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The Aviva Community Fund is awarding up to $100,000 for community projects that receive the most votes from the public.

On Saturday October 8 in the afternoon, the iconic old barn at ClearWater at the Reed Farm burnt to the ground.

No one was hurt. The tragic accident was caused by kids playing on the property without permission.

But, out of adversity can come opportunity. Plans to enter the Aviva competition have been underway for some time and will continue. Georgina could win $100,000 to help rebuild the barn and give it the future being planned for it — as a community treasure and a youth centre designed by kids and built with their help.

This project “Barn Raising 2017 with Young Community Builders” is being led by the Ontario Water Centre (a registered charity) as part of its renovation of the 9-acre, 180-year-old ClearWater Farm at Willow Beach on Lake Simcoe. Other community partners so far are the Georgina Arts Centre and Gallery, and Georgina Trades Training Incorporated.



How You Can Help

Between October 11 and 28, any person 18 and over can vote for any project on the Aviva website – up to 18 times. To win,we need approximately 1,000 people to vote for this “Barn-Raising” idea. So if everyone gets everyone they know to vote, we can make this happen. That’s where you come in.

How You Vote – It’s Easy!

Step One
Remember the name of our project– Barn Raising 2017,  and that you have 18 votes. Then click here to go the Aviva Community Fund to register.

Step Two
Encourage more people to vote too and send out information to their networks. Forward this webpage to them.





More about Kids and the Barn at ClearWater at the Reed Farm

The rebuilt barn will be a multi-functional resource for events, meetings and community cultural programming – a touchstone for school trips, camps and workshops and an exhibition space connecting this rapidly-growing community to its rural roots.  It will be an exciting new gathering place on the farm that will bring joy to the community and give local youth experience in the revitalization of an old structure as well as in community-building.

ClearWater Farm is being developed by the Ontario Water Centre, a CRA-registered educational charity, as a hub for economic, social, “agro-technical” and environmental advancement, locally and beyond, under a long-term agreement with the Town of Georgina.



“We were inspired by old-fashioned barn-raising principles.
Old barns inherently symbolize the power of community to
collaborate by bringing people of different ages and abilities together.”

— Annabel Slaight, founding chair of the Ontario Water Centre

What Comes Next

The Ontario Water Centre’s “Barn-Raising with Young Community Builders” idea is part of the overall renovation of the nine-acre 180-year-old ClearWater Farm underway at Willow Beach on Lake Simcoe.

Youth participation in “raising” this barn is a model for developing community “ownership” of the barn and, indeed, the entire farm becoming a living laboratory of entrepreneurial activity and environmental connectivity for all.

To translate dreams into design, youth planning workshops including model-building are already underway this Fall in partnership with the Georgina Arts Centre & Gallery and Cultural Centre, so the project can begin construction in 2017.


The project’s architectural, engineering, community programming and management team would be supported by Georgina Trades Training Incorporated’s youth clients past, present and future to help provide authentic hands-on experience and training in the construction and reconstruction of the barn.

If the project wins because of your vote, construction will be completed in 2017, and a weekend inauguration celebration is planned at ClearWater at the Reed Farm for Thanksgiving 2017 to engage as many other community members as possible.











For more about the Ontario Water Centre, please click here

*Sponsoring this project in the Aviva Community Fund is Etherington Insurance, the Aviva agent in Sutton and Keswick.