2000 – Mark Wyatt, Mike Holmes and George Jones meet with John Lecky and Gren Thomas and obtain their support to establish a new Foundation to help raise funds for rugby in Canada in a tax-advantaged way for future donors. This was to become the Canadian Rugby Foundation. Gren Thomas pledges $1 million in future donations to help kickstart the Foundation’s first Fund.
2001 – Rugby Canada Board of Directors endorses concept of the Foundation after the presentation of a business plan by board members Roger Smith and Mike Holmes. Dr. Pat Parfrey, then President of Rugby Canada, becomes one of the early and continuous supporters of the Foundation.
2003 – Canadian Rugby Foundation registered as a non-share capital corporation incorporated under the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act and as a registered charity under the Income Tax Act designated as a public foundation (registration number 869159186).
2003 – Mike Holmes appointed inaugural President
2003 – Bob Hager and Bruce McFarlane become the first two members of the Foundation after Gren Thomas and the founding directors.
2004 – Former National Team player Aaron Abrams hired as executive director
2005 – Deacy, Parfry and Browne legacy fund for Newfoundland Rugby” launched.
2006 – Gerald McGavin Fund started
2006 – Hong Kong and Olympic 7s Fund started by Randy Heward, John Woodward, and others in Hong Kong, raising over $1 million to assist the Canada 7s team in the Summer Olympics and HSBC 7s Series
2007 – Under President Pat Aldous, the Foundation continued to prosper. Matthuw Ronald Jones was hired as executive director and helped establish some of the more significant scholarships and funds within the Foundation.
2007 – The first club fund established by the Castaway Wanderers RFC
2007 – Foundation assets surpass $1 million
2010 – Decision made to return to a volunteer-run organization with the goal of keeping administration costs to a minimum. Mike Holmes assumed Chairmanship in Pat Aldous’ place.
2010 – First student award presented
2011 – Bob Hager, one of the first contributing members, passes away
2011 – Foundation assets surpass $2 million
2012 – Thomas Family Award Fund established
2012 – First club fund in Ontario established by the Toronto Scottish RFC
2015 – Fund first tours of BC Rugby girl’s and boy’s teams to Ireland and Newfoundland teams to Ireland
2016 – Monty Heald Senior National Women’s Team Fund established
2016 – Foundation assets surpass $3 million
2017 – U20 Fund established, and raises $1 million
2018 – Thunder Indigenous Rugby Fund established and later relaunched in 2021 with ambitious goal to create a $1 million endowment
2018 – Establishment of the first Men’s and Women’s Club Championships led by Hans de Goede and Davine Burton (2019) respectively
2019 – Foundation surpass the $4 and $5 million milestones
2019 – Foundation funds first Canadian U20 camp, organized by founder Dr. Pat Parfrey,
2019 – Pacific Pride Legacy Fund established
2020 – Passing of George Jones, one of the original founders
2020 – Foundation reaches 51 Funds, with a balance of $5.9M in assets
2021 – March 1, Jeff Chan appointed Executive Director on a part-time basis with a mandate to grow the Foundation’s funds and assets
2021 – Historic agreement with Fletcher’s Fields Limited (Markham, Ontario) to accept a donation of $11.65 million and to create 6 new Funds (Aurora Barbarians, Markham Irish, Rugby Ontario, Toronto Nomads, Toronto Saracens, Toronto Scottish, and the Fletcher’s Patrons Fund) Article here.
2021 – Dec. 1, established 15th new Fund of 2021 (Strathcona Druids). Other new Funds in 2021 included Judy Seddon Memorial Awards Fund, Niagara Old Boys Capital Fund, Strathcona Druids RFC Capital Fund, Dennis Crawford Memorial Award Fund, Steven Batie Memorial Award Fund, Quinn Lauridsen Memorial Award Fund, and Tillman Briggs Capital Fund
2021 – Received $12.77M in total donations from 596 donors including 143 donors over $1,000 and 6 over $25,000. Contributing members ($25K+ lifetime donations) now total 43. Earned $825.9K in net investment income after fees over the full year. Foundation’s assets reached record $19.04M
2022 – April 22, new Memorandum of Agreement signed between the Foundation and Rugby Canada to formalize their working relationship
2022 – July 1, website relaunched