Dear Friends & Supporters,
We have all faced a very difficult year in 2020 and accordingly, I hope this message finds you and your family safe and well. Notwithstanding the considerable challenges of a global pandemic year, Ireland Park Foundation made considerable strides on many fronts. We have some wonderful developments to share with you including the launch of our new speaker series with our most revered, two term Former President of Ireland, Prof. Mary McAleese (please see below for more details).
With respect to our fundraising, we are pleased to report that from private and public sources we had a successful end of the year, with over $2 million raised and committed towards our various projects and core costs.
Dr. George Robert Grasett Park
We had hoped to open Dr. Grasett Park in July, 2020 but due to the current pandemic, that has been postposed until later this coming year. We are delighted to report that the Provence of Ontario has joined our other supporters, committing $675,000 to complete the funding for this project, which began 13 years ago. We look forward to seeing this memorial publicly unveiled later in the current year.
Ireland Park was closed in October 2019 for construction work. The new Dock Wall Promenade has now been completely rehabilitated. Both the promenade and Ireland Park have reopened to the public, with easy access onto the Martin Goodman Trail. On behalf of the Board and Staff of Ireland Park Foundation, I would like to thank everyone who worked on this project, in particular, Cllr. Joe Cressy for his leadership in making this project a reality; Bryan Bowan, Project Manager with the Waterfront Secretariat, for providing outstanding oversight on this complex construction project; Fergus Tyrell and his team of expert stone masons at Trinity Custom Masonry for their ever-delicate handling of the stonework at Ireland Park.
This year will see the City commence a rehabilitation of the Grain Silos and the public spaces around our new home at 3 Eireann Quay, which we intend to name The Corleck Building. For Ireland Park and Eireann Quay, the best days are truly yet to come!
The Corleck Building
Our first public event in our new home, The Corleck Building, on March 12th, 2020, unfortunately happened to also be our last. For those who attended, it was a tantalising insight into the potential of a permanent space in which to celebrate Irish arts, culture, and music. Since then, work has been going on behind the scenes to develop our plans for the building. We retained the services of Bespoke Cultural Collective to create a comprehensive Feasibility Study for the building, which you may now review here.
Kearns-Mancini Architects have also been working on the detailed design for the building and we look forward to sharing these designs with you in greater detail in the coming weeks.
In addition to seeing the completion and official opening of Dr. George Robert Grasett Park, our principal focus this year, and into 2022, will be to raise the final $5 million for the completion of The Corleck Building. This is with the aim of realising a permanent home on Toronto’s Waterfront to celebrate the many connections between Ireland and Canada.
Next week, with the recent Canadian launch of her new book, Here’s the story: A Memoir and against the backdrop of the Celtic Celebration of Imbolc, we look forward to delving into the rich detail of Prof. McAleese’s opus vitae in building bridges and progressing the role of women in every aspect of Irish society.
We are honoured to have two such distinguished participants in our speaker series and we encourage you to register early to secure your place in this important conversation taking place on February 10th
This talk won’t be our last, however. We have a year long roll out of great online events to entertain, inform, delight and, as always, continue to celebrate and commemorate the story of the Canada-Ireland relationship.
Please stay tuned for further details on how to register and I look forward to (virtually) welcoming you on Wednesday, February 10th for a great discussion.