Friends of Chippewa Park Report

Chippewa Park
Chippewa Park is a tourism jewel in Thunder Bay shared by locals and visitors
Chippewa Park
Chippewa Park is a tourism jewel in Thunder Bay shared by locals and visitors

THUNDER BAY – The Friends of Chippewa Park held their Annual General Meeting on Thursday night. The event was a celebration of the events of the past year, and of success for this coming year.

The evening also included an announcement from Thunder Bay Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro. The Province of Ontario is helping The Friends of Chippewa Park protect Lake Superior through a grant of $24,500 from the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund.

Friends of Chippewa Park

The Friends of Chippewa Park will be using this funding grant to plant trees and expand and enhance the current beach trail.  Trees Thunder Bay and Union Gas of Thunder Bay will assist with the project by enlisting over 20 community volunteers and some equipment.

The Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund grants help grassroots community groups, non-profit organizations and First Nations and Métis communities restore the lakes and their tributaries through local actions such as cleaning up shorelines and protecting and restoring wetlands.  This will protect water quality in the Great Lakes.

Protecting and restoring the Great Lakes is part of the Province’s plan to enhance the quality of life for Ontario families and ensure a strong, green economy for future generations.

“The Friends of Chippewa Park appreciates that the Government of Ontario has recognized the opportunity to improve Chippewa Park with these funds.  It will allow us to extend the existing trail system to the newly-redeveloped Sandy Beach Park swimming area. The FOCP has now raised and invested over $6.3 million into the park since 2001,” commented Lorraine Lortie-Krawczuk, President, The Friends of Chippewa Park.

“Planting new trees is crucial to enhancing Chippewa Park’s value to the environment and to the community. Kudos to The Friends of Chippewa Park for leading this initiative that will see up to 34 large caliper trees added to the Park, shared Rod Seabrook, President, Trees Thunder Bay.

President’s Report – Lorraine Lortie-Krawczuk 

1. Funding from the Government of Canada enabled us to hire two students for a total of 14 weeks. We have received this grant from Canada Summer Jobs program for a number of years and are greatly appreciative of the support we have received from MP John Rafferty in obtaining funding to support our work. The students provide the public relations required at the park, greeting visitors, updating our web site, posting on face book and tweeting. They also conduct in-park surveys each year and act as the MCs at the Sundays in the Park Concerts.

2. Thanks to an annual grant of $5,000 from the City of Thunder Bay we continue to feature local musical entertainment at the park each Sunday during most of the summer. The concerts run for two hours and are held on the TBayTel Family Stage.

3. The Rob McLeod Capitol Players continue to entertain old and young alike with their annual melodrama production.  Last summer they were playing to full houses towards the end.

4. 2012 saw the second year of the very popular Tuesday night Jam Session. Thanks to the hard work of Board Members Dennis and Bernice Woods and their great team of volunteers the Jam Sessions also saw packed houses as word got out on how great the evenings were.  The Friends of Chippewa Park were recipients of a donation of $500 from the voluntary donations received during the jam sessions.  Well done!

5. 2012 saw the start of the transition of the Bill Beavis Family Fun Day from a Beavis family enterprise to one that is managed by TFOCP. This transition continues with the planning for the 2013 Family Fun Day. Although the weather worked against us last year, everyone who participated had a great time. We learned what to do the same and what to do different for future Fun Days.  We will always be grateful to Bill Beavis and his family, particularly Bonnie Shipston for their leadership in creating a great day at Chippewa Park.

7. During this past year, Bill Lafontaine, a long standing member of the Board and a former President tendered his resignation. This was a real blow to the organization as Bill was a significant contributor to the health of the Board and to the Park.  Bill remains committed to volunteering when and where we need him so he hasn’t gone that far. I want to thank Bill for all of his hard work.

8. I do want to introduce the new board member who we appointed to replace Bill. Linda Siczkar is a retired graphic artist for the City of Thunder Bay. More importantly she is a member of the USA National Carousel Association, a wood carver and someone who is passionate about our historic Merry Go Round.  She has teamed up with our grant writer and secretary, Iain Angus to begin the process to refurbish our carousel.  Welcome Linda.

9. We have a terrific Board that makes it possible to do all that we do. My thanks to all of you for your commitment and your investment in time. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you over the next year.

Summer of 2013 at Chippewa Park

1. Return of a number of key events and activities:

  • a. Kite Festival – May 25 & 26
  • b. Shelter House Relay – June 1 & 2
  • c. Bennie Birch’s Birthday Party – June 7 to 9
  • d. Resolute Forest Products Picnic- June 15
  • e. Bombardier Picnic – June 16
  • f. Other picnics as in the past
  • g. Numerous School Playdays in June
  • h. Tuesday night Jam Sessions, June 11, 18 & 25, July 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30, Aug 6, 13, 20 & 27 – Dennis Woods
  • i. Sundays in the Park Concerts – June 16, 23 & 30, July 7, 21 & 28, Aug 4, 11, 18 & 25 – Lorraine
  • j. Bill Beavis Family Fun Day sponsored by The Friends of Chippewa Park- July 14
  • k. Rob McLeod’s Capitol Theatre Players Melodrama – Thursdays from July 4 to 25 at 7 PM, and Sundays from July 7 to 28 at 4 PM
  • l. Thunder Bay Agility Dogs – Aug 16 to 18
  • m. 11 weddings and one anniversary in the pavilion over the summer

Election of Officers

Lorraine Lortie-Krawczuk was acclaimed as President for her second three year term. Linda Siczkar was elected as Membership Chair, while Dennis Woods and Bernice Woods were elected as Directors. All for a three year terms.  Dennis Woods becomes Past President of TFOCP.

Iain Angus


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