Sam Laprade for Ottawa Business Journal

Who: Kathleen Grimes and Ersin Ozerdinc, Site Preparation Ltd. 

The donation: $500,000  

The recipient: Perley Health Foundation    

The inspiration: “A friend gifted me a beautiful vase that was created at Perley Health art studio. The colours, peach and blue, reminded me of my grandma’s china. As I learned more about the program, I realized this was a real art studio where seniors can create and have dignity and pride in their work,” says Kathleen Grimes. 

The arts have always been important to Kathleen Grimes, who grew up in Ottawa and took pottery classes while attending Canterbury High School. 

She met her husband, Ersin Ozerdinc, through mutual friends. Ozerdinc immigrated from Turkey to Canada in the 1970s and attended the University of Toronto on a full scholarship to do his master’s degree in engineering. 

Today, Grimes and Ozerdinc own Site Preparation Ltd., which works in heavy construction in a multitude of sectors. As successful business owners, they are committed to giving back to the community in various areas. 

The arts is one of those areas. The couple has donated $500,000 to the Perley Health Foundation to create The Ozerdinc Grimes Family Therapeutic Recreation and Creative Arts Program, which will benefit all residents, including veterans and seniors. 

“Giving back is important to us, and when we saw the art studio at Perley Health we knew it was the right decision as it is a creative outlet for people to express themselves. It really struck a chord with us as the benefits of the arts include mental health, fine motor skills and dexterity,” says Grimes. “I was impressed by the studio as it has woodworking equipment, silk-screening and a kiln. This means people can create something beautiful in a real studio.”  

“This remarkable gift will help ensure that all residents of Perley Health can access the therapeutic benefits of our recreation and creative arts programming for the years to come,” says Delphine Haslé, executive director of the foundation. 

“Support from the community … (is) essential to the success of Perley Health. The steadfast support of donors and volunteers inspires staff and enables residents to live life to the fullest,” adds Haslé. 

The couple’s philanthropic spirit has led to donations to many other organizations, including the Royal Ottawa Hospital, Carleton University’s Centre in Modern Turkish Studies and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.