Ottawa, June 7, 2018 – The Paralympic Foundation of Canada celebrated the first anniversary of its ImagiNation campaign this week, an ambitious four-year fundraising program aimed at investing an unprecedented $10 million in developing the future stars of Paralympic sport.
Launched in June 2017, ImagiNation seeks to raise $6 million over four years, which will unlock $1 million in matching funds per year from the Government of Canada.
As of March 31, 2018, the campaign has raised $2.1 million in donations and pledges towards its goal. In January, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities and Pfizer Canada came on board as lead campaign partners with $1 million and $500,000 commitments, respectively.
“I am overwhelmed by the incredible impact the ImagiNation campaign has had in this first year,” said Mike Shaikh, ImagiNation campaign chair. “Through the generosity of Canadians we are one-third of the way to our campaign goal of $6 million.”
Funds raised from ImagiNation will be targeted towards developing the next generation of athletes. In the first year of the campaign, $2 million (half from ImagiNation and half from the Government of Canada matching funds) was distributed to 21 National Sport Organizations to support approved Next Generation athlete development programs, including coaching, sport science and medicine, training environments, and competitions.
A number of ImagiNation-supported athletes competed at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games, including British Columbia’s Natalie Wilkie, who won three medals (gold, silver, and bronze) in Para nordic skiing at the age of 17.
“Canadian athletes with a disability demonstrate at every level what is truly possible through sport,” said Jim Westlake, Chair of the Board, Paralympic Foundation of Canada. “They are the finest examples that, with support, there are no limits.”
The goal of the ImagiNation campaign, which is still looking to raise the remaining $4 million over the next three years, is to ensure that more athletes with a disability have the opportunity to choose sport and to become athletes that excel on the world stage.
Please click here to access the ImagiNation year one report.