An Exciting Equestrian Proposal for the Capital Region

Sports & Recreation • Posted by OttawaStart on January 18, 2013

 Following a Request for Expressions of Interest process, the National Capital Commission (NCC) announces that the Wesley Clover Foundation (WCF) has been identified as the preferred proponent to take over operations at 401 Corkstown Road in Ottawa (formally the Nepean National Equestrian Park).


The proposal submitted by the WCF plans for significant investment to greatly improve the existing equestrian facility while extending the uses of the property to other types of outdoor recreation and learning – broadening its reach in the community.


“This is an exciting proposal and a great potential collaboration to combine fun, fitness and value for taxpayers,” said John Baird, Foreign Affairs Minister and Minister Responsible for the NCC. “This is about unique recreational and educational opportunities in the heart of the City – exactly what the Greenbelt is meant to provide.”


“The NCC is pleased to announce such an ambitious initiative for this Greenbelt facility,” said Jean-François Trépanier, Chief Executive Officer of the NCC. “The WCF proposal is strongly aligned with NCC objectives, and will grow into a great asset for Canada’s Capital Region.”


Both parties are now working together to put a lease in place and to obtain all the necessary permits and approvals. In order to enable this proposal to move forward, an amendment to the 1996 Greenbelt Master Plan is required to allow the sports fields and the Forest Schoolcomponents of the proposal; this amendment will be considered by the NCC Board of Directors on January 23, 2013.


“We’re very excited to get going,” said WCF’s Executive Director Karen Sparks. “The WCF is hoping to make a big impact in the community, and this will be our flagship project.”


The WCF will establish an outdoor recreation and learning centre that promotes health and education through connections with nature and the outdoors. The facility will grow into a robust community and national asset that elevates equestrianism in Canada’s Capital Region, serves a wide audience, fosters diverse community engagement, celebrates the Greenbelt and ultimately benefits the Region’s residents with education, new recreational activities and positive local economic impacts.


“We want to promote equestrianism in Canada’s Capital Region, and make it more accessible,” said Sparks. “We also want to promote the enjoyment of the outdoors and natural environment of our region, through a variety of activities. Bringing all of these complementary pieces together will be key to the longevity and viability of the facility.”


Key elements of the proposal include:


·        The Ian Millar Equestrian School and a World Class Equestrian Event Facility

·        A Trail Riding Centre

·        A Pre-School

·        An Outdoor Sports and Recreation Centre (including field and trail sports)


About The Wesley Clover Foundation


Based in Ottawa, the Wesley Clover Foundation is the recently launched charitable foundation of the Matthews Family, and serves as the philanthropic arm of Wesley Clover – the world-class investment group that has interests in high technology companies, real estate and leisure properties. The focus of the Foundation is to promote excellence in four areas within the local community: Entrepreneurship; Education; Healthcare; and Local community initiatives.


The foundation is committed to supporting advances in healthcare research, promoting excellence in education and creating the next generation of entrepreneurs. A key focus is also the creation of activities that enhance the welfare of our local community. The foundation is a registered non-profit corporation, and is in the process of obtaining status as a Canadian charitable foundation.


For more information, the public may contact the NCC at 613-239-50001-800-465-1867613-239-5090 (TTY) or 1-866-661-3530 (toll-free TTY) or visit the NCC’s website at


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