Golf Canada partners with Osprey Valley to build a new home for Canadian golf
Golf Canada and Osprey Valley have announced a major partnership and bold vision to build a new Home for Canadian Golf – a momentous project that will see the National Sport Federation relocate its corporate base of operations to TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley in Caledon, Ont.
In addition to Golf Canada’s national headquarters and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, the vision for the Canadian golf campus on the grounds of TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley will feature the national headquarters for First Tee – Canada which will include a publicly accessible community putting green and an indoor training centre.
Golf Ontario and the Club Management Association of Canada (CMAC) have committed to relocate their corporate headquarters to Caledon, Ont., collaborating with Golf Canada to embrace the golf community and develop a dynamic home campus for Canadian golf. The PGA of Canada has also committed to a strategic partnership with Golf Canada to assist in executing grassroots component along with coaching and training activities.
The invitation for Canadian golf industry partners as well as government stakeholders, and long-time global affiliates at the R&A, PGA TOUR, and LPGA Tour to plug into the Home for Canadian Golf, will be signature moment in the advancement of the sport of golf in Canada.
“Our vision to be a world leader in golf contemplates more than just a physical building—culture, collaboration, and innovation are critical elements,” said Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum. “Establishing a new headquarters and a Canadian golf campus with our partners to meet, play, train, plan, celebrate and collaborate, represents a transformative moment to advance the sport.”
TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley is a renowned 54-hole golf facility in Peel Region, located in the heart of Caledon, Ont. The property is currently undergoing a significant privately funded expansion and commercial development that includes the construction of new clubhouse and conference amenities as well as improvements to the practice facility and guest experience with accommodations and hosting facilities onsite.
For Osprey Valley President Chris Humeniuk, partnering with Golf Canada and industry partners to bring a Canadian golf campus to life is part of the ongoing story of Osprey Valley becoming a signature destination for Canadian golf and an effort to uplift the game of golf in Canada.
“We’re thrilled by the vision presented by Laurence and the entire Golf Canada team and are elated to collaborate with partners who share our vision of elevating golf to new heights in this country,” said Humeniuk.
TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley has welcomed a number of signature events in Canadian golf including the Osprey Valley Open on PGA TOUR Canada as well as Golf Canada’s Junior Skills Challenge National Event. The facility has also hosted qualifier events for both the RBC Canadian Open and the US Open and has committed to host the 2026 Canadian Junior Girls Championship, presented by BDO.
In 2021, the Humeniuk Family Foundation and TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley made a major chapter-founding gift to Golf Canada Foundation that aligns with the property serving as the national headquarters for First Tee – Canada.
Phase one of the Home for Canadian Golf project—which will include the corporate headquarters, a reinvigoration of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, and a 30,000 square foot community putting green inspired by the Himalayas Putting Course in St. Andrews – will break ground in 2023 with an expected completion by 2025.
The vision for phase two includes the development of First Tee – Canada National Headquarters that will support coaching education and programming for First Tee chapters across Canada. The indoor short game complex will double as a national talent identification centre for the next generation of Canadian players, bolstering Golf Canada’s goal to advance 30 Canadians to the LPGA and PGA Tours by 2032.
For the leadership group at Golf Ontario and the Club Management Association of Canada, joining forces on the Canadian golf campus was an opportunity for deeper collaboration across the sport.
“We are thrilled to rally and support this tremendous project and new home for Canadian golf, helping to unify and provide the golf community a true base which will no doubt create efficiencies, inspire collaboration, and help introduce more participants to our great sport,” said Golf Ontario CEO Mike Kelly.
“Our purpose is to develop, promote and support the profession of club management by providing educational and networking opportunities for our members, including golf, city, multi-sport, yacht, faculty and social clubs,” said Suzanne Godbehere, CEO of the Club Management Association of Canada. “Integrating CMAC’s operation into the Canadian golf campus really is a special opportunity for thought sharing with our partners.”
The PGA of Canada and their members will plug into the Canadian golf campus with the delivery of grassroots programs as well as training, education, and coaching upon the completion of phase two.
“Having a destination for PGA of Canada professionals to come together for education and junior golf program development including First Tee – Canada training will be a huge boost for the growth of our sport,” said Kevin Thistle, CEO of the PGA of Canada. “Collaboration and innovation with partners have always been driving forces in Canadian golf and there is no doubt that a campus environment will bolster these experiences.”
Cost for phase one of the Home for Canadian Golf project is estimated at approx. $20M and the financial funding model will be led by Golf Canada along with a donation from Osprey Valley. Phase two of development is expected to cost $10M and will only proceed upon successful fundraising campaigns supported by the Golf Canada Foundation and private donors as well as through naming rights, contributions from industry partners, and government support.
The Home for Canadian Golf project aligns with a multi-million-dollar Drive Campaign launched by the Golf Canada Foundation to fund First Tee – Canada headquarters, chapters, and programming along with enhancements to Team Canada’s high-performance program. To date, $36.9M of the $70M fundraising goal has been secured through major gift donations.
“We’re excited to partner with the Humeniuk family, TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley, and Golf Canada on a new Home for Canadian Golf,” said Golf Canada Foundation CEO Martin Barnard. “Not only will this become home for the Foundation, but it will also anchor the Drive Campaign, unprecedented in Canadian sport. Our major donor Trustees have a long history of supporting up-and-coming Canadian players and have now also put substantial support behind launching First Tee in Canada, ensuring broad access for all young Canadians to the character-building life lessons the sport of golf can provide.”
The Town of Caledon has already extended its support towards becoming a hub community for Canadian golf with a recommendation to the Regional Municipality of Peel to approve a $2.5M investment towards bringing the project to life.
“I am thrilled that Caledon will be the new home of Golf Canada’s National Headquarters and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum,” said Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson. “In addition to the significant economic benefits to our community, the campus will also feature the youth development program, First Tee, an accessible program designed to empower and inspire youth through sport – This is GREAT news for Caledon.”
Hicks Design Studio has been selected by Golf Canada as the architect of record to bring the Canadian golf campus to life.
The announcement of the Home for Canadian Golf follows several years of due diligence by Golf Canada to explore a long-term solution and forward-looking vision for the relocation of its corporate headquarters as well as the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, which are currently located on the grounds of Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont.
Once complete, the Home for Canadian Golf will be a multifaceted, world-class tourist facility that will support community recreational benefits; drive inclusivity and community among equity-deserving youth; and become a foundational pillar that supports grassroots participation and high-performance golf.
All appointees will be presented with their insignia at future investiture ceremonies (dates to be determined).
“The Order of Canada celebrates the lives, endeavours and successes of people from coast to coast to coast and from all walks of life. Those being appointed today come from a variety of sectors, have achieved national and international success, and have shown ingenuity, innovation and generosity. What’s more, they have made a difference in their communities and for Canada with their outstanding dedication and commitment. Congratulations to the new Order of Canada appointees, as well as those celebrating a promotion within the Order.”
The Order of Canada was created in 1967, by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, to honour people whose service shapes our society, whose innovations ignite our imaginations, and whose compassion unites our communities.
Masi wines named as Official Wine Partner of Golf Canada
Canada’s National Open Golf Championships will welcome a new wine partner as Golf Canada has aligned with Masi Wines, the historic Italian wine producer which celebrates its 250th anniversary this year, as the Official Wine of Golf Canada, the RBC Canadian Open and the CP Women’s Open.
Through the partnership, Masi’s premium portfolio, led by Masianco Pinot Grigio, the iconic red Campofiorin and the exciting new Fresco di Masi line – two refreshing organic blends perfect for summer – will be the feature wines poured at Golf Canada’s two National Open Golf Championships.
Masi will also elevate the summer festival atmosphere at the RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open with a pouring experience from the one-of-a-kind Masi Airstream Trailer that offers spectators a custom retreat at the Masi Wine Garden.
“Golf Canada is very proud to partner with Masi Wines to deliver a selection of premium wines to our two flagship properties,” said John Sibley, Chief Commercial Officer at Golf Canada. “Masi’s diverse wine portfolio is well-positioned as the Official Wine of Golf Canada as we look forward to building on the festival atmosphere at the RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open.”
Masi is distributed in Canada by fourth-generation family-owned and operated Authentic Wine and Spirits Merchants – a national fine wine and spirits importer and distributor headquartered in Mississauga, Ont. For Masi, the partnership will allow the wine brand to leverage Canadian golf while continuing to advance its brand profile and portfolio of golfing, hosting, ticketing, and media assets.
“We are delighted to partner with Golf Canada and honoured to serve as the Official Wine of the RBC Canadian Open and the CP Women’s Open.” says Luc Desroches, Sales Managing Director, Canada for Masi. “Golf, like wine, brings people closer together and is at its best when shared amongst good friends. We look forward to introducing golfers across Canada to our exciting range of wines from the beautiful Venetian territories of northeast Italy and beyond. With golf growing in Canada (and Italy!) we are excited to be along for the ride as the preferred glass of the 19th hole.”
As the National Sport Federation, Golf Canada will conduct the RBC Canadian Open June 6-12, 2022 at St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Toronto Ont. with nearby Islington Golf Club as the official practice facility. The CP Women’s Open, takes place August 22-28, 2022 at Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club in Ottawa, Ont.
Click here for more information on the RBC Canadian Open.
Click here for more information on the CP Women’s Open.
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STALK&BARREL selected as Official Canadian Whisky of Golf Canada
Golf Canada and STALK&BARREL Handcrafted Canadian Whisky announced today a multi-year partnership that will see STALK&BARREL become the official Canadian Whisky Partner for Golf Canada, the RBC Canadian Open and the CP Women’s Open.
Through its partnership position which runs through 2025, STALK&BARREL Handcrafted Canadian Whisky will be poured exclusively at the RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open hospitality and concession locations with fan activations planned at the Recipe Unlimited Fare Way food and beverage experience onsite at both championships.
“Welcoming a premium, locally crafted whisky to our corporate hospitality and concessions offering will further enhance the festival experience of our National Open Championships and we are pleased to introduce STALK&BARREL as our Official Canadian Whisky for the RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open,” said John Sibley, Chief Commercial Officer of Golf Canada.
STALK&BARREL is a handcrafted Canadian Whisky, made locally at a craft distillery in Ontario with a true ‘grain to glass’ commitment. It’s a small batch, single malt that is 100% Canadian owned and operated and aspires to inspire new traditions among Canadians.
“The STALK&BARREL team is ecstatic to be aligned with a great Canadian institution like Golf Canada. We’re proud to affiliate ourselves with an organization that embodies the same Canadian spirit and values as ours and Golf Canada was the clear choice. We look forward to working together with them through their partner clubs, members, and marquee events for 2022 and beyond.” said Steven Ciccolini, President, CIVC.
The 2022 RBC Canadian Open will be held June 6-12 at St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Toronto, Ont. with nearby Islington Golf serving as the official practice facility. The 2022 CP Women’s Open will be contested August 22-28 at Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club in Ottawa, Ont.
Salimah Mussani promoted to Women’s Head Coach of Team Canada
Salimah Mussani, Team Canada Women's Head Coach (Golf Canada)
Golf Canada announced today that Salimah Mussani has been promoted from Assistant Coach and named as Women’s Head Coach for Team Canada. Mussani will oversee the development of Canada’s top female amateur and professional golfers with the objective of increasing the number of Canadian players on the LPGA Tour.
“I am extremely honoured and grateful to have this opportunity to lead our women’s program into this next phase,” said Mussani. “Having the opportunity to help our country’s top female golfers achieve their dreams and succeed is a blessing. “I am looking forward to working together with everyone who is involved in the development of our players on their journey to the LPGA Tour.”
A two-time Ontario Junior champion and two-time Canadian Junior champion, Mussani brings a wealth of competitive experience having been a key member of a NCAA runner-up golf team at Stanford University before competing as a professional on the Epson and LPGA Tours, as well as the (former) Canadian Women’s Tour. Mussani is a former PGA of Canada Women’s champion and winner on the Epson Tour and (former) Canadian Women’s Tour. Mussani has held assistant coaching roles with Stanford University, University of British Columbia, and Team Canada. Originally from Burlington, Ont., Mussani is a PGA of Canada class “A” professional who now resides in Vancouver.
Jennifer Greggain of Chilliwack, B.C. joins Mussani on the coaching staff of Team Canada as a full-time Associate Coach, transitioning from her current role as Assistant Coach for the National Junior Squad. A former LPGA Tour player with 22 years of professional golf experience, Greggain previously served as a Provincial Coach for British Columbia Golf and as the Assistant Coach for Team Canada.
“I am incredibly excited to work alongside Salimah as we lead our women’s program into the future. We are both very passionate about Canadian women’s golf and feel well-prepared to help Canada pursue its player development goals,” said Greggain.
“We are excited about the leadership that Salimah and Jennifer will provide for our women’s program. In addition to enhancing the performance of Canada’s best amateur and professional players, they will create a supportive and communicative culture that prioritizes overall wellbeing for our Canadian women during their journeys to the LPGA tour,” said Golf Canada High Performance Manager Emily Phoenix.
Golf Canada’s High-Performance program builds on the support that Canadian athletes have received in their development years from their family, member clubs, personal coaches, university programs and provincial golf associations. In addition to Golf Canada Foundation and the generosity from the major donor Trustee program, Golf Canada’s High-Performance Program and Team Canada are proudly supported by RBC, Canadian Pacific, Audi, Titleist, FootJoy, COBRA PUMA GOLF, Foresight Sports, Heritage Canada, Bear Mountain Resort, Citi Canada (Young Pro) and the Canadian Olympic Committee.
Johnsonville becomes Official Sausage Partner of Golf Canada
Golf Canada is proud to announce a new partnership with Johnsonville that will see the company become the Official Sausage Partner of Golf Canada and its two signature events – the RBC Canadian Open and the CP Women’s Open.
The partnership positions Johnsonville as the exclusive supplier of sausage products – including their signature bratwurst – at Canada’s National Open Golf Championships beginning in 2022.
Spectators at the RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open will also enjoy sampling new and sensational flavours from one of North America’s leading sausage brands at the Johnsonville Trailer within the Recipe Unlimited Fare Way food and beverage experience.
“We are very pleased to welcome Johnsonville’s globally renowned products as the Official Sausage Partner of the RBC Canadian Open and CP Women’s Open,” said John Sibley, Chief Commercial Officer of Golf Canada. “Golf fans will be treated to a premium food and sampling experience, and we look forward to this partnership enhancing the summer-fun festival vibe across our two flagship properties.”
Johnsonville has remained committed to excellence since its inception in 1945. For the 77-year-old organization, partnering with the National Sport Federation is an opportunity to showcase their signature products to an engaged golf audience at two of Canada’s premier sporting events.
“Our brand has always been one to bring family and friends together around good food and good times – at backyard barbeques and sporting events of all kind. We’re proud to bring golf fans our delicious Johnsonville bratwurst at Golf Canada events and serve as the official sausage of the CP Women’s Open and RBC Canadian Open” said Brad Martin, Managing Director of Johnsonville Canada.
The 2022 RBC Canadian Open will be held June 6-12 at St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Toronto, Ont. with nearby Islington Golf Club as the official practice facility. The CP Women’s Open will be contested August 22-28 at Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club in Ottawa, Ont.
Liz Hoffman elected to serve a second term as President
Golf Canada’s 2022 Annual Meeting culminated on Thursday, March 3rd with the election of Liz Hoffman of Wasaga Beach, Ont. to serve a second term as the 116th President of the National Sport Federation.
Hoffman, a member of both Mad River Golf Club in Creemore, Ont. as well as The Thornhill Club in Vaughn, Ont. is joined by Vice-President Dale Jackson of Victoria, B.C. in leading the 13-member Board of Directors who will work closely with Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum.
Based on the report of Golf Canada’s Nominating Committee, Hoffman and Jackson will be joined on the 2022 Board of Directors by returnees Alison Chisholm of Rothesay, N.B., Adam Daifallah of Montreal, Que., Diane Drury-Clarke of Montreal, Que., Shawn Evans of Kitchener, Ont., Patrick Kelly of Victoria, B.C., Susan MacKinnon of Calgary, Alta., Peter Major of Calgary, Alta., David McCarthy of Toronto, Ont., Jean-Sébastien Monty of Montreal, Que., and Rai Sahi of Mississauga, Ont., along with new addition Michelle Collens of Vancouver, B.C.
“In 2021, the organization and our sport continued to grow with pace and 2022 is going to be another special year. Our National Open Championships are back, Canadian high-performance golf is accelerating, First Tee – Canada will continue to roll out across Canada, industry collaboration with our provincial and national partners has never been stronger, and most importantly, people are enjoying the game and everything it has to offer.”
Long time Golf Canada volunteers Barbara Allan of Kingston, Ont. and Jim Clark of Aurora, Ont. were recognized at the Annual Meeting for their contributions to the association as Honorary Life Governors. Golf Canada’s 2022 Annual Meeting was conducted virtually over two days, March 2-3 with volunteers, staff, member clubs, and key industry stakeholders participating.
2021 Annual Report & Financial Statements
Click here to read Golf Canada’s 2021 Annual Report, which includes a recap of the past season, as well as the organization’s 2021 Financial Statements, which were released during Golf Canada’s Annual General Meeting.
Golf Canada’s 2022 Outlook & Operational Plan – presented by Golf Canada CEO Laurence Applebaum
Keynote Address: Fireside Chat with International Golf Federation President & World Golf Hall of Fame Member, Annika Sörenstam – hosted by Golf Canada President Liz Hoffman
Canadian Golf High-Performance Strategy – presented by Golf Canada Chief Sport Officer Kevin Blue
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Safe Sport – Introduced by Golf Canada Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Safe Sport, Laura Wilson
Ken Casey and David Atkinson named co-recipients of the 2021 Bruce Mitchell Volunteer of the Year…
In the continued celebration of volunteerism, Golf Canada also recognized Ken Casey of St. John’s, N.L. and David Atkinson, formerly of Vancouver, B.C. and now Goderich, Ont. as the 2021 co-recipients of the Bruce Mitchell Volunteer of the Year Award. Now in its 16th year, candidates for the Bruce Mitchell Volunteer of the Year Award are put forth to Golf Canada for consideration by the respective provincial golf associations in acknowledgment of significant contributions to the game of golf in their community. Click here for more.
Volunteers Ruth & Ian Giles along Golf Journalist Garry McKay to Receive Golf Canada’s 2022 Distinguished Service Award…
Golf Canada announced that three accomplished golf contributors from Hamilton, Ont. – tireless volunteers Ruth and Ian Giles along with esteemed golf journalist Garry McKay – will be acknowledged for their tremendous contributions to the sport as the 2022 recipients of Golf Canada’s Distinguished Service Award. The presentation of the Distinguished Service Award will be celebrated in person during the week of the 108th playing of the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, July 19-22 at Westmount Golf and Country Club in Kitchener, Ont. Click here for more.
Golf Canada recognizes Ruth & Ian Giles as well as Garry McKay with 2022 Distinguished Service Award
Three accomplished golf contributors from Hamilton, Ont. – tireless volunteers Ruth and Ian Giles along with esteemed golf journalist Garry McKay – will be acknowledged for their tremendous contributions to the sport as the 2022 recipients of Golf Canada’s Distinguished Service Award.
The announcement of the 2022 Distinguished Service Award honourees will be made during Golf Canada’s Annual General Meeting which will be conducted virtually on Thursday, March 3.
“Golf Canada is extremely proud to recognize two long-serving volunteers in Ruth and Ian Giles along with respected golf journalist Garry McKay as the recipients of our 2022 Distinguished Service Award,” said Golf Canada President Liz Hoffman.
“Each of their collective efforts has left a meaningful mark on the Canadian golf landscape and it is with great respect and admiration that we honour each of them for their passion and commitment to our sport.”
The presentation of the Distinguished Service Award to this year’s honourees will be celebrated in person during the week of the 108th playing of the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship, July 19-22 at Westmount Golf and Country Club in Kitchener, Ont.
Golf Canada 2022 Distinguished Service Award Honourees:
Ruth & Ian Giles (Volunteer)
The Giles’ pairing are long tenured golf volunteers who have shared their time and passion for the game with both Golf Ontario and Golf Canada, serving on numerous committees at the operational and executive level. Over the past four decades, the Hamilton residents have supported hundreds of local, provincial, national, international, and professional championships as duty roster volunteers in a rules or starting and scoring capacity.
Ruth was previously honoured with the 2007 Golf Ontario Volunteer of the Year, the 2007 Bruce Mitchell Golf Canada Volunteer of the Year, and the Golf Ontario 2011 Dick Grimm Distinguished Volunteer of the Year. She also supported Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board middle school golf tournament over the years.
Ian served as the President of the Ontario Golf Association (OGA) in 2001 and in 2002 helped lead the association’s amalgamation with the Ontario Ladies Golf Association – today Golf Ontario. Before becoming President, he spent six years as a Golf Ontario Director chairing numerous committees including the Ontario Golf Hall of Fame committee in 2007 and 2008. A Level 3 rules official and past governor with Golf Canada (2003-2012), Ian has given his time to numerous Golf Canada volunteer committees including the Governors Council and has also served on a number Golf Ontario Volunteer committees. In 2014, Golf Ontario named Ian the recipient of the Dick Grimm Distinguished Service Award.
The Giles’ have been long-time contributors to the Hamilton Halton Junior Golf Tour—Ruth has served since 1999 in a variety of roles including past President (2002-03), secretary and a board member. Ian served as President from 1996-98 and has also contributed over the years as a board member and rules official. The selection of Ruth and Ian Giles marks the first time that a family duo has been selected for Golf Canada’s Distinguished Service Award.
Garry McKay (Media)
A past President and founding director of the Golf Journalists Association of Canada (GJAC), McKay is a respected sports journalist who has covered golf for more than 43 years. He first reported on the RBC Canadian Open in 1968 for CKOC radio and is highly respected as the longtime golf reporter for the Hamilton Spectator where he has covered all aspects of the sport from local golf to the professional game. McKay has also contributed to a multitude of Canadian and international publications during his tenure including Pro Shop, SCOREGolf, Ontario Golf and Golf Canada Magazine.
A decorated journalist across a number of sports, he has garnered a number of achievements including a SCOREGolf Award. McKay has served on the selection committees for the World Golf Hall of Fame, PGA of Canada Hall of Fame, Ontario Golf Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and has also volunteered his time with the Stanley Thomson Society and Golf Canada’s Heritage Committee. McKay is also a founding director, current board member, and treasurer of the Golden Horseshoe Athlete of the Year Award as well as a founding director and current chair of the Hamilton Sports Hall of Fame. He is also a founding director of the Hamilton Halton Junior Golf Tour (1984), an organization he continues to serve on the board of directors and as a volunteer at the registration table, as a rules official, and at the scoreboard.
McKay was recognized by Golf Ontario with the 2015 Lorne Rubenstein Media Award and in 2021 was honoured by his GJAC peers with the Dick Grimm Award.
Golf Canada’s Distinguished Service Award has been presented annually since 1993 to recognize individuals who have had an outstanding impact on Canadian golf either nationally or within their community.
In addition to the 2022 Distinguished Service Award, Golf Canada will also celebrate Ken Casey of St. John’s, N.L. and David Atkinson, formerly Vancouver, B.C. and now Goderich, Ont. as co-recipients of the 2021 Bruce Mitchell Volunteer of the Year.
Another pair of distinguished Golf Canada volunteers – Barbara Allan of Kingston, Ont. and Jim Clark of Aurora, Ont.– will be named Honorary Life Governors for their long serving contributions to the organization.
Golf Canada’s Annual General Meeting will culminate with Liz Hoffman of Wasaga Beach, Ont., a member of both Mad River Golf Club and The Thornhill Club sworn in to serve a second term as President of Golf Canada.
Atkinson & Casey named co-recipients of 2021 Bruce Mitchell Volunteer of the Year Award
Golf Canada is pleased to announce that Ken Casey of St. John’s, N.L. and David Atkinson, formerly of Vancouver, B.C. and now Goderich, Ont. have been named the 2021 co-recipients of the Bruce Mitchell Volunteer of the Year Award. A presentation of the award will take place on Thursday, March 3rd as part of Golf Canada’s Virtual Annual Meeting.
“Volunteers are integral to the success of golf in this country and on behalf of Golf Canada and all of the provincial golf associations, we are very proud to recognize Ken Casey and David Atkinson for their deep contributions to the advance the game,” said Golf Canada President Liz Hoffman. “They have supported golf in Newfoundland and British Columbia as well as at the national level and have had a major impact on the advancement of the sport in their communities.”
The Bruce Mitchell Volunteer of the Year Award is named in recognition of Toronto native Bruce Mitchell who in 2017-18 was the first Canadian to serve as captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A). Born in Victoria and raised in Edmonton, the former President of the Toronto Golf Club and R&A member since 1988 was just the ninth internationally appointed captain of the R&A, one of the most prestigious volunteer positions in the world of golf. Duties as captain included representing the R&A as a global ambassador and aiding in the R&A’s effort to develop golf around the world.
Now in its 16th year, candidates for the Bruce Mitchell Volunteer of the Year Award are put forth to Golf Canada for consideration by the respective provincial golf associations in acknowledgment of significant contributions to the game of golf in their community.
Get to Know – Ken Casey (Golf Newfoundland & Labrador)
Golf Newfoundland & Labrador is extremely proud of their long-time friend, Ken Casey.
At 12 years old, he took up the game at Bally Haly Golf Club in St. John’s, N.L. and has enjoyed it for a lifetime. Ken began to volunteer at Bally Haly in the late 1980s where he was elected to serve on the golf committee and several years later was named Golf Captain. In 1990, Ken assembled a group of volunteers to organize the Bally Haly Men’s Invitational (one of the largest in the province) which 30 plus years later continues to draw golfers from all across the province.
In 1994 Ken became President of what was then the Newfoundland Labrador Golf Association (NLGA) and had served the organization across a number of activities and committees over the years. A decade later, he was approached to serve on the Board of Directors of newly formed Golf Newfoundland Labrador ( Golf NL) as Treasurer and after a two-year term, accepted the nomination to serve as President where he spent four years helping to direct the growth and development of the organization.
Ken’s contributions have been felt across the entire organization including the development of a new membership model that provided financial stability. He has also been a champion for new policies to address safe sport, enhancements to the player development program and ensuring that funds were allocated to develop a three-year marketing plan for the organization.
Ken also guided the creation of the Go Golf Booklet initiative and has supported fundraising activities including the development of a junior golf scholarship program.
Get to Know – David Atkinson (British Columbia Golf)
Although he now lives in Ontario, David Atkinson’s support for the game in British Columbia and nationally has been outstanding.
A constant presence at golf championships in British Columbia, David volunteered as a starter and scorer at a multitude of zone, provincial and national championships as well as the Vancouver Golf Tour. David also has the great honour of serving as the non-playing captain of three Lamley Cup teams.
Administratively, he served seven years on the Board of Directors with of BC Golf including three years as President and three more as Past President. His contributions to the organization were felt across a number of committees including Human Resources, Finance and Governance, and he played an important role helping BC Golf to diversify its Board.
David also plugged in to support the Pacific Coast Golf Association, serving eight years as a Trustee and two years as President in addition to his work at four of the association’s championships.
With Golf Canada, in addition to joining the duty roster at various championships, he served three years on the Board of Directors and has been an active member of the Governors Council where he participated on and chaired several committees. David has also been active contributor with the Golf Canada Foundation as a member of the Grants and Scholarship Committee.