By Maxime Corneau – Communications Officer, The Army Cadet League of Canada
Earlier in June, The Army Cadet League of Canada was pleased to announce the Army Cadet Corps who were chosen to receive the 2022 Gerard Buckley Cadet Fund Grant (GBCF). The Gerard Buckley Cadet Fund is a special fund administered by The Army Cadet League of Canada. The fund was created jointly in 2001 by Gerard Buckley, a former Army Cadet from Newfoundland and Labrador and Scotiabank. Local Support Committees may apply to receive one of four grants of $3,000 that are awarded annually.
On June 7th, 2022, during a scheduled Zoom call, the ACLC proceeded with an official virtual presentation to the recipient Corps with provincial & Cadet and Junior Canadian Rangers representatives in attendance. It is intended that an official presentation or announcement ceremony will be organized locally.
The purpose of the fund is to benefit Army Cadets in Canada. As an overriding principal, the monies must assist the greatest number of cadets possible in areas of training where The Government of Canada or The Department of National Defense do not provide funding. During these past two years of the pandemic, corps and Support Committees have had to change their usual activities to a virtual approach, however, preparation and fundraising efforts towards activities and training has been ongoing. This is particularly true now that in-person activities have resumed for most of the country.
Every year the National Office of the Army Cadet League of Canada receives numerous applications from Support Committees across the country making the decision process challenging. Based on the guidelines and criteria’s for eligibility, the ACLC’s National Awards Committee announced that the following corps would be the recipients of the 2022 GBCF:
2335 Port Elgin Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, Port-Elgin, New-Brunswick
This cadet corps in Port-Elgin, a small community of 410 habitants in New-Brunswick located nearby the provincial border of Nova Scotia attracts several youth from neighboring small towns in both provinces. Although, the economy of these neighboring communities suffered a great deal during the pandemic due to interprovincial closures. Despite these obstacles, the cadet population in this area is increasing. Families who had previously moved away to live in various areas of Canada are moving back home providing a healthy pool of youth who are interested in joining the program. Wanting to remain relevant and active, the Support Committee intends to use the GBCF to help finance local interest-based training activities that would incorporate the 8th Canadian Hussars and the five cadet corps who are affiliated with the Regiment.
2937 Montgomery Legion Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, Enfield, Nova Scotia
This cadet corps, in the small community of Enflield, Nova Scotia, is located between Truro and Halifax. The corps operates with a combined rural and urban approach as it draws cadets from several other surrounding small communities where most folks also work in the larger cities of Halifax & Dartmouth.
With in-person training resuming, with the several pandemic restrictions lifted, the 2937 RCACC is starting to grow again and 50 % of cadets are showing great interest in the corps music program. For years, the corps has been using borrowed musical instruments but with this grant, they are now able to acquire numerous instruments such as a bass & snare drum, a trombone, clarinet and a trumpet. Having these available would benefit the cadet corps in continuing their ability to offer a music program to their youth for years to come.
3045 Arctic Bay Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, Arctic Bay, NU
3045 RCACC is Canada’s most northern cadet corps, located in Arctic Bay, NU – 73° 2′ 11″ N, 85° 9′ 9″ W – at the top of Baffin Island. The community is the third most northern permanent settlement in the country. Arctic Bay is home to around 1,000 people, the majority of whom are Inuit.
Considering the strong roots the cadets who parade with this corps have with their Inuit community and traditions, the leaders of this cadet corps are looking to resume the field training exercises that are not only a crucial part of the cadet training, but is also a strong link to their culture. They give cadets the opportunity to practice the skills they have learned in the classroom and learn the importance of problem solving, teamwork, and leadership. Field training focuses on the following areas of instruction: navigation, survival, bushcraft, trekking, and environmental sustainability. However, in this case, traditional Inuit skills such as seal hunting and fishing are also included. The cadets really look forward to this trip because it gives them the opportunity to take a break from the restricted community-life COVID imposed and reconnect with the land around them.
2701 PPCLI Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, Winnipeg, MB
Located in Winnipeg Manitoba, this cadet corps has strong ties with the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry Regiment as their official affiliated Unit. As the 2701 PPCLI RCACC celebrates its 60th Anniversary this year, this Corps wishes to celebrate its rich history of drumline and music as well as other traditional Cadet activities. The Cadets have the traditional PPCLI regalia for this and present a very striking ensemble. However, the existing drums, many of which were donated by their affiliated regiment, are getting to the end of their service life and are becoming prohibitive to repair. This fund will help the Support Committee acquire newer and more modern equipment that is lighter and more ergonomic which will be more attractive to the Cadets looking to maximize their experience within the music component this corps offers. The Support Committee also plans to use these funds to purchase additional equipment to support the physical fitness component of the program.
The GBCF offers each recipient corps an opportunity to supplement the field exercises, alongside the music program and all the equipment required to provide this quality training to the cadets and the requirement to maintain this in order to keep the cadets motivated and interested in the Army Cadet Program. The ACLC encourages corps to apply each year, and re-apply if needed, for a chance to be granted these funds that can only enhance the cadets training experience and help provide a stable and constructive environment for the youth of the various Canadian communities where corps and cadets can thrive.
Mr. Buckley, a former Army Cadet, Cadet Instructor Cadre (CIC) Officer and a former member of Canada Company created the GBCF in 2001 jointly with the Army Cadet League of Canada and Scotiabank, to support optional training for Army Cadets in the communities across the country. Today, Mr. Buckley sits as a Director on the ACLC’s National board of Directors and chairs the ACLC’s National Awards Committee.
A few years following its inception, Mr. Buckley generously increased his support to the Army Cadet Movement by increasing the number of awards to four cadet corps, with grants of $3000.00 each for a total of $12,000 annually. The winning cadet corps will be using the funds to cover costs towards various activities such as; biathlon and marksmanship training, musical instruments, citizenship activities and wilderness and outdoor exercises. To date the GBCF has raised over $250,000.00 and has awarded more than 50 grants of $3,000 each to cadet corps. As a basis for the selection of each year’s recipient corps, the National Awards Committee members always prioritize applications from corps who are located in less affluent or remote areas where it can be challenging to raise monies for such extracurricular programs. Mr. Buckley’s generosity has assisted several corps over the years and has enhanced the overall experience for those cadets who have benefitted form these funds.
Gerard and his wife, Mary MacDonald have established a Donor Advised Fund “The Gerard Buckley & Mary MacDonald Youth Fund” which support youth based charities in Canada and abroad.
For more details about this award, refer to policy 17.1 on our awards page: www.armycadetleague.ca/awards-grants-and-bursaries/