Celebration Bench Program for the Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa

A key objective of the Friends of the Central Experimental Farm (FCEF) is to make the Dominion Arboretum, established in 1889 in one of the most beautiful settings in Ottawa, more enjoyable and welcoming to all members of the public. One way to do this is by providing comfortable and attractive seating at selected sites in the Arboretum to promote rest and reflection. To this end, FCEF has initiated a Celebration Bench Program by purchasing good-quality benches and developing a program that includes dedication plaques for the benches.

Families, elderly persons, children, and couples will all draw comfort and enjoyment from the strategically placed benches. There are currently a small number of useful and practical portable green-slatted benches placed in the Arboretum in the summer and moved from time to time. However, more permanent year-round benches with donor plaques are now a familiar and welcoming part of the Arboretum.

Donor plaques hold special value for families and friends as a way to celebrate loved ones. In the past, FCEF had a donor tree plaque program in the Arboretum and the Merivale Shelterbelt dedication wall program, but it is no longer accepting donations for these. The Celebration Bench program in the Arboretum is an extension of these.


Current Status

In 2019, FCEF purchased five benches. Two of these benches were installed in the Shelterbelt area with plaques noting that they are a gift from the Shelterbelt donors. The other three benches were installed in the Dominion Arboretum. The benches are located at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada-approved sites selected by the Sponsors.

The Friends are very pleased to report that all three 2019 benches in the Arboretum were quickly applied for by donors. In Fall 2020, 5 more benches were successfully installed and in Fall 2021, 4 more benches were placed in the Dominion Arboretum. The Friends plan to continue the program and install additional benches as conditions permit.


Program Costs and Conditions

Ten-year plaque dedication: $7,000
A donation will result in a dedication plaque on a celebration bench for ten years. When the ten-year period draws to a close, the donor can contact the Friends about renewing the dedication plaque for a further term. If the donor decides to discontinue the sponsorship, the plaque is returned to the donor.

Additional details

Benches will be installed for which dedication plaques have been purchased. Once a donor makes the payment of $7,000 and the donation is confirmed, the wording for the bronze dedication plaque will be provided to the FCEF for approval. The Bench and plaque are ordered and installed in the Dominion Arboretum after a location is chosen from a determined lists of spots available. Delivery and Installation of the Bench and plaque can take a few months and is subject to delays beyond the Friends’ control.

Donation tax receipt
A Canada Revenue Agency tax receipt for $6400, ($7000 less the amount related to the cost of the donor-owned plaque), will be issued for a fully paid up donation.

The plaque
All dedications include a single bronze plaque (8 x 4 inches, ¼ inch deep) for inscription, with a maximum of four lines of text and 30 characters per line, including spaces and punctuation.

More information

Please contact the Bench Coordinator for the Friends of the Farm at bench@friendsofthefarm.ca for any more details you might require.


How to Apply for a Bench

Note that submissions will be accepted on a first come, first served basis starting Nov 1, 2021 as we have a limited number of Bench locations for each group of offerings.

Bench Cycle – Nov 1, 2021 – Dec 15, 2021

If you wish to donate and have a dedication plaque placed on a beautiful bench in 2022 in the Arboretum, you need to do the following:

1) Download and complete the Celebration Bench—Submission Form and the Celebration Bench Program—Agreement

2) Return the completed form and agreement with your cheque for $7,000 to the Friends of the Farm office.** Please note our updated Office hours, and that access to Building 72 is now by appointment only. Forms will be accepted until December 15, 2021 or until all 6 Bench offerings have been spoken for. 

A Friend of the Farm will then contact you regarding the application and inscription*.

*Please note: As this not a memorial bench, any form of the word “memory” and life dates can not be used.