When you're ready to find a new home, where do you go … besides REALTOR.ca (obviously) What do you look for?
Beyond the number of bedrooms or bathrooms, stainless steel appliances or proximity to transit, sometimes it's more than the tangible. It's the space itself. The people in that space. The activities and atmosphere those people provide. It's the neighbourhood or community.
REALTORS® across Canada live and breathe that sense of community. The team here at REALTOR.ca is proud to help shine a light on those who do outstanding charitable work in the communities where they live and work as the presenting sponsor of this year's Canadian REALTORS Care® Award.
Previous recipients of this award include Vince Mirabelli of Thunder Bay, Laura-Leah Shaw of Vancouver, and Carolyn Swinson of Toronto. 15 REALTORS® were nominated by friends, fellow REALTORS® and charity representatives for the honour this year.
While Gregg Bamford of Saskatoon and John Patricelli of Burnaby received honourable mentions, it was Winnipeggers Geoff and Regan Archambault who took home the big prize and whose charity of choice—K.I.D.S. Kenya Initiative for Development & Sustainability Inc.—will receive a $5,000 donation from the Canadian Real Estate Association.
Geoff and Regan Archambault are a husband and wife team who are renowned in their city as generous donors, effective board leaders and community builders. When Geoff and Regan started out on their giving journey, they did so by stepping up in areas that affected their family life. They got involved with their local community centre, where their kids played sports. Over the years, they branched out and took on more and more (and more!) volunteer roles for charities and causes that spoke to them. They have left an indelible mark on many organizations, including the Concordia Foundation and K.I.D.S. Initiative.
Simply put, Geoff and Regan are making their beloved Winnipeg a better place to be. “We all know, not only as REALTORS® but as community members that you don't just buy a home,” Regan explains. “You're not just buying four walls and a roof, you're buying into a community, investing into a community.”
When it comes to investing in a community, Geoff and Regan have gone above and beyond. One example is their revitalization of a local park, now fittingly named after them—Archambault Park. It's there that, for the past eight years, the Archambaults have hosted a free family fun day each summer for the enjoyment of their neighbours.
The wonderful feedback they receive from families who use the park and attend their events is what keeps them going year after year. “Getting a random call from a woman enjoying the park with her grandchild, who calls to say thank you for what you've done, that's what makes it all worth it,” shares Geoff. “It's very motivating to do more because you know it makes a difference,” adds Regan.
Want to get to more involved with your community? Based on Geoff and Regan's charitable experiences, here are three tips:
- Start small. “It doesn't always need to be this huge grand gesture,” says Regan. “It can be as simple as stepping up to help your child's sports team, to be involved in your parent council, to see a need in your community and just pick up a shovel and help.”
- Don't underestimate the value of what you can bring to the table. “Sometimes the smallest thing is going to have a massive impact,” shares Regan.
- Set giving goals and then work hard to meet them. When Geoff decided to make a $150,000 donation to revitalize what would later become Archambault Park, Regan gently reminded him they didn't have $150,000. His response was, “I know, but now we have a goal so let's work at it.”