Canadian Rugby Foundation Newsletter – June 2022

In this issue of the Canadian Rugby Foundation Newsletter, “News & Views”, we have updates since the 2021 Annual Report was published at the end of February, 2022. Click here to read the complete Newsletter.

The headlines are as follow:

Foundation News

  • Foundation & Rugby Canada Memorandum of Agreement
  • Changes in the Funds’ Disbursement or Grant process
  • Upcoming rugby dates

Continue reading

Rugby Canada and Canadian Rugby Foundation announce new agreement

May 10, 2022 (Langford, BC) – Rugby Canada and the Canadian Rugby Foundation are pleased to announce a new memorandum of agreement which focusses on increased collaboration and co-operation, communication and joint fundraising efforts between the two organizations.

At its core, the agreement recognizes their common purpose to grow and develop the sport across the country for those of all ages, genders, races, cultures, ethnic groups and socio-economic circumstances.

Since 2001, when Rugby Canada’s Board of Directors first endorsed the Foundation, the links between the two organizations have developed significantly. With expanded global competition on the pitch at a high-performance level and increased grassroots participation, the need for financial support for rugby at all levels in Canada has grown in the last two decades.

As such, Rugby Canada recognizes the Foundation’s unique role and acknowledges the working relationship between the two organizations must be more effective than ever. To create an environment in which that can occur, this new agreement has been developed to set out how the organizations will work together while still allowing each to continue important work they do autonomously.

“This agreement is an important step in our collective efforts to find efficiencies and alignment,” said Jamie Levchuk, Interim CEO, Rugby Canada. “The agreement highlights our joint desire to collaborate in communications, fundraising and grant provisions, all of which will be integral in the future efforts of both organizations. Moving forward, we believe that Rugby Canada and the Canadian Rugby Foundation can coordinate to address where gaps exist in our funding as well as which individuals and groups we need to engage to raise required funds.”

“We are excited to have formalized a framework within which our two organizations can support each other,” commented Jeff Chan, Executive Director of the Canadian Rugby Foundation. “Both organizations are committed to working together to ensure we collaborate on important initiatives and activities that require funding, and we look forward to being a part of a new era for Canadian rugby.”

About Rugby Canada
Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of Rugby Union in Canada. They administer and operate Men’s and Women’s Senior and Junior National programs in both rugby 15s and 7s, as well as govern the Club and community game for more than 30,000 registered participants from coast to coast in conjunction with ten Provincial Union members.

Rugby Canada is headquartered at the Al Charron National Training Centre in Langford, BC, residing on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish and Lekwungen/Songhees peoples, with staff also working from Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. Rugby Canada business operations, programs and events are delivered nationwide, including the internationally recognized HSBC Canada Sevens annual tournaments.

About the Canadian Rugby Foundation
The Canadian Rugby Foundation is a Canadian Not-for-profit Corporation incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, registered with the Canada Revenue Agency as a public foundation, registration number 869159186.

The Canadian Rugby Foundation has within its mandate the ability to create endowed funds and award funds to promote and support rugby activities, including but not limited to players, clubs, coaches, officials, and National teams. Among its purposes are to foster, encourage and promote the game of rugby within Canada; and to raise funds or cause the raising of funds through its Fund partners for the promotion of the objects and purposes of the Foundation.

Mike Holmes, Chair –
Jeff Chan, Executive Director –

Oliver Wheeler
Manager, Communications
Gestionnaire des communications

Thomas Family Award Winners 2021


Birthplace: Brentwood Bay, BC
Favourite memory growing up: Digging in the garden for bugs with my Papa
Position played: Eight man and 7’s prop
First-year playing rugby: 2017
Favourite Coach(es): Brad Hart, Richard Cook and Oliver Winser.
Most influential people in life: My family, coaches and mentors.
Favourite rugby memory: Getting to participate and win 3 Provincial championships with Castaway Wanderers.
Worst rugby memory: Getting stuck in an airport for 10 hours after a tour.
Favourite movie: Guardians of the Galaxy
Favourite musician: Post Malone
Favourite book: The Old Man and the Sea
Career Plans: Registered Nurse
Rugby goals in the next two years: Play for the U19 and U20 Women’s Canada National teams
Fun fact about you: I have a boat named after me and all my pets are named after fish.
Your social media handles: Instagram: Marinaskakun_


Birthplace: I was born in Ottawa, but was raised in Gagetown NB.
Favourite memory growing up: I remember how my brother and I used to sit on the floor or outside and make up elaborate stories and play for hours.
Position played: In high-school I played 15 and I play 8 in university.
First-year playing rugby: 2018
Favourite Coach: Marissa Walcott and Bailey Andrews.
Most influential people in life: My mom and dad, and my supervisors at the summer camp I work at.
Favourite rugby memory: Playing in grade 12 with my best friend, and my first game as a Bishops Gaitor.
Worst rugby memory: Having my grade 11 season canceled due to Covid.
Favourite movie: San Andreas.
Favourite musician: whiterosemoxie and Rex Orange County.
Favourite book: Probably the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the philosophers stone.
Career Plans: Become a sports medicine doctor, or a surgeon.
Rugby goals in the next two years: Continue playing for Bishops University and play in Australia or New Zealand during a term abroad.
Fun fact about you: I’m a certified lifeguard and canoe instructor.
Your social media handles: Instagram- helen_stoney03

George Jones Award Winners 2021


Birthplace: Truro, NS
Favourite memory growing up: My mother and I went on a road trip along the coast of California a few years ago and it was an incredible experience.
Position played: I’ve played every position in the forwards but have mostly focused on hooker.
First-year playing rugby: 2017 (9th grade)
Favourite Coach: My very first club and High School coach, her name is Meghan MacEachern.
Most influential people in life: Meghan MacEachern, as mentioned above, as well as some of the upper year players on my university team, they are so unbelievably incredible.
Favourite rugby memory: When I played for U16 Rugby Nova Scotia we were playing team New Brunswick in the gold medal game after having lost to them 3 times in the season. It ended up going into double overtime and we won!
Worst rugby memory: I unfortunately tore my ACL and meniscus over the summer, and had to have surgery and am currently in a very long recovery process.
Favourite movie: The Shawshank Redemption
Favourite musician: Hozier
Favourite book: Where the Crawdads Sing
Career Plans: Something in the field of Aerospace Engineering
Rugby goals in the next two years: Make a full recovery from surgery and play my first University game.
Fun fact about you: I absolutely love crocheting.
Your social media handles: Instagram: Emberwarren_


Birthplace: Saskatoon SK, Canada
Favourite memory growing up: Swimming, water sports and Camping with family and friends at the north Saskatchewan river down the hill from where I live.
Position played: Wing
First-year playing rugby: 2019
Favourite Coach:Robin MacDowell and Kayla Mack.
Most influential people in life: My dad for always giving me sports advice and just life advice in general and for always pushing me to do my best. My mom for always making sure I tried every sport available and always encouraging me to be the best I could be in school and sports. Robin MacDowell being a great example of how hard work pays off and that if you chase your dreams and put in the effort you can accomplish them.
Favourite rugby memory: Playing my first season of rugby with my sister Christina who I grew up playing sports with and winning our last game at CanWest together.
Worst rugby memory: Tearing my ACL at a Senior Women’s 15’s practice.
Favourite movie: The Amazing Spiderman 2
Favourite musician:Morgan Wallen
Favourite book:The Harry Potter Series.
Career Plans: Doctor of Medicine.
Rugby goals in the next two years:Join the Maple Leafs and play on the world sevens series.
Fun fact about you: I love snowmobiling and dirtbiking on the farm at home.
Your social media handles:Instagram: @carissa.norsten


Birthplace: Lacombe, Alberta
Favourite memory growing up: Going on trips with my family.
Position played: Flank, Centre
First-year playing rugby: 2017
Favourite Coach: Kessie Stefanyk & Erika Green
Most influential people in life: My family
Favourite rugby memory: Getting to travel with my team to places like Vancouver to compete and watch HSBC Canada sevens!
Worst rugby memory: Not being able to play rugby for over a year due to a knee injury that required surgery.
Favourite movie: Lilo and Stitch
Favourite musician: Passenger
Favourite book: Paper Towns
Career Plans: I am currently working towards my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, and hope to work in a pediatrics unit!
Rugby goals in the next two years: I have been cleared to return to rugby after my surgery and plan to get comfortable playing again and hope to play on a varsity team.
Fun fact about you: I love being outdoors and going hiking.
Social media handles: @sierra.stewart


Birthplace: Kenora, ON
Favourite memory growing up: Going to rugby games
Position played: Front Row
First-year playing rugby: 2011
Favourite Coach: Andy Clark
Most influential people in life: My rugby team-all of them
Favourite rugby memory: Nicaragua Tour with Nomads 2020…though I don’t remember much of it.
Worst rugby memory: Social Distanced Pandemic Training
Favourite movie: Brooklyn
Favourite musician: The Arkells
Favourite book: The Undomestic Goddess
Career Plans: I want to be a shop welder, then maybe a fabricator
Rugby goals in the next two years: Winter training with the Crusaders after Christmas, then a tournament, hoping to expand the womens team.
Fun fact about you: I also play goalie on a hockey with the other welders in my class.
Your social media handles: @maryreddon instagram.

David Symington


Birthplace: Williams Lake British Columbia, Canada
Favourite memory growing up: Being active with my dad while playing rugby, surfing, cricket, hiking, etc.
Position played: flyhalf, outside center, wing
First-year playing rugby: 2013
Favourite Coach: Jas Purewal (Port Alberni Black Sheep)
Most influential people in life: My parents
Favourite rugby memory: Highschool Rugby Provincials 2019
Worst rugby memory: Breaking my collarbone
Favourite movie: Spider-man
Favourite musician: Midnight Oil
Favourite book: The Hobbit
Career Plans: Pursue a career in independent film making
Rugby goals in the next two years: Play club rugby and have as much fun as I can while becoming the best player I can be
Fun fact about you: I really enjoy cooking
Your social media handles: Instagram: david_symington_ TikTok: david_symington


Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta
Favourite memory growing up: Skiing at Sunshine with my family
Position played: Inside-center mostly, a little flanker
First-year playing rugby: 1999
Favourite Coach: I can only remember his first name, Johnny. He was from New Zealand and he introduced me to the sport.
Most influential people in life: my 2 daughters
Favourite rugby memory: Taking the high school team I coach to our school’s first-ever provincial championship (even though we lost)
Worst rugby memory: Not being allowed to field a team in 2020 due to Covid-19.
Favourite movie: Pulp Fiction
Favourite musician: Jimi Hendrix
Favourite book: Nineteen Eighty-Four
Career Plans: To finish my Masters and continue coaching and teaching.
Rugby goals in the next two years: To get my team back into competitive shape after Covid interruptions.
Fun fact about you: I accidentally stole someone’s quad on the island of Santorini (my key worked on their identical quad). I was arrested for 15 minutes. An honest mistake, we’ve all done it!
Your social media handles: I’m actually the only person in the world not on any Social Media. You can email me at:


Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta
Favorite memory growing up: My favorite memory growing up has to be the time spent during the summer on the Vancouver coastline swimming, exploring, and cliff jumping with my buddies.
Favorite Coach: My favorite coach would have to be Perino Zambon of Rockridge High School Rugby. His effort, along with fellow coach and teacher Scott Lawson, created a phenomenal rugby program at Rockridge secondary. I owe to that team countless memories, some of my best friends, and my love of the game of rugby.
Favorite movie: Snatch, directed by Guy Ritchie
Favorite Musician: Bob Marley
Most Influential People: My mother, father, and my close friends are the biggest influences in my life. Seeing how hard my parents work to create the best life possible for me is inspiring. I owe 100% of my success to them and all the things they have done to both support me and push me in whatever I choose to do. I’m extremely lucky to be surrounded by such great people.
Position played: Back Row
Favorite Rugby memory: I have too many favorite rugby memories to pick just one. A rugby memory that I really believe embodies the spirit of the game was after the devastating cancellation of our senior season. We self-organized and refereed a 7’s tournament. It was unsurprisingly a disaster but a great time.
Worst rugby memory: My worst rugby memory has to be getting taken out of the high school city championships with an injury. Losing that game and not being able to play in a city championship was pretty sour, however, we were given the opportunity to go play for the BC provincial tournament.
Career plans: I hope to graduate from university and become a human rights lawyer. I would like to be a professional athlete and help make the world a better place.
Rugby goals for the next two years: In the next two years I hope to get named to a Team Canada Rugby squad.
Favorite Book: I have too many favorite books to count. If I had to pick one at the moment, it’s Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.
Fun fact about myself: At the age of 4 my family and I lived in The Bahamas for close to a year.
Social Media Handle: Instagram: Demetrijpatterson

Dennis Crawford Memorial Award Fund

The Dennis Crawford Memorial Scholarship Award Fund is dedicated to raising money for an academic scholarship to be awarded annually to a young athlete or athletes pursuing post-secondary education. In partnership with Westshore RFC, recipients of the award will have the opportunity to participate in a specialized training program to enhance their skills to become specialists at the front row position(s) in the sport of rugby. In addition to their on-field support, the scholarship will provide these student-athletes with financial assistance to support their off-field studies at college, university, or trade school.Continue reading


Thunder Rugby is an Indigenous-led organization featuring former national team players Bobby Ross (Songhees Nation) and Phil Mack (Toquaht Nation) as leading figures. Director of Thunder Rugby is John Lyall, a rugby player for over 25 years, who is of Kwakwaka’wakw descent. They’re focused on creating opportunities through rugby for Indigenous youth.Continue reading