First, from all of us at the Rideau Hall Foundation, thank you. Thank you to all the front-line workers that are keeping us healthy, safe and fed. Thank you to the public servants who are finding new ways to respond to our country’s changing needs. Thank you to the teachers and educators for engaging with their students, nurturing their minds from afar. And thank you to all the charities and not-for-profits who work so hard for their communities, to fill the gaps and strengthen our sense of unity in this time of distance and uncertainty.

Like many organizations across the country, the RHF has been thinking about what we can do to make things better for those around us. Given the long-term nature of our programming, we will continue to reach Canadians in different ways over the coming months. We’re focusing on partnerships with organizations like the Canadian Association of Gift Planners and CanadaHelps to find new ways to encourage giving and support charities as they navigate the unknown of our current context. We’re getting set to launch this year’s Arctic Inspiration Prize call for nominations, so that teams focused on helping northern communities can still access important and flexible seed funding to get their projects off the ground. And of course, global learning and a commitment to building cross cultural leadership skills, exemplified by the Queen Elizabeth Scholars program, will continue to be crucial for Canada when we emerge from this crisis.

We’ve been beyond impressed and inspired by the ingenuity, innovation and creativity demonstrated across the country, in all areas and all focused on making a difference during this crisis. Through our goal of fostering Canada’s culture of innovation, we will keep engaging with you on stories of exemplary Canadian innovation, particularly those most relevant to today’s circumstances. We’ll also share the results from this year’s Culture of Innovation Index survey and explore how innovation can come out of the least expected places to have the most significant impacts.

Though it may be hard to see now, this crisis will end. And we’ll be together again doing those things that we believe are so important for Canada. I’m encouraged to think that we may in fact come out of this even more connected than we were before, with a greater understanding and empathy for each other’s situation and needs. We’re turning our attention, like many of you, to what comes next for Canada. Partnerships and working collaboratively will be even more important and perhaps we’ll be even smarter about how to partner most effectively. Community building in all its facets will undoubtedly continue and that’s where we’ll focus our energy – on bringing people and organizations together to help build a better and stronger Canada.

Until then, stay safe and keep well.

Teresa Marques

President and CEO, Rideau Hall Foundation