September 29, 2023

Paris, ON – On Friday, Five Oaks Centre welcomed a representative of local MPP Will Bouma to discuss the impactful $150,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). This funding played a vital role in the recovery from COVID-19’s effects. Completed this summer, the project significantly improved air quality, safety, and environmental sustainability by upgrading HVAC systems in the 70-year-old main building as well as retreat houses.

“Curating a space for personal and spiritual growth and respecting a diversity of experiences is what Five Oaks is all about”, said Brantford-Brant MPP Will Bouma. “I am pleased to be a part of a government that supports an education and retreat centre that offers renewing and transformative individual, group and community experiences through reflection, deep connection and joyful expression.”
The grant allowed Five Oaks to improve the air quality in its building through the funding of a significant, environmentally friendly, and health-conscious upgrades to their HVAC system. These upgrades included transitioning from oil to heat pump systems in heavily used areas such as primary meeting areas, offices, and retreat houses.

“The Centre is thankful for completing this project, reinforcing our commitment to providing a safe, environmentally responsible community space,” expressed Michael Shewburg, Executive Director of the Centre. He emphasized, “Some key benefits include safer staff conditions and a secure haven for vulnerable communities, including Indigenous and Muslim partners, the LGBTQ+ community, and seniors.”

Nestled on 117 acres along the Grand River, this intercultural/interfaith Centre offers accommodations, meeting spaces, and amenities for educational, professional, spiritual, wellness, and social events and retreats. Five Oaks fosters inclusivity, offering diverse programs rooted in values like hospitality, environmental stewardship, and social justice. It’s a sacred space for personal growth, meaningful dialogue, and forging partnerships for a better future. Learn more or host your event at

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grant-making in Ontario and making a lasting impact in communities. Last year, OTF invested over $110M into 1,022 community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Visit otf.ca to learn more.

Organization Contact for Media Inquiries:
Kailey Stewart, Communications Administrator
Five Oaks Centre
(519) 442-3212