Image caption: Rotating clockwise from top left: Sr. Frances O’Brien, Sr. Diane Brennen, Sr. Gayle Desarmia, Sr. Sandra Shannon

CFKA Announces 2024 Community Builder Award

The Community Foundation for Kingston & Area (CFKA) is pleased to announce The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul are the recipients of the 2024 Community Builder Award.

Widely known and admired for their institutional ministries, such as schools and hospitals, The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul are also heavily engaged in works of peace, social justice, ecology, education, wellness and spirituality.

Their former office of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation worked to bring awareness and protect the rights of the poor and the marginalized people in Kingston. It has been transferred to the Catholic Health Sponsors of Ontario and has become the Providence Centre for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation.

In 1999, they established the Heirloom Seed Sanctuary at the Providence Motherhouse. The Sanctuary was closed in 2019 and the seeds were gifted to Kingston Area Seed System Initiative (KASSI) and Ratinenhayén:thos, an Indigenous seed stewardship organization at Tyendinaga.

“Founded in 1861 to care for the needs of the poor, The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul have expanded their mission with enormous vision and compassion. Their impact and legacy across our region will be indelible.”  – Stacy G Kelly, Executive Director, Community Foundation for Kingston & Area.

The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul have a long-term vision. Their Providence Village at 1200 Princess Street is a community of hope, belonging  and wellbeing for the vulnerable where diverse partners offer compassionate care and support services. The new Providence Manor, a 320-bed state-of-the-art long-term care facility, alongside the new Hospice Kingston, a 10-bed hospice residence and palliative care centre will have the largest footprint on the land. The Village, land, and Providence Motherhouse is also meant to be a space for community service organizations to be co-located. The first tenant was The Alzheimer Society of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, and more are to be announced.

A local company has been engaged to develop a feasibility study of the Sisters’ historic original Providence Manor building at 275 Sydenham Street  to determine its viability to become  a community hub, to be called Providence Commons, that will support the critical needs of affordable housing and community services for vulnerable populations in Kingston and the surrounding area, with a specific focus on supporting women and women-led households.

In 2021, The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul made a $5 million donation to CFKA to establish The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul Community Impact Fund,  whose goal is to achieve transformative, sustainable, systems-level change in two issue areas: prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), mitigate the impacts of ACEs, and build resiliency generally in children, youth, families, and our community at large and to reduce older adult’s social isolation and foster connection and belonging for older adults generally. CFKA announced the first substantial, multi-year grant from the Fund on April 19: a $808,000 grant to Family and Children’s Services of Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington (FACSFLA) for their innovative program ‘A Great Start for Families: Kahwà:tsire Ronwatiyenawá:se Centre’ serving families with young children in the Kingston & Area.

“As the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul come to fulfillment, this Legacy donation will continue our mission of making a difference in the lives of some vulnerable people in Kingston”.
– Sister Sandra Shannon, General Superior, The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul

Join CFKA for our Commuity Impact Celebration
The 2024 Community Award will be presented to The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul at CFKA’s Community Impact Celebration: Wednesday, June 26, 2024, 5:00pm – 7:00pm, Holiday Inn Kingston Waterfront, Bellevue Ballroom (6th Floor). 2 Princess St, Kingston.

Register Here.

About the Community Builder Award
Established in 2018 as a memorial to Geoff Sandiford, who was Board President in 2014, the Community Builder Award recognizes a person or group making a significant positive change in our communities. Nominees will have made an exceptional contribution to the community by one or more of the following:

  • inspiring others to become involved in community building initiatives;
  • motivating fundraising projects large and small;
  • identifying needs and developing creative solutions to address the needs;
  • dedicating time, treasure and talents to community projects/ charities;
  • demonstrating action-based values including giving, joining, “asking” and serving.

Past recipients include:  Bill Richard, Brigadier General (retired), Sophie Kiwala, former MPP, Kingston and the Islands, Jimmy Hassan Founder/CEO Canadian Colours Kingston Foundation and  City Councillor, and philanthropists Jim Brown & Joan Lee.


Community Foundation for Kingston & Area