One of the region’s most beloved camps has received $500,000 from the Ontario150 Community Capital Program to support renovations and celebrate arts based experiences for children with cancer.
Friday morning, Norm Miller MPP for Parry Sound–Muskoka visited Camp Oochigeas (Ooch) to celebrate the commencement of renovations which will create a dedicated, winterized creative arts and music space at Ooch Muskoka’s Overnight Camp, near Rosseau.
MPP Miller and Patricia Arney, an Ontario Trillium Foundation volunteer, were there to formally announce that earlier this year, Camp Ooch had received the $500,000 grant.
“Creativity is such an important part of childhood. The children who attend Camp Oochigeas have already faced more challenges in their young lives than most and it is my hope that this grant will provide them a venue for all varieties of creative expression and exploration,” said Miller.
The renovation will provide children with cancer a space to create and record their own music, practice and experience drama, and express themselves through arts and crafts at programs which run year-round. Camp Ooch is the only overnight camp in Canada able to provide onsite IV chemotherapy and other oncology bloodwork, and is committed to providing life changing experiences that give kids with cancer what they need – the chance to be kids.
Administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario, Ontario150 Community Capital Program grants are helping non-profit organizations, municipalities and Indigenous communities renovate, repair and retrofit existing community and cultural infrastructure. The one-time, Ontario150 grant has been designed to help honour Ontario’s past, showcase the present and inspire future generations.
“The Arts and Music Centre will not only provide amazing opportunities for children with cancer to develop skills and confidence through the arts, it will create a vital programming space which will enable Ooch to bring even more children to Camp as we continue to expand our reach to every child diagnosed with cancer in Ontario,” said Alex Robertson, Chief Executive Officer of Camp Oochigeas. “There are currently 2,400 children with cancer in Ontario who don’t have access to an oncology camp. We want to make sure each of them has the chance to experience great programs like the ones that will be offered in the new Arts and Music Centre.”
About Camp Oochigeas: Founded in 1983, Camp Oochigeas (Ooch) has been providing magical camp experiences for children with and affected by childhood cancer. Camp Ooch is much more than a summer camp. Camp Ooch offers year-round programs in Muskoka, at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), various other regional cancer centres across Ontario, and Ooch Downtown in the heart of Toronto. Through these programs, Ooch provides fun and meaningful experiences to more than 1,500 children with and affected by childhood cancer and their families each year. Families access programs at no cost. This is all made possible by the generous support of donors and volunteers. You can find out more at www.ooch.org
About the Ontario Trillium Foundation:
An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities.
(Photo via CampOochigeas’ FB Page)