Parks Canada

Parks Canada

December 19, 2006 15:20 ET

Parks Canada Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Co-Operating Association Program

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 19, 2006) - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, is pleased to mark the 25th anniversary of Parks Canada's Co-operating Association Program.

"I am extremely proud to recognize Parks Canada's "Friends" as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Co-operating Association Program," said Minister Ambrose. "The significant relationship Parks Canada enjoys with the voluntary sector demonstrates the long term support, involvement and shared stewardship of Canadians in our national historic sites, national parks and national marine conservations areas across the country."

Launched in 1981 with six associations, as of this year the program involves thousands of members, volunteers and staff affiliated with 55 co-operating associations contributing to 73 national historic sites, national parks and national marine conservations areas across Canada and in every province.

In recognition of their invaluable support, Parks Canada is presenting each co-operating association with a commemorative table-top sculpture entitled "The Volunteer Flame". Created by Anthony Testa, the sculpture was designed to symbolize the emotion, energy and fire within each volunteer. These sculptures will be presented at a series of local celebrations in honor of each association across the country over the next number of months.

"Our "friends" are very valuable partners who contribute daily to providing memorable experiences to our visitors, and help connect our operations with surrounding communities," added the Minister. Co-operating associations are non-profit charitable organizations whose activities contribute greatly to Parks Canada's mandate.

Co-operating associations annually generate an estimated $10 million in revenue and provide approximately 60,000 hours of volunteer effort, which support their ongoing contribution to Canada's national historic sites, national parks and national marine conservations areas. These "Friends" organizations offer services such as gift shops and other retail operations within designated heritage areas, contribute to special interpretative programs, and support local improvements and restoration projects through community action.

(Also available on the Internet at under Media Room.)

Contact Information

  • Parks Canada
    National Corporate Communications Branch
    Joanne Huppe, Media Relations