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Ross MacDonald Memorial Endowment Fund established .... See About Us

Ross MacDonald Memorial Endowment Fund

The Wings Over the Rockies Festival, established in 1997, aims to promote both immediate and enduring efforts for the benefit of birds, wildlife, and their habitats. It achieves this by leveraging public education, research findings, sustainable economic growth, and the collective abilities and assets of our communities. This approach seeks to harmonize human needs with the preservation of natural systems.

This endowment fund has been created to provide ongoing funding to assist projects in the Columbia Valley that will support community environmental education and/or land-based conservation such as habitat restoration, maintaining or improving ecological conditions, or species at risk protection. The fund will be administered by the Columbia Valley Community Foundation. 


This fund is dedicated in memory of Ross MacDonald.

Ross passed away in June 2023. Right up until his last days he remained a highly dedicated supporter of Wings Over the Rockies and its mission.

Across a Parks Canada career spanning thirty-four years, Ross worked to celebrate and protect Canada’s natural and historic treasures. Ross was an extraordinarily dedicated volunteer supporting a wide range of local natural and historic conservation efforts. Among his highlights, he was instrumental in efforts to celebrate the history of the renowned explorer David Thompson. He also played a critical role in establishing the Greenways Trail Alliance that strives to develop the trail systems enjoyed by many locals and visitors.

Ross was involved in Wings Over the Rockies for decades. In recent years he took on the role of Festival President. Practically, he was the Festivals greatest fan, cheerleader, and volunteer. He cared deeply about the Festival and infected many with his enthusiasm.  

Those who knew Ross will remember his quick wit, infectious laugh, and a life-long passion for photography. He was never more alive than behind a camera.


On behalf of Ross MacDonald’s family, I want to thank Wings Over the Rockies Nature Festival for naming their endowment fund in his honour. His surviving family – two brothers, his son and myself – are touched by this remembrance. We all know how Ross has always been fascinated by the natural world and how it shapes us. He was always throwing himself into some environmental cause and finding a community project that fit his passion. Since coming to the Columbia Valley in 1998, Greenways and the Wings festival were an important part of Ross’ life. I have frequently heard him speak of Wings working towards establishing a fund to support local environmental projects. I know it has taken a lot of dedication as well as years of successful events to achieve this and am thrilled that the fund has come to fruition. Please tell everyone that it is so heart warming and an honour to know Ross’ work with you all is held in such high regard. Rolling up the sleeves, grinning into the storm and breaking out a bottle of wine if the going gets really tough has characterized most of my fondest moments with Ross. May recipients of the Ross MacDonald Fund benefit from his spirit of resilience as well as from the vision and success of the Wings Festival.

Eloise Meredith, widow


The Wings Over the Rockies Festival Society board has created this Legacy Fund in memory of Ross and as a thank-you to all the dedicated supporters of the Festival over the years. It is our hope that the fund will provide the legacy of ongoing funding assistance to projects aimed at maintaining the beautiful natural environment of this Valley we all love.