This fundraising event with Birling and Beau’s for the Ottawa Skateboard Association (OSA) has grown into the largest charitable skateboard fundraiser in Canada. It all started as a janky DIY mini-ramp and a few punk bands playing in the dirt when we were working to fundraise $25,000 for the Charlie Bowins Skate park that is just a few blocks from the shop.Over the years our relationship with Beau’s has grown and we have been able to expand and build the Black Forest stage with the help of Vans Canada. The stage is a whole area dedicated to punk rock, skateboarding and live art.
This year our fundraising focus is for a new skateboard park in the Vanier community. The River Rain Park, in Vanier, will be redeveloped in the summer of 2020 and there is a one-time opportunity to ensure that this facility is best suited to serve the community in need. This community is one of the areas in Ottawa that would be greatly served by better access to recreation. It is the riding in Ontario where most people per capita use food banks to help fill their fridges and pantries.
We have found that helping financially contribute to a local skateboard park empowers the community to take ownership of a park and usually ends up with a facility that is well used and respected by the skaters. This year’s fundraising event will take us a huge step closer to finding $10,000 for the River Rain park.For more information about OSA and what they do please check out ottawaskateboard.ca. This nonprofit was founded to promote the construction of well-designed skateboard parks and provide access to skateboarding opportunities within the Ottawa community.
Text by Aaron Cayer
Photos by Aaron Cayer and Dan Mathieu