The Canada’s Diversity Gardens project is the final major phase in the redevelopment of Assiniboine Park and Zoo that was launched in 2009. Located in the south-east corner of the Park, the project blends extraordinary indoor horticultural displays with community gathering space, iconic architecture, state-of-the-art design, and breathtaking outdoor gardens.

“The Leaf and Canada’s Diversity Gardens will celebrate our world’s natural and cultural diversity, reconnecting people with nature and each other,” said Margaret Redmond, President & CEO, Assiniboine Park Conservancy. “We are so grateful to the donors who have embraced this vision and what it will mean for our city, our province, and our country.”

The following gifts were announced between August and December 2019.

Sean McCoshen

The Assiniboine Park Conservancy was thrilled to announce a gift of $1 million from Sean McCoshen in support of the Canada’s Diversity Gardens project at the Garden Party in August. This is McCoshen’s second gift in support of the project; his first gift of $2 million was announced in 2018. His generous donations will be recognized in The Leaf with naming of the second floor event hall and mezzanine, which overlook the expansive indoor plant biomes.

“These gardens are not just a stunning attraction. They’re a symbol of what makes Canada the envy of the world, a nation where — more than any other country — diverse people lead lives of mutual acceptance and respect,” said McCoshen, Chairman, A2A Rail USA LLC and Chairman, Alaska–Alberta Railway Development Corporation. “In this era of climate change, they’re also a reminder of how much we depend on the natural world and that our future depends on our stewardship of the planet.”

Sean McCoshen.jpg (1.18 MB)

Photo L-R: Hartley Richardson, Chair, Assiniboine Park Conservancy Board of Directors; Sean McCoshen; Margaret Redmond, President & CEO, Assiniboine Park Conservancy.

Pollard Family Foundation

In early fall, the Pollard Family Foundation announced a $500,000 gift in support of the Canada’s Diversity Gardens project. Doug Pollard and the Pollard Family Foundation have been long-time supporters of the Park and Zoo, contributing in the past to the Journey to Churchill project. We invited Mr. Pollard for a tour of the future site of The Leaf where he got a first-hand look at the incredible building as it is taking shape.

“This is going to be a world-class facility and I think people are going to be very, very proud of this and I know we are very proud on behalf of my family and our foundation,” said Pollard.


Bison Transport / Jessiman Foundation

In late 2019, Bison Transport and the Jessiman Foundation announced another major gift in support of the Imagine a Place Campaign. Their previous $1,000,000 gift was recognized with the naming of the Streuber Family Children’s Garden, in honour of Donald Streuber, Bison Transport’s Executive Chairman.

After touring The Leaf construction site in early November, Peter Jessiman provided some insight into their decision to support the Canada’s Diversity Gardens project.

“I think this is a very rare opportunity to support a project that is going to impact generations of Winnipeggers, Manitobans, Canadians and visitors from all over the world,” said Jessiman.