Pacific Ocean, BC - Shari Austin
I grew up in Vancouver, so the beach was a constant in my life. We would go to the beach as kids and play in the water and the sand. But we also went as teenagers. My best friend and I would chat, gossip and hangout. I would also go alone to think about things, and make decisions about things.
When I was 16, my father took me and my sisters to Long Beach in Tofino, BC. There was a fierce storm, so we put on our waterproof rain gear, went out on the beach and felt the power and the beauty of nature.
I have lots of memories of water from travelling around the world, but one of my most memorable trips in that respect was going to Haiti in 2011, which was about a year after the earthquake hit. RBC Foundation have provided some significant funding to a number of organizations in Haiti to help rebuild water infrastructure. I had been invited down to go see on the ground what they were doing with our money. It was really amazing to see the importance of clean drinking water and how dynamically and creatively they were approaching those issues. I’ve been enormously fortunate to be with RBC and to be in a position to impact the philanthropy of RBC and our causes. In 2007 we created the RBC Blue Water Project which was a $50 million, 10-year commitment to water and to supporting water organizations around the world.