Gifts & Donations

Leave a Lasting Legacy and a Gift to the Community

To make a gift today complete our legacy application form [PDF - 256 KB]

Seal Bay Park Donation
Chair Jolliffe and Carolyn Coffine up on parks donation page with the following wording:
Carolyn Coffin was recognized by Comox Valley Regional District Board Chair Bruce Jolliffe at a recent electoral area services committee meeting for her $25,000 donation for Seal Bay park. A management plan for Seal Bay park is currently in progress and these monies will help with recommendations from the plan. Through preliminary consultation with the community, wayfinding and updated trail signage has been highlighted as one of the top desired improvements and this is one of the possibilities for this donation.

Contributions by individuals, businesses and other organizations help the Comox Valley Regional District create a heritage of nature parks and trails. Protected greenspaces for both conservation and recreation are vital if the Valley is to remain a spectacular region to live, work and explore for many generations to come.

Our gifting program offers nature lovers a choice of three types of ways to contribute to the improvement and expansion of our parks and greenways: standard,  custom and distinctive.

Need more information? The regional district is pleased to assist you with a gift of your choice. We can offer sample wording for your will and other useful legal and tax information and confidential assistance to you and your advisors.

Please contact us by email:, or 250-334-6000, or 1-800-331-6007 if you prefer to speak to someone in person. We would be delighted to have coffee or tea with you at our office or your home.

Please note: Any information you provide will be held in strictest confidence.

Standard Gift Donations

Standard gifts are the purchase of facilities for existing parks such as benches, tables, signs and trees often in memory of someone. Custom gifts are donations of cash, services or equipment to complete a specific project or park purchase.

Native plants  $  500 
Benches  $1,300
Tables  $2,750
Kiosks  $3,750
Park entrance signs  $4,500

Local citizens have donated 58 park benches since the program began in 2003.

CVRD Gifting Opportunities printable [PDF - 106 KB]

Custom Gift

Contributions of no set amount intended to assist with the acquisition or development of parks. This could include a community group constructing a viewing stand, a business providing services "in-kind", or a donation of cash to assist with a service, land purchase or construction project.

The CVRD can issue a tax-deductable receipt for these kinds of gifts (except for "in-kind" services).

Distinctive Gift

Distinctive gifts can be used as strategies to offset capital gains taxes and other liabilities payable to the estate at death. When an individual dies all assets belonging to this person are deemed sold establishing the total value of his or her estate. One half of any capital gains is taxable subject to exemptions such as the principle residence. Taxes can be deferred on assets given to a spouse, or eliminated entirely if those assets are given to charitable causes such as the regional district parks and greenways system.

Distinctive gifts are donations of:

  • securities
  • irrevocable beneficiary designations
  • bequests
  • eco-gifts
  • life estate


Instead of selling your securities (stocks, bonds, or mutual funds) which will trigger capital gains taxes to you, donate them directly to the regional district.  In return, you receive tax credits based on the value of the securities donated. This may be accomplished by direct donation outside your estate or through your will.

Naming the CVRD as Beneficiary

Consider naming the regional district as the beneficiary on items such as tax free savings accounts, Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP), Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF) and life insurance policies. Upon your death the regional district will receive an immediate donation equal to the cash value of the beneficiary item. The regional district will issue a tax receipt to the donor's estate for the value of the gift received. For life insurance policies, the donor also receives annual donation receipts for the premiums that he or she pays to keep the policy in force after making the regional district the beneficiary.

This gifting option will be attractive to those wishing to reduce the taxes payable on their estate as it is an effective tool to keep assets outside of probate. It is also a way for those who want to make a large gift when they have limited resources. A gift of insurance generates a donation which may be many times the amount paid in premiums, for which you receive tax credits.

Be sure to use the correct name for the regional district – Comox Valley Regional District.


Use your will to leave a natural legacy by naming the regional district specific items, a portion of the value of your estate, or the residue of your estate.

When you make a bequest, a tax receipt is given for the full amount of the donation and can be claimed on your final tax return. Any unused credit can be carried back one year and applied to taxes owing in that year to obtain a tax refund for your estate.1

Many people choose not to leave a stated sum of money but rather to leave a share or the residue. This is because, unlike most other donations in wills, its value will not be affected by inflation.1

You can instruct us to use the funds for only a specific purpose or you can tell us to do our best but if we cannot meet your request, to use our discretion.1

We urge you to speak with regional district staff about designating your gift, to ensure that we will be able to fulfill your wishes. Being too restrictive may limit our ability to make effective use of your gift. You may simply want the regional district to benefit from the sale of your property. When giving a gift requiring perpetual protection (such as an ecologically or culturally significant piece of land) it is important that you talk with regional district staff to make sure that we can accept the gift under the terms you propose.1


For landowners who wish to donate their land or an interest in their property to the regional district, the Ecological Gifts program will be of interest. As properties donated to the regional district under the program can never be mortgaged or re-sold you can be confident that your land will be protected forever. Your donations may also generate increased tax benefits under this program.

Donors receive a tax receipt for the full value of their ecological gift. This tax receipt can be applied against 100% of the donors' net annual income. Corporate donors may deduct the amount directly, while individual donors can use it to calculate a non-refundable tax credit. Any unused portion of the tax receipt may be carried forward for up to five years. None of the capital gain from the transfer of the property is taxable instead of the usual 50%.

To qualify for the increase tax benefits land being donated must be considered ecologically sensitive – land that either currently contributes or has potential to contribute to Canada's biodiversity or environmental heritage. Property that provides habitat or has ecological values will be considered, as will properties with extensive restoration plans.

Environment Canada administers the Ecological Gifts program in partnership with local governments such as the regional district. If you are thinking of making an Ecological Gift, you should seek independent tax and legal advice before doing so. For more information visit the Environment Canada Ecological Gift Program.

Read the story of Ruth Masters

Life Estate

By donating a life estate to the regional district, you (and perhaps your children) retain the right to remain on your property for the remainder of your lives. Once you are no longer living on the property, it will transfer to the regional district for a park. Usually, a life estate involves certain restrictions on your use of the property. A life estate may contain some tax benefits depending on the value of the property and the length of time you will remain on the property.

Read the story of Brian and Sarah McLoughlin 

Gift Annuities

A charitable gift annuity allows you to donate a lump sum to the regional district and, in return, receive both a charitable receipt and guaranteed income (for the rest of your life, or for a stated period).

How they work: The regional district retains 25-30% of the amount you give to support our work, or as an endowment (whichever you prefer), for which you receive a charitable receipt. The balance is used to buy an annuity from a life insurance company that will produce the income you will receive.

Who they work for: Individuals 65 years and older who want:

  • the security that guaranteed payments from gift annuities offer
  •  the benefit of the after-tax rates of return that annuities provide, which are significantly better than GIC's and Canada Savings Bonds
  • the immediate tax benefits of a donation
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts

Receive a donation tax credit now, without losing the income that your assets produce, for a gift that the regional district will receive upon your death (or the death of your spouse).

How they work: Cash, investments, or properties that you wish left to the regional district are transferred to a trust. You continue to receive income from the trust for as long as you or your spouse live. Upon your death, or the death of a surviving spouse, the capital or property in the trust goes directly to the regional district without going through probate.

Who they work for: Anyone wishing to receive a donation tax credit now, without giving up the income from assets transferred to the trust. This is also an effective tool for avoiding probate fees related to the administration of and estate. The effectiveness of this type of gifting depends on your age, potential capital growth and ongoing set-up and administrative fees.


The information provided above is general in nature and not intended to be a substitute for professional legal or financial planning advice. The regional district encourages anyone planning a significant gift to seek independent legal and financial planning advice.

Donor Recognition

Custom and distinctive gifts may be recognized by the CVRD in the following ways: annual report, on our website, through a certificate from the board chair, at a special event, or, if it's a significant land donation, through naming of a trail or facility. Donations received from individuals, businesses and other organizations help us create a legacy of special places. The CVRD extends a heartfelt thanks to these community-minded donors.

In 2015/16 we thank the following donors:


  • Seal Bay Park
    • Cam Hope and Joanne White in memory of Bev & Doug Hope
    • JoAnne McLeod and family for Murray McLeod's 80th birthday
  • Royston Seaside Trail
    • Pamela and Andrea Wilson in memory of Gary Wilson
    • Marilyn Clements, Barbara MacKenzie and Pamela Wylie in memory of their parents Rosina and Leslie Ball


  • Karen and David McKenzie, in memory of their mother, Jean Turner


  • In memory of Maureen Coupland:
    • Sally Anton, Colleen and Jim Malek, Monica Blais and Aaron Welch, all of Courtenay
    • Joyce and Robert Kouris, Glenda Brown and Dayna Denley all of North Bay
    • Pat and Anthony Welch, and Marlyn Newell of Huntsville
    • Edna and Boyd Welch of Omemee, Ontario
  • And a very generous custom gift by Carolyn Coffin of Courtenay in December 2016