Creating community play space at École Laura Secord School

What is Our Backyard?

Creating community play space at École Laura Secord School

We are creating a community play space at École Laura Secord School; an educational experience enriched with elements of nature, music, gardens ​and outdoor playscapes.

where we started

In the summer of 2008 a Wolseley family suffered the loss of their young son, Harry, to cancer. Following their loss, the Venema’s set out to memorialize Harry’s life through the redevelopment of the community playground at Ecole Laura Secord School. The school playground had been an extension of the their backyard and a place Harry loved to be. To honour Harry’s life and see their dream come to fruition, the family established a memorial fund. The Venema’s hoped that through living in thankfulness and community they could help generations of children in the Wolseley community experience the joy of youth by giving the gift of an outdoor playspace. 

The Venema’s project was put on hold when it was announced in 2012 that the school would receive a new roof, and again in 2014 with the announcement of a new gym. Now, with plans moving forward for a new school gym and over 7 years after its inception, the Harry Venema Memorial Fun Fund is ready to be put into action.

where we are

We are excited to compliment the Venema’s efforts and launch a Capital Campaign to fund the re-development and greening of the school playground, which will come at the heels of the construction of a new gym. The playground will act as an extension of our homes and backyards. A place where families can live in community and where children can experience the joy and wonder of youth just as the Venema’s had envisioned. This will be a place where Laura Secord students educational experience will be enriched with elements of nature, music, gardens and outdoor playscapes. 

With the help of Harry’s Memorial Fun Fund and drawing from community grants, government funding, donations and community fundraising events we believe we can reach our goal of raising $300,000. Over a two year campaign we plan to reach out to the community at large in order to see our shared dream become a reality.   

For more information, please call 204.775.0231 or email