About the Foundation


The first Canadian community foundation was created in 1921 in Winnipeg. By 2014, Canada had over 200 community foundations.  Community foundations are the fastest growing, most dynamic form of philanthropy in Canada, affecting millions of lives.

A gift to the Pinawa Foundation is a gift to the community of Pinawa.  Your donation is invested and the yearly proceeds are granted to local groups and charities. This will be your legacy; making Pinawa a better place to live every year in the future.

The Pinawa Foundation

  • Is a registered charity, governed by a board of volunteers.
  • Wants to be your first call to get a project started. We can help with our experienced volunteers, providing expertise in partnering, fundraising and project management.
  • Is growing our endowment funds to support the diverse groups in Pinawa.
  • Maintains detailed financial records; ensuring your donation helps the groups you want supported.
  • Meets the highest standards of practice in all its activities, including a partnership with the Winnipeg Foundation to administer our investment portfolio.

What the Foundation Does

  • Creating permanent endowment funds with the help of our donors
  • Supporting local organizations through partnerships and grants
  • Provide volunteer resources to help groups complete their projects

What We Do Not Do

  • We do not use professional fundraisers
  • We do not solicit by telephone, e-mail or door-to-door
  • We do not use any of your donation for administration costs
  • We do not sell or trade your name or address
  • We do not pay high management fees for our investments

Meet Our 2024 Board of Directors

Carol Findlay – Treasurer

Carol arrived in Pinawa February 1977. In the early days Carol worked with the Bank of Montreal and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited in the Finance Department. The Deep River Science Academy added to her experience with grant applications. In 1997, she met Hugh Arklie of the Thomas Sill Foundation who introduced her to foundations and the possibilities for a community.

Carol Finlay

Carol’s community involvement has included volunteer work with the Public Library, Pinawa Hospital and F.W. Gilbert School. She is also pleased to say she has been a Pinawa Player since 1991.

In 2009 Carol retired from the School District of Whiteshell. That fall the Pinawa Foundation was looking for board members. She volunteered and 13 years later she is proud of her role as treasurer in helping the Foundation to grow and thrive. Her growth as a board member is like the growth of the foundation itself. Both are long-term commitments and require patience.

Connie Hamon – Secretary

Connie moved to Pinawa in 1981 with her husband Richard, and children Tracy and Scott. The whole family enjoys the many activities available around town including hiking, camping, skiing, boating and simply walking along the wonderful Ironwood Trail.

For over thirty years Connie has been part of the Pinawa Players where she has held almost every position on the executive and production crews, including as an actor and director. She also volunteers with productions of the Eastern Manitoba Concert Association.

Connie Hamon

In 1991 Connie used her B.Sc.(Hons) degree to start working as a lab technologist, then lab supervisor in the fledgling microbiology program at AECL’s Whiteshell Laboratories. This led to serving on the board of the Whiteshell Science Academy.

When Connie retired in 2014, she was asked to join the board of the Pinawa Foundation. She has been amazed at the wide variety of projects the board has been able to help. One of the best perks of being on the executive is meeting the dedicated people involved in coming up with ideas for the community, then making them happen. Connie fell in love with Pinawa the first day she arrived here. She’s very pleased to be able to help keep Pinawa thriving.

Kate Kaminski

Kate moved to Pinawa in 1994 and graduated from Pinawa Secondary School in 2007. In 2013 she completed her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Manitoba and moved back to Seven Sisters Falls with her now Husband Jesse Kaminski. In 2017, Kate and Jesse moved their young family back to Pinawa.

Kate Kaminski

Kate has three young children and is actively involved in the community, currently serving as a member of the New Facility Committee for the Children’s Place Co-op Daycare, Registrar for Pinawa Minor Hockey Association, Leader for 1st Pinawa Girl Guides, and committee member of the Pinawa Holiday Cheer Committee, as well as participating as a board member of the Pinawa Foundation. She is also one of three owners of a local business Channel Systems that sells scientific imaging equipment across Canada.

Lisa Krupka – Youth In Philanthropy (YIP) Student Committee Facilitator​​

Lisa grew up in Pinawa. She moved back to the community in 1995 with her young family. She taught in the Whiteshell School District for 18 years and enjoyed volunteering for the many different sports and activities that her kids were involved in over the years.

Lisa Krupka

Lisa has been on the Pinawa Foundation board since 2017 and has been the Youth in Philanthropy student committee facilitator for 5 years. She finds it exciting to be a part of this Pinawa Foundation program, which works with teens in learning about how volunteerism and active involvement in philanthropy improves their community for all its citizens. 

Cindy Litke – Granting Committee and Facebook Administrator

Cindy moved to Pinawa in 1979 after accepting a job at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. She soon became a Pinawa lifer when she married Dave and they settled in Pinawa.

Cindy Litke

Her volunteer experiences began in her youth when she was involved in junior curling and golf, as well as student council. She served in various positions at the Pinawa Club and was a library, daycare and minor hockey volunteer. Later she was pleased to serve on the board of Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre.

In 2014 she was excited to be asked to join the Pinawa Foundation board. Cindy noted, ”it has been an interesting and evolving journey as the Foundation has found new and innovative ways to support the town of Pinawa and has grown its endowment fund to over $1M. I am looking forward to what we can accomplish in the coming years.”
In her spare time, she likes to golf, play pickleball, fish, travel, walk the beautiful trails of Pinawa and spend precious time with family.

Chris Saunders – Chairman

Chris moved to Pinawa in 1982 and in no time, he got involved in various local activities. Forty years later, Chris is still an active, engaged volunteer in Pinawa.

Chris Saunders

His early involvement in the community focussed on his love for sports. Chris served many roles including coaching, managing, and refereeing. Chris has always been a willing volunteer at many local sporting, fundraising, and Lions Club events. Over the years Chris has participated on numerous boards and committees. Chris was part of the team to form the Pinawa Foundation and has served as Chairman since its inception.

The Foundation has experienced rapid growth under his leadership. Chris has great pride in his hometown, and he works hard to make Pinawa a better place. For Pinawa’s 50th Birthday in 2013, Chris helped create two history books to capture the first 50 years of history in both the community and the Whiteshell Laboratories. Chris gives back to the community so the community can continue to strive and grow.

Janice Swanson

Janice moved to Pinawa in 1978 and graduated from Pinawa Secondary School in 1982. She married her high school sweetheart, Tim Swanson, in 1984. Janice completed a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba in 1985. She and Tim had a son (1986) and daughter (1989) and raised them in Pinawa until 1995 when jobs took them closer to Winnipeg. She worked for 8 years in an insurance agency and most of the rest of her career as a Technical Writer.

Janice Swanson

Retirement has allowed Janice and Tim to return to Pinawa where they have had an opportunity to experience and appreciate all that Pinawa has to offer from a new perspective. Their kids have also returned and, with them and their families so close by, as well as parents and other family and friends, it adds to the pleasures of being back in Pinawa.

John Tait

John moved to Pinawa in 1978 to work at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.  He quickly discovered the many activities in town and was approached by the Pinawa Players to help out backstage with their fall production. This quickly lead to acting, directing and technical help with productions, and has become one of his passions, where he continues to serve in a variety of positions on the Players board.  He was a founding member for the Association of Community Theatres in Manitoba in 1982 and has served on their executive and as a volunteer over the years.

John Tait

In his early years in Pinawa, John served on the boards of both the Tennis Club and the Whiteshell Cross Country  Ski Club. He has also been a board member of EMCA assisting for many years with lighting and stage setup. He continues to be a committed canvasser with both the Heart and Stroke Foundation and Canadian Diabetes. John is also pleased to serve on the board of the Pinawa Foundation.  As a proud resident, he has always strived for ways to better the community as a volunteer and help Pinawa grow.

Kristen Ticknor

Kristen moved to Pinawa with her parents when she was 7 years old. She graduated from Pinawa Secondary School and pursued post-secondary education in Winnipeg and Saskatoon. In 2004 they moved their young family back to a place they fondly remembered as somewhere with small town friendliness, with an amazing outdoor playground and such a strong sense of community.

Kristen Ticknor

Volunteering in Pinawa over the years connected her to a number of groups in town. The Children’s Place Co-op, Pinawa Nursery School and grassroots Boards were all a pleasure to be a member of when her children were young. When the love of hockey took over her household, it meant many hours at the rink on the Arena and Minor Hockey Boards, on the ice, or as team manager.

Recently joining the Pinawa Foundation Board, Kristen is looking forward to working with community groups and organizations who are focused on making Pinawa such a great place to live, work, and thrive!