Brooklyn Harrison wins 2023 Judy Seddon Memorial Award

On what would have been Judy’s 67 th birthday, we would like to announce the winner of the 2023 Judy Seddon Memorial Award. This scholarship is awarded annually to a young woman who is involved in rugby in Alberta as an athlete, referee, coach or volunteer, selected on the basis of community service and academics, who is or will be enrolled in a post-secondary institution.

Brooklyn Harrison is a student at the University of Prince Edward Island entering her first year of a Bachelor of Science with a Major in Biology and a specialization in Life Sciences. She is a multi-sport athlete who started playing rugby in high school. She overcame significant challenges while finishing high school and maintaining involvement in athletics. She was the head coach of the Calgary Rams’ U5 minis rugby program, volunteer coach at Lord Beaverbrook High School girls’ rugby program, and is now
joining the UPEI Panthers varsity rugby team. She is honored to represent Judy by giving back to women’s rugby.

We would like to thank all the applicants and their references for taking the time to apply, and encourage anyone who wishes to apply (or re-apply) next year to mark May 1st in their calendar when applications for the 2024 award open.

More information on the Award and the application process is here, where you can also make a donation to help support future awards.

Canadian Rugby Foundation Newsletter – July 2023

In this issue of the Canadian Rugby Foundation Newsletter, “News & Views”, we have updates since the January 2023 Newsletter and 2022 Annual Report. Click here to read the complete Newsletter.

As usual we look forward to hearing from you – whether rugby club executives or members, donors, representatives of our 70 Funds, rugby players of all ages and levels, and dedicated or casual rugby union fans – with your questions, suggestions, or other feedback.


Jeff Chan
Executive Director
Canadian Rugby Foundation


We are very pleased to announce the new Rick Bourne Rugby Award Fund. Established on the eve of Rick Bourne’s induction into the BC Rugby Hall of Fame, the Rick Bourne Rugby Award aims to support students of any gender who are actively involved in playing rugby in Canada

June 23, 2023 Induction Photos



Fund and Award Overview
This award recognizes the outstanding contributions of Rick Bourne, a prominent figure in the Canadian rugby community for over six decades. Rick Bourne’s leadership, passion and generosity have made a significant impact on rugby in Canada, making this award a deserving tribute to his legacy. The awards will be funded from donations to the endowment fund and earnings on the fund’s assets.

To be eligible for the Rick Bourne Rugby Award, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Gender and Rugby Participation: Applicants must be students actively participating in rugby in
    Canada. The award is open to all genders. Whether involved in club or university rugby, the
    award is open to individuals dedicated to the sport.
  2. Age Requirement: Applicants must be between 17 and 24 years of age.
  3. Academic Enrollment: Applicants must be enrolled in a full-time or part-time degree (graduate
    or undergraduate), diploma or certificate program at a Canadian college or university. The
    program should commence in the academic year for which the award is granted. Students
    starting their studies in the fall semester are eligible.

General Guidelines:

  1. Reapplication: Unsuccessful applicants are welcome to reapply in subsequent years.
  2. Conditional Award: The award is contingent upon the acceptance and continuance of
    the applicant’s chosen educational program. Verification of acceptance into the program will be
  3. Application Submission:
    a. Submit a completed application form from the Canadian Rugby Foundation.
    b. Attach a letter, not more than 250 words, describing the reasons why you would be a
    worthy recipient of the Rick Bourne Rugby Award. Include your contributions to the
    rugby community, how you have helped expand the game, other volunteer activities,
    your academic achievements, your most important accomplishments and your future
    c. Attach two letters of reference from the two individuals named in your application. One
    must be someone who has been involved with you in the rugby community;
    d. Attach a photograph in .jpg format. We would prefer if the applicant is wearing a rugby
    jersey in the photo but that is not required (once submitted the photo will be the
    property of the Canadian Rugby Foundation).

NOTE: Items 1 to 4 above must be e-mailed to to
complete the award application.

4. Publicity and Promotion: The award recipient must consent to having their name and
photograph publicized. Additionally, they should be prepared to support the promotion of the
award as requested.

Selection Criteria:
The selection of the Rick Bourne Rugby Award recipient will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Active Participation: Applicants must demonstrate active involvement in playing rugby and a
    commitment to staying engaged in the sport.
  2. Contribution to the Rugby Community: Applicants should exhibit a recognized contribution to
    both the local community and the broader rugby community, showcasing their impact both on
    and off the field.

Rick Bourne’s extensive involvement as a player, coach, administrator, volunteer, director,
philanthropist and leader within the Canadian rugby community has inspired the establishment of this scholarship. His remarkable leadership through rugby in Canada has left a lasting legacy. While many exceptional leaders have emerged within Canadian rugby, Rick Bourne stands as one of the most successful, passionate and generous individuals the country has ever witnessed.

For any further inquiries or clarifications, please refer to the contact information included in the
application instructions.

To make a donation to the Rick Bourne Rugby Award Fund, go here:


We are pleased to report the establishment of the Twin Elm Rugby Park Renewal Fund today.



Twin Elm Rugby Park was founded by a dedicated group of rugby enthusiasts on June 25th, 1973.  The park is jointly owned by the Bytown Blues, Ottawa Beavers & Banshees, Ottawa Ospreys, and the Ottawa Irish Rugby Club.


Under the management of a volunteer Board of Directors, Twin Elm has grown over the last half century to hold a special place in Canada’s rugby history.  The park has hosted provincial and national championships at the high school, junior and senior levels, as well as numerous international matches, including Canada’s epic 18-16 victory over France in 1994, and the Canadian women’s first ever home soil victory over the U.S.A. in 2001.  The park has also showcased the Canadian German Shepherd championship, Gaelic Athletic competitions, lacrosse, and touch football  to list a few.

Dozens of internationals have developed their skills on Twin Elms five pitches, and have gone on to wear the maple leaf with pride at Rugby World Cup’s going back 30 years, most recently at the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. Twin Elm also holds the unique distinction of being the only rugby park in the world to have produced the captains of both the women’s and men’s national teams in consecutive Rugby World Cups. This unprecedented  accomplishment occurred when Sherri Sparling captained Canada at the 2002 Women’s Rugby World Cup in Spain, and Al Charron followed by leading the Canadian men’s squad into Australia in 2003.

In the Spring of 2023 Twin Elm continued its proud tradition of excellence in helping to develop elite players as the Ontario Senior women played two games against their Quebec counterparts, and the Rugby Canada Youth Commonwealth Games 7’s held trial matches. Twin Elm is looking forward to assisting Rugby Canada as they host the Pacific Four Series, U20 and U18 women’s rugby in the Nation’s Capital during the summer of 2023.


The Twin Elm Rugby Park Renewal Fund is intended to provide funding from interest earned and capital withdrawals for the renewal of the existing Twin Elm Rugby Park.

The Renewal Project recognizes the 50th Anniversary of Twin Elm Rugby Park, and “builds” on the $280,000 recently invested to upgrade the park facilities, honouring the important place Twin Elm holds in Canada’s rugby history and ensuring this legacy is sustained for future generations. The Fund would encompass the multiple needs of the renewal project and allow donors to notify the board of their preference for how their donations would be spent, subject to being consistent with the aims and objectives of the Foundation and Rugby Canada in terms of the growth and development of Rugby in Canada, and compliance with CRA regulations.

For example, one of the primary needs is to replace the old, donated lawnmower with a modern zero-turn mower designed for facilities the size of ours, which would result in significant time savings in volunteer hours. Other improvements include modernizing the lockers to 21st-century standards, renewing the lounge, replacing stands, and adding landscaping such as fences or tree planting. The list would be open-ended as long as rugby-related and of a longer-term capital expenditure versus current operating expense.

Should the project not go ahead as planned, or be canceled, the Twin Elm Rugby Park Board of Directors may decide to repurpose this Fund towards another project or convert the Fund into an endowment fund that supports the growth and development of rugby in Canada, Eastern Ontario or the Twin Elm Rugby Park specifically, consistent with the Mission of the Canadian Rugby Foundation.

Donations to the Twin Elm Rugby Park Renewal Fund can be made here.


The Canadian Rugby Foundation, in conjunction with Rugby Canada, has announced the development of the Women’s Age-Grade Rugby Fund, which has been established to raise and invest funds to support Rugby Canada’s women’s age-grade teams and programs.

The Canadian Rugby Foundation, in conjunction with Rugby Canada, has announced the development of the Women’s Age-Grade Rugby Fund, which has been established to raise and invest funds to support Rugby Canada’s women’s age-grade teams and programs.

These U18, U20 and U23 programs develop up-and-coming players and coaches through a coordinated national pathway that leads towards the senior sevens and 15s programs, working in close collaboration with communities, clubs, schools, universities and provincial unions.

The goal of the Women’s Age Grade Rugby Fund is to invest in the future of women’s rugby in Canada by raising $2 million by 2025.

One hundred percent of funds raised will provide direct support to the program through reduction of the national age grade pay-to-play model, with the aim of alleviating costs associated with travel, equipment, and training. An endowment fund that will grow year after year, the hope is to enable the advancement of age-grade initiatives and support the long-term growth of women’s rugby in Canada.

“Having the opportunity to play through Rugby Canada’s age grade systems was a huge step in my development as a young player,” said Canada’s Women’s Rugby Team captain Sophie de Goede. “Those experiences were a bridge from my club, provincial and university teams to the national team, and they provided insight into the professionalism and dedication it takes to wear the maple leaf. I could not be more grateful for the opportunities and coaches I had at the age grade level and the incredible teammates and friends I was fortunate to meet through those teams.”

Last year, Rugby Canada announced the relaunch of the national women’s age-grade programming. This July, in conjunction with the Canadian-hosted Pacific Four Series rounds in Ottawa, Canada’s U20 Women’s Team will play matches of their own in Canada’s capital, including a curtain raiser at TD Place on July 8 ahead of Canada’s Women’s Rugby Team vs New Zealand. More information about this summer’s U18 and U23 women’s programming will be announced shortly.

“Having a connected and cohesive high-performance pathway for player development is vital to the growth and prosperity of women’s rugby in Canada, and we are greatly looking forward to the revitalization of our women’s age grade programs this year,” said Canada’s Women’s Rugby Team Head Coach Kevin Rouet. “The Women’s Age Grade Rugby Fund is an important tool in helping our next generation of women’s rugby players experience elite training and competition on the international stage.”

The Canadian Rugby Foundation will be hosting a fundraising event for the Women’s Age Grade Rugby Fund in Ottawa alongside the Pacific Four Series. An evening of inspiration, gathering and merriment in support of the future of women’s rugby in Canada, this will be the second “Raising the Uprights” event, the first having taken place earlier this year in Vancouver ahead of HSBC Canada Sevens, raising $20,000 for the Fund.

Registration for the event, which will take place Sunday July 9 from 11:00am to 1:30pm ET at Barley Mow Westboro in Ottawa, is open here. For more information, or to donate directly to the Women’s Age Grade Rugby Fund, please visit the Canadian Rugby Foundation website here.

About the Canadian Rugby Foundation

The Canadian Rugby Foundation was established in 2003 as a non-share capital corporation incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act and is a registered charity under the Income Tax Act (Canada) designated as a public foundation (registration number 869159186).

The Foundation’s mandate is to encourage and build permanent endowed funds, student award funds and capital project funds the income or capital from which will be used to promote and support rugby activities, including but not limited to, players, clubs, coaches, officials, administrators, and rugby organizations – all to support the growth and development of rugby in Canada.

Among its now 68 funds, the CRF has dedicated funds to support Rugby Canada’s age-grade and senior teams and programs such as the Monty Heald Senior Women’s Fund, the U20 (Men’s) Fund, the Hong Kong & Olympic 7s Fund, and the new Women’s Age-grade Rugby Fund.

Announcing the new Aurora Barbarians RFC Development Fund

We are pleased to announce that the Aurora Barbarians Rugby Football Club established their new Aurora Barbarians RFC Development Fund on March 6, 2023.


Club History

The Aurora Barbarians RFC (Barbs) celebrated their 70th anniversary in 2020. The Club began as two separate rugby clubs: The Toronto Barbarians and the Aurora Rugby Club. The club officially became the Aurora Barbarians in 2002 when the two clubs successfully merged.

The Aurora Rugby Club was constituted in 1998, developing from the original Aurora Yorks which were formed in 1961 by John .T. P. Brown, a member of the Ontario Rugby Hall of Fame and a past president of the Ontario Rugby Union.

In 1949 rugby was resurrected in post-war Ontario by a group of British expatriates who banded together to form the Wanderers RFC. The following year 1950, the group launched an intensive recruiting drive for players and drawing together a total of 80 would-be participants, set up three additional teams based in Toronto including the Barbarians

The club lead the development of junior rugby in the 70s and purchased a share of Fletcher’s Fields during this time. The club were at the forefront of the re-development of Fletcher’s Fields in the early 90’s, which lead to the construction of a stadium which brought International rugby matches to the GTA.

On the pitch, the club fielded a number of strong championship Senior Mens and youth teams in the 50’s 60’s,70’s and 80’s. After the merger in 2002, the Aurora Barbarians enjoyed a string of success at the Senior Mens level. The club captured five straight league championships, three McCormick Club Championships and made at total of seven McCormick Cup appearances from 2006-2013.

The Senior Women were a similar dominant group with three OWL championships from 2012 to 2016. The club has also seen success from their U-18 Boys and Girls program having won a number of Provincial Championships

The Barbs have a strong Old Boys network of “Black Sheep” supporters. There were notable tours in the 60s and 70’s to USA and Caribbean destinations; in the 80’s to Vancouver, California and Chicago; in the 90s and 2000’s to Las Vegas and NY. The Black Sheep have been strong supporters of the new ABRFC Development Fund.

The Aurora Barbarians philosophy is “A Club for All” and the Club has focused on developing and leading Junior, Minor and Women’s programs to consistently rank among the largest membership clubs in Canada. The ABRFC supports a broad array of teams and programs including: Adult Touch Rugby, Junior Boys, U14 Boys, U16 boys, U18 Boys, Junior Girls, U16 Girls, U18 Girls, Minor Rugby, U10, U12, U8 Flag, Senior Men and Senior Women.

The Aurora Barbarians Rugby Football Club (ABRFC) is a non-share capital corporation incorporated under the Corporations Act (Ontario). ABRFC is a not-for-profit organization within the meaning of paragraph 149(1)(l) of the Income Tax Act (Canada). The articles of incorporation of the ABRFC dated January 29, 2003, state the objects of ABRFC in part as follows: to promote and encourage the playing of Rugby union football, particularly in the area surrounding the Town of Aurora.

Aurora Barbarians RFC Development Fund

The Aurora Barbarians RFC Development Fund is intended to provide funding from donations, interest earned and capital withdrawals for the Aurora Barbarians Rugby Football Club that supports the growth and development of rugby in Canada, a specified area, or the Aurora Barbarians Rugby Football Club specifically, consistent with the Mission of the Canadian Rugby Foundation. These include:

  1. To encourage and further the game of rugby in Aurora, Ontario, and Canada,
  2. To maintain and conduct the Aurora Barbarians Rugby Football Club (the “Club”) and to promote amongst the members of the Club and others, an interest in the game of rugby,
  3. To actively support rugby players in the Province of Ontario by furnishing equipment, kit, and facilities for the game of rugby,
  4. To promote all forms of rugby and to arrange matches and rugby competitions and to offer or grant and contribute towards prizes, awards and distinctions related to playing rugby in the province of Ontario, and
  5. To accumulate assets dedicated to capital projects, for which withdrawals will be made towards projects such as land and building purchases, construction, facility improvements and renovations in support of rugby in Aurora, the Greater Toronto Area, and the Province of Ontario.




8 University Men’s Rugby Coaches Now Selected for Advanced Coaching Courses in New Zealand and Wales

We are happy to report that the following 7 university men’s rugby coaches have been selected to attend the first Crusaders course to be held LIVE in 3 years in Christchurch, NZ.

  • Scott Manning (U Victoria)
  • Andy Evans (Trinity Western U)
  • Nick “Vinny” McAuley (U Calgary)
  • Ian McLeod (Western U)
  • Jamie Mackenzie (Laurier U)
  • Ian Baillie (McGill U)
  • Pat B. Parfrey (Memorial U)

The eighth coach, Curry Hitchborn from UBC, will pursue a coaching experience in Wales this summer.


Curry and Scott’s attendance (course fee, accommodations, and air travel) is funded through the Canadian Rugby Foundation’s Gerald McGavin Coaching Award Fund, selected by the BC Rugby Union.
Andy, Vinny, Ian M., Jamie, Ian B., and Pat’s attendance (course fee and accommodation) are funded through the Canadian Rugby Foundation’s University Rugby Supporters’ Fund, with air travel subsidized by Dave Lougheed’s “For the Love of the Game” charity, and selected by a sub-committee consisting of Doug Tate, Mike Holmes, and Dave Lougheed.
This initiative is consistent with 1) the belief that Men’s University Rugby is an essential keystone for the improvement of men’s rugby in Canada, and the advancement of the national men’s team’s performance, just as Women’s University Rugby has been proven to be essential to the Senior Women’s 15s performance on the world stage; and 2) that improved coaching in university men’s rugby is a critical step towards improving the depth and calibre of Canadian university men’s rugby and hence, the Canadian men’s senior team.
The Crusaders course will take place from May 22 to June 2 at Crusaders Rugby Park, Christchurch, New Zealand.  This year’s coaches will be expected to share their learning with other university and club coaches in their regions following the camp, so be on the lookout for them.
Dependent on funding, and the success of this year’s initiative, we will work towards a repeat in 2024 with a new group of coaches.
Good luck to our Canadian contingent of coaches this summer, and to all of the University Men’s Rugby teams in the coming 2023 season, playoffs, and road to the 2023 CUMRC in Langley, BC on November 15-19.
Jeff Chan
Executive Director, Canadian Rugby Foundation
Chairman, Canadian University Men’s Rugby Championship

Announcing the Meraloma Rugby Endowment Fund

The Meraloma Rugby Endowment Fund was established in October 2022, in partnership with the Canadian Rugby Foundation, and is intended to further the club’s goals into the future.

The Meraloma Rugby Club was founded in 1923 and is located in the heart of Kitsilano in Vancouver BC. The Meraloma Rugby Club has teams for all ages and abilities, including three Senior Men’s teams, one Women’s team, a large Junior and Mini program offering rugby to a wide range of youth, and the Legends, who are the Lomas’ very own “old boy” team.


The Meraloma Club is celebrating its 100th anniversary later in 2023 and we thought this was an excellent time to start an endowment fund. Sadly, we lost two significant alumni in the past two years, Gary Rowles and Robin (Gonzo) Russell. Gary very generously had made a bequest in his will to Meraloma Rugby, and many of Gonzo’s friends, family and teammates donated to Loma Rugby in his honour. We thought these funds should be invested for the future of Meraloma Rugby, and hence the endowment fund was started.

The Fund will support Meraloma Rugby in perpetuity and will be an opportunity for alumni, players, and supporters to recognize their appreciation for the club through donations whether they be monthly, one-time, major gifts, or bequests through a will. A number of alumni have already made bequests through their will that we’re aware of. The Canadian Rugby Foundation matches 25% of donations up to $80,000. As such, we have an initial goal of $80,000 which would then result in a $100,000 Fund.

The Designated Fund Representatives are Sean Fahy ( and Jebb Sinclair ( Please contact Sean or Jebb for more information on how to donate to the Meraloma Rugby Endowment Fund, or go here to make a donation:

Canadian Rugby Foundation Newsletter – January 2023

In this issue of the Canadian Rugby Foundation Newsletter, “News & Views”, we have updates since the June 2022 Newsletter. Click here to read the complete Newsletter.

The headlines are as follow:

  • Foundation News and Announcements


  •  Funds News


  • Unrestricted Fund News


  • 2022 Awards News


  • Donation Appeal and Contact




As always, we look forward to hearing from you – whether rugby club executives or members, donors, representatives of our 69 Funds, rugby players of all ages and levels, and dedicated or casual rugby union fans – with your questions, suggestions, or other feedback.


Jeff Chan

2022 John Cannon Awards

We are pleased to announce that the 2022 winners of the John Cannon Awards are Jackie Kuang and Kaitlyn Meier.

Jackie was chosen as one of this year’s recipients because of her dedication to pursuing excellence in rugby and her support of her local rugby community. She has represented the Fraser Valley, Team BC, and the University of Toronto in both 15’s and 7’s and has also supported the local rugby community with your coaching efforts. Her goals of playing rugby at the highest levels (Canada 7’s and 15’s) and studying to complete a Kinesiology degree to become a physiotherapist are worthy ambitions that we hope this grant may help her pursue.

Kaitlyn was chosen as one of this year’s recipients because of her dedication to pursuing excellence in rugby and support of her local community. She has represented the Fraser Valley, Team BC, and the University of British Columbia in addition to volunteering her time to coach mini-rugby and support local community initiatives. Her goals of developing her rugby skills while studying to become a registered nurse are worthy ambitions that we hope this grant may help her pursue.

The John Cannon Memorial Fund was established in 2016 following John’s passing. The Fund’s purpose is to provide financial assistance to aspiring Abbotsford rugby players who wish to pursue representative rugby. The first grant was awarded in 2017 and grants have been awarded in all subsequent years. To date over $7,000 in grants have been awarded as follow:

  • 2017 – Tausani Levale
  • 2018 – Jake Thiel, Mackenzie Carson
  • 2019 – Josh Thiel, Noah Bain
  • 2020 – Kyra Peary
  • 2021 – James Thiel, Shalaya Valenzuela
  • 2022 – Jackie Kuang, Kaitlyn Meier

John Cannon, who was described as one of the best rugby players to have ever come out of Abbotsford, passed away on March 19, 2016, at the age of 35. John began playing rugby in high school, first playing rugby at WJ Mouat Secondary and then for Abbotsford Senior, from where he graduated in 1998. He first represented Canada on an Under-17 tour to England in 1996 at the age of 15, followed by the Canada U-19s at age 17, Pacific Pride at age 19. He earned his first Senior Men’s cap at age 20, and a total of 39 caps (31 at 15s and 8 at 7s.)  He played 6 years in England in what is now the Championship League.

Call for applications including a cover page template and application form are posted on the Abbotsford Rugby Club website ( and Facebook page (