Lambden family donation brings Civic Square rink closer to reality

Yesterday, I had the honour of joining Andrew and Sue Lambden to announce a $400,000 pledge from the Nicholas Lambden Memorial Children’s Foundation for the ice rink and water feature in front of City Hall.  Here are my speaking notes.

A volunteer community group called the Rink Rats has spearheaded fundraising for this project. Yesterday’s announcement brought them to within $296,000 of the goal. To donate, visit

Here are some pictures from the event, with a temporary natural rink that has been set up in the square:

Here I am with the Lambdens and the Rink Rats committee.

Trying out the temporary flooded rink - the new rink will be much smoother!

Here is the press release:

Nicholas Lambden Memorial Children’s Foundation Fund pledges $400,000 to Guelph’s Civic Square for ice rink and water feature
Lead donation comes as fundraisers launch public campaign.

GUELPH, ON, January 14, 2010 – The community effort to raise $2 million dollars towards an ice rink and water feature in front of Guelph City Hall got a major boost from the Nicholas Lambden Memorial Children’s Foundation today with a $400,000 donation pledge.

The donation is the campaign’s largest and brings the total amount raised so far to $1.7 million.

“On behalf of the entire community, I want to thank the Lambdens for this incredibly generous donation,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “Everywhere I go, people tell me how excited they are about the rink and water feature. Thanks to the Lambdens, this project is a major step closer to reality.”

Today’s announcement comes as the Rink Rats, the community group spearheading the fundraising effort, kicks off the public portion of its fundraising effort.  The group is hopeful Guelph residents will become part of a community legacy by donating the remaining $300,000 by March, which marks the start of the project’s construction.

Ken Hammilll, Chairman of the Rink Rats, says he is pleased the Lambden family, the Guelph Community Foundation and the City of Guelph have come together to recognize Nicholas and his love of outdoor sports. “It’s wonderful to think that the memory of this young man will inspire fun and sportsmanship among others, while contributing to the renewal of Guelph’s Market Square.”

Andrew Lambden and Susan Lambden say they’re pleased to be a part of what will be one of Guelph’s most beautiful public spaces. “We know in our hearts that Nicholas would have wanted to see this rink come to life in our city.  His tragic passing affected our whole community. With your help to build this rink and water play area, the community can come together again to honour and remember Nicholas who touched our lives with his spirit for life and we can play together for many years to come,” said Sue.

The rink and water feature are part of Guelph’s plans to renew its historic market grounds to lead the way towards a more urban and sustainable future. Crucial to the success of this effort is the development of high quality public spaces, including Guelph’s Civic Square. Centrally located in downtown Guelph, the ice rink will give the entire community a chance to enjoy new programming. In the summer, the water feature will offer an accessible and interactive sensory experience.  The site will incorporate rain-water harvesting and high-efficiency recirculation technologies.

In addition to the Lambden family, the Rink Rats also wish to thank and acknowledge the federal and provincial governments, the Downtown Guelph Business Association and the Mactaggart family for their donations. 

Anyone wishing to donate to the ice rink and water feature, or to learn more, is invited to visit

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Ken Hammill
Chair, Rink Rats
Phone: 519-836-4772

About the Nicholas Lambden Memorial Children’s Foundation Fund

The Nicholas Lambden Memorial Children’s Foundation Fund is administered by the Guelph Community Foundation and was established by Guelph residents Andrew Lambden and Sue Lambden.  The Fund was created to honour the memory of Nicholas Lambden, who touched many lives with his kind heart, and to raise funds to support children’s sports, education and recreation initiatives.

About the Guelph Community Foundation

The Guelph Community Foundation is a charitable foundation whose purpose is to provide leadership in promoting community philanthropy and enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Guelph and Wellington.  The Foundation currently has 6.5 million in endowed funds and has distributed $1.5 million in grants to community organizations.


About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

View all posts by Karen Farbridge

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