Representatives of Squamish Nation with B.C. Lieutenant Governor and TCT Champion Judith Guichon (centre, in white) and TCT Director Jim Bishop (far left), at the grand opening of the Sea to Sky Marine Trail in British Columbia, supported by the RBC Foundation. Photo: Gordon McKeever
With a generous $1 million philanthropic contribution to the TCT Chapter 150 Campaign, the RBC Foundation is supporting the development of three signature paddling routes in key areas of the TCT network
RBC has a longstanding commitment to environmental sustainability and, in 2007, launched the RBC Blue Water Project—a 10-year investment of $50 million to protect global fresh water.
So it is particularly appropriate that their support has been directed to water routes in three provinces—the Chief Whitecap Waterway in Saskatchewan, the Sea to Sky Marine Trail in British Columbia and the Bras d’Or Lake Water Route in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
The TCT offically opened two of these paddling routes this summer, with the third to follow in 2016.
At a joyous gathering near Saskatoon on June 6, 2015, Trans Canada Trail and Whitecap Dakota First Nation officially announced the grand opening of the Chief Whitecap Waterway, TCT’s first paddling route in Saskatchewan.
“We are pleased to have Chief Whitecap’s name attached to this historic section of the South Saskatchewan River, where our people, allies of the crown, found a home,” said Chief Darcy Bear of Whitecap Dakota First Nation.
“As a part of the Trans Canada Trail, this waterway speaks to connection, collaboration, and a healthy, active community.”
Chief Bear joined Saskatoon Mayor Donald Atchison, TCT President & CEO Deborah Apps, and TCT Foundation Co-Chair Valerie Pringle in opening the 108-kilometre route, partly funded by the R. Howard Webster Foundation as well as the RBC Foundation.
A few days later, in Squamish, British Columbia, the Trans Canada Trail celebrated the grand opening of the new Sea to Sky Marine Trail, the TCT’s only saltwater route on the Pacific Ocean.
TCT President & CEO Deborah Apps joined Squamish Nation Chief Bill Williams, British Columbia Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon, MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky Jordan Sturdy, and Squamish Mayor Patricia Heintzman, to mark the occasion: a major accomplishment in the environmental restoration of Howe Sound.
In his remarks. TCT Board member Jim Bishop expressed thanks to guest Troy Myers, Senior Account Manager for Aboriginal Markets at RBC, for the RBC Foundation’s generous support of this project and Trail development across Canada.
This new route connects the existing Sea to Sky Trail in Squamish to the Trans Canada Trail in Horseshoe Bay. New waterfront access points serve as rustic campsites along the route, offering the opportunity for multi-day paddling and camping trips throughout Howe Sound, with signage in English and the language of the Squamish Nation.
Thanks to the generous support of the RBC Foundation, the TCT is thrilled to have opened the Sea to Sky Marine Trail and the Chief Whitecap Waterway in 2015, and looks forward to the official opening of the Bras d’Or Lake Water Route in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, in 2016.
“These Trail sections, like so many others across the country, bring us much closer to fully connecting the Trail and Canadians by 2017,” says TCT President & CEO Deborah Apps. “Progress of this kind could not happen without the generous support of donors who are investing in our shared vision.”