management review led by Paul St. Louis.

 

In keeping with the strategic priorities identified in 2019, the RPF board focused on how to more clearly communicate the role of the RPF to our neighbours. We believe both the RPF and the RPRA benefit from clearer communication and look forward to working with the RPRA on these efforts. To date this has included ongoing communication with the RPRA and its sub-committees on the development of a new RPRA and RPF graphic identity, inspired by the Rockcliffe coat of arms; a new look to the newsletter; and the new “Rockcliffe A-to-Z” booklet. 

 

A website sub-committee, led by Heather Hickling, was created to develop a new RPF website, one that can be easily updated and that can communicate more effectively with Rockcliffe residents. 

 

The Development sub-committee prepared a review of all current and past fundraising programs, with a view of developing recommendations for a clear and cohesive fundraising and development policy.

 

The Historical Plaque sub-committee’s installation of the second plaque was delayed due to the pandemic but the plaque will be installed in 2021 at the Hillsdale entrance to the conservation area.  

 

And recognizing that the biennial Dining with the Ambassadors would not be possible in 2021 due to the pandemic, the DWA committee maintained its outreach to our diplomatic community and began an ongoing recipe series for the newsletter featuring recipes provided by diplomatic neighbours. 

 

The Nominating committee, responsible for identifying and recommending members for the RPF Board and led by Ryan Kilger, recruited Donna Taucer in 2020. During the year, the board lost Nancy Carr with her move to Europe and Bonnie Robinson, stepped down as Chair after more than a decade of service. The RPF board has greatly benefitted from Bonnie’s leadership. Her dedication to Rockcliffe has enhanced the RPF’s ability to support our community. With the end of 2020, Bonnie, Roy Williams, and Alison Green have left the board and moved onto new projects. On behalf of all of us, thank you for your contributions to our community.

 

Looking back at 2020 and the unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic, one would be hard pressed to find a single neighbour who did not feel comforted by and grateful for our beautiful natural environment and our shared public spaces. Our lovely treed streets allowed for socially-distanced walks, and the pond, dog parks, and this December, McKay lake, were all the busiest they have ever been. 

 

One can’t help but be grateful for the foresight of the neighbours who first established the RPF and its endowment in order to conserve these shared spaces and the natural beauty all around Rockcliffe, as well as preserve the heritage character of this conservation district, and sense of community: our three-pillars. 

 

Finally, thank you to a dedicated Board of Directors who persevered through Zoom meetings and generously continued their volunteer work all while responding to the new challenges of 2020: thank you Anthony Carty, Alexandra Colt, Alison Green, Heather Hickling, Ryan Kilger, Fiona Murray, Jane Newcombe, Jane Panet, Bonnie Robinson, Paul St. Louis, Donna Taucer, and Roy Williams. 

 

Sarah Baxter

Chair, Rockcliffe Park Foundation

 

2019

 

2018

 

2017

 

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