Ottawa Senators relaunch their community foundation

The Ottawa Senators say they're "relaunching" their charitable arm just over two years after it was born to replace their former foundation.

Senators Community Foundation replaced the Ottawa Senators Foundation in 2020

A sign that says 'Sens' outside an arena.
An Ottawa Senators sign stands outside the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa in June 2022. The first regular season game here is Oct. 18. (Buntola Nou/Radio-Canada)

The Ottawa Senators say they're "relaunching" their charitable arm just over two years after it was born to replace their former foundation.

The Senators Community Foundation will help young people in eastern Ontario and western Quebec by running programs and making investments, according to a news release from the team on Wednesday.

During its charity golf tournament the team announced more than $100,000 in donations to the Youth Services Bureau, Ottawa Education Network's breakfast program, and CHEO's Roger Neilson House.

The tournament is one of the events where the foundation raises money, along with 50/50 draws at games.

From 1998 until 2020, the Ottawa Senators Foundation had an agreement with the team to use its trademarks. The foundation cut ties with team ownership in June of that year, rebranded as the Ottawa-Gatineau Youth Foundation, and joined the OSEG Foundation about a year ago.

Meanwhile, the NHL team revealed the Senators Community Foundation in August 2020 with all-time games-played leader Chris Phillips as executive director. As first reported by The Athletic, he stepped down after less than a year.

A search of the team's website shows few new initiatives from the foundation since. Two examples were a January 2022 announcement of a campaign to donate to mental health initiatives, which was tied to points scored by since-traded forward Nick Paul. There was also a safe-cycling event this past June.

Late owner Eugene Melnyk, who died of an illness in March and transferred ownership to his daughters, had said the foundation planned to donate some proceeds from 50/50 draws to organizations providing humanitarian and medical aid in Ukraine.

No specific reason was given Wednesday for relaunching the foundation. Pre-season activities are ramping up ahead of the start of the regular season in mid-October.

The buzz around the team has returned over the summer thanks to several trades and signings, along with renewed negotiations over a new arena at LeBreton Flats.

Phillips has even rejoined the team in a business role, while former teammate Wade Redden returned to help develop some of the franchise's young players.