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Councillor - Town of Blue Mountains

My Tribute to Don Braden

As Past President of the Blue Mountain Ratepayers’ Association (BMRA), I wish to express, on behalf of all the members of the Association, our deepest sympathy to Don’s family and best wishes to the many people that worked and shared closely in his accomplishments over the past 11 years at BLUE.

Don was a member of the BMRA before I came on to the scene back in 2005. So you can see that he started thinking about a link to the community as soon as he was appointed President of the Blue Mountain Village Association (BMVA) in December, 2004.

When I met Don back in early 2007, I was still relatively new to the BMRA Board but I was actively campaigning to communicate the BMRA Brand town-wide and the need to get more of our members involved in local and everyday issues. I took over the newsletter and started developing an effective website. Don, being the visionary that he was, recognized our movement and Town-wide reach. He also acknowledged that the time was ‘ripe’ for the BMVA condo stakeholders to develop a positive relationship with the ratepayers, as he worked towards enhancing the brand and the goals of the BMVA and the Blue Mountain Resort (BMR).

Then one day, Don along with Gord Canning, called me and invited a few of the BMRA Board Directors to have a meeting to discuss and further pursue this relationship between the BMRA and the BMVA condo stakeholders. Don suggested and convinced us that unit owners within a condominium complex share many of the same Town-wide issues as freehold owners, and that a larger voice would carry greater weight in expressing everyone’s concern. Needless to say, I was easily convinced and quickly started drafting By-law Amendments that would incorporate a new Condo Membership.

So in June, 2009, and thanks to Don’s efforts, the BMRA members welcomed and approved the new Condo Membership and the Association became a stronger voice in the community, with the addition of 12 new Condo Corporations accounting for some 1,000 residential units in the Blue Mountain Resort area.

Before his untimely death, Don was continuing his community work as Chair of the Blue Mountain Village Foundation, which provided financial support to local Georgian Bay charitable organizations in need of necessary funding, while still continuing to promote the “greater Blue Mountain experience to the benefit of Village stakeholders”.

On a personal note, Don was a business confidant who would always lend a friendly ear to my community concerns, both as President of the Association and now as a Councilor at The Blue Mountains, and would give me some direction in pursuing the answers. I could always lean on him and I will certainly miss him.