RBC announces Blue Water Project advisory panel

RBC today announced the advisory panel for the RBC Blue Water Project, a 10-year, $50 million charitable grant program to support global solutions for freshwater preservation, conservation and access in Canada and around the world.

“The individuals chosen for this panel are widely respected for their leadership, expertise and insight on water,” said Gordon M. Nixon, president and CEO, RBC. “We are pleased to be working with such a distinguished panel of experts and welcome their guidance and advice on the RBC Blue Water Project.”

Chairing the advisory panel is Rob de Loë, a professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Dr. de Loë’s work for the past 20 years has focused on water governance and management, and he has been a consultant to government and non-government organizations seeking advice on a range of water-related topics. He has been an active member of Canada’s water management community since 1987.

“I’m privileged to be working with such a wide range of experts from such diverse backgrounds, and am looking forward to helping RBC ensure that its funds are directed to projects that will make a real difference in Canada, the United States and around the world,” said de Loë.

The seven member panel is made up of water experts and community and aboriginal leaders from across North America.

The advisory panel will help RBC develop a strategic approach for its Blue Water Project activities, recommending key program assessment criteria, including social and environmental impact metrics. It will review specific project proposals and act as a sounding board to help RBC identify water-related issues, trends and developments.

The advisory panel consists of:

  • Rob de Loë; (chair), Professor and Canada Research Chair in Water Management, University of Guelph.
  • David Brooks, Senior Advisor (Fresh Water), Friends of the Earth Canada, and retired water specialist with International Development Research Centre.
  • Merrell-Ann Phare, Executive Director, Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources.
  • Danielle Droitsch, Executive Director, Bow Riverkeeper and member of Alberta Water Council.
  • Tom Siddon, Chair of Okanagan Water Stewardship Council and former Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Indian Affairs.
  • David Moreau, Water Expert and Professor, University of North Carolina.
  • George Yap, Program Director, WaterCan, and Coordinator, Sanitation and Water Action Network.

The RBC Blue Water Project will offer three grant streams: Visionary grants – multi-year grants to global organizations that show vision, foresight and innovation to support programs around the world and in Canada; Leadership grants – annual grants given to organizations that are leaders in providing regional programs within North America, determined through a ‘request for proposal’ process; and Community Action grants – grants given to community-based organizations in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean to support local projects.

RBC announced its first Visionary Grant recipient in late 2007, with a commitment of $10 million over ten years to the ONE DROP Foundation, established by Cirque du Soleil founder, Guy Laliberté. Additional Visionary Grants will be announced later in 2008. Applications for Leadership Grants will be accepted starting in April 2008. The Community Action Grants stream will be open for applications in June, 2008. For more information on the RBC Blue Water Project visit www.rbc.com/bluewater.