Friends of High Park Zoo is Seeking Qualified Board of Directors Nominations

  • Nominations for Eligible Candidates are Due Sunday, May 31, 2020 at 6:00 pm ET
  • Priority Areas are Experience in Fundraising or Graphic Design
  • Up to Three Directors to be Elected on Two-Year Terms
  • AGM date TBD at the Forest School in High Park (Toronto)

Friends of High Park Zoo (FHPZ)

We are seeking inspired and motivated volunteer board members to oversee the activities of our organization for 2020 and 2021. As we implement our Master Plan to enhance and sustain High Park Zoo, we require directors to steward the undertaking of these much-needed improvements. FHPZ currently plans to break ground on Master Plan projects in 2020. For more details, visit
In 2020, FHPZ will have up to three openings on the Board of Directors, each on two-year terms.
This year’s election will be held at our Annual General Meeting at the High Park Forest School located in High Park, 375 Colborne Lodge Drive, Toronto (in the northeast area of High Park). The date is currently to be determined as a result of the COVID-19 situation.

Priority areas for 2020

Each year, the Board of FHPZ completes an evaluation of its directors’ skills and experience and identifies its future needs. In light of FHPZ’s strategic plan and organizational performance, the Board prioritizes the skills and abilities most important to fulfilling its governance function over the coming years.
In 2020, the Board is seeking candidates with experience in the areas of Fundraising or Graphic Design to help generate funds to realise FHPZ’s Master Plan. The Board will make its recommendations based on the extent to which each candidate exhibits experience in the priority areas and other attributes. Priority areas are explained in greater detail in the Experience section, below.

Next Steps

If you (or a Member that supports your nomination) are eligible and believe you align with the Vision, Mission and Values of FHPZ and have the passion and experience to be an effective Board member, please nominate yourself (or a Member) by submitting your resume and a cover letter (the Member’s contact information) by Sunday, May 31, 2020 at 6:00 pm Eastern Time. References may be requested. See Eligibility below.
All applications must be submitted electronically to:
If you have any questions regarding this process please contact John Formosa, Chair FHPZ Board of Directors, at:

Overview of FHPZ Board

FHPZ is governed by an elected volunteer Board of Directors. At this time, the Board of Directors is comprised of no fewer than five (5) and no more than fourteen (14) directors serving either one or two-year terms. Officer positions include: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.


To be eligible to be nominated, a FHPZ Board candidate must be a Member in good standing, at least eighteen (18) years of age and legally capable of serving as a director of a not-for-profit corporation in Ontario (see details below).
To be eligible as a Member in good standing of FHPZ, a donation during 2019 (or by May 31, 2020) must have been made to FHPZ or on behalf of FHPZ to the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation. (Visit for more information). Members can nominate themselves or other Members to be Board candidates.


FHPZ was formed in 2012 to raise the necessary funds to ensure that the Zoo remained open in the wake of City budget cuts. FHPZ is a registered not-for-profit corporation created expressly to generate support for High Park Zoo. Board members are individuals with experience in one or more of the following areas of expertise:

  1. Not-for-Profit Organization Experience: Board or executive level experience in one or more not-for-profit corporations.
  2. Governance Experience: Recent board experience with one or more organizations (for-profit or not-for-profit).
  3. Organizational Leadership: Experience and direct responsibility with employees and/or volunteers.
  4. Financial Acumen: Experience and responsibility in the preparation, interpretation and dissemination of financial reports, budgets and statements and coordinating with the organization’s auditors.
  5. Fundraising and Grant Writing: Experience in leading diverse fundraising activities and targeting, writing and applying for operating and capital grants.
  6. Development and Project Management: Experience in the development and management of capital projects.
  7. Sustainability/Corporate Social Responsibility: Knowledge and experience with sustainable business practices and corporate social responsibility, including an understanding of key trends and developments.
  8. Communications and Media: Experience in communications and media strategy (creating, disseminating, etc.).
  9. Event Planning: Experience in planning and promoting fundraising events, including public relations and community outreach.
  10. Legal Background: General legal experience; an understanding of legal obligations of organizations and not-for-profit organizations.
  11. Graphic Design: Experience designing materials (print and digital) that will support and promote the organization’s priorities and events.

In 2020, the Board is seeking candidate nominations of individuals with experience in one or more of the following priority areas of expertise: Fundraising or Graphic Design.

About High Park Zoo

Established in 1893 for deer, the Zoo’s animal paddocks have always been a popular attraction. Today, 125 years later, the Zoo’s eleven paddocks are home to a variety of animal species from around the world including bison, llamas, peacocks, reindeer, highland cattle, emus, capybaras and sheep.
The Zoo is free to the public and attracts over 600,000 visitors each year. The Zoo is open every day from 7:00 am to dusk. The Llama Pen is open weekends and statutory holidays allowing visitors to feed and pet the llamas from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm beginning in April until the end of October. The Zoo celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2018.
About Friends of High Park Zoo (FHPZ) –
FHPZ was formed in 2012 to raise the necessary funds to ensure that the Zoo remained open in the wake of City budget cuts for the 2012 and 2013 operating years. With the City restoring operating funding in 2014, FHPZ looks to raise sustainable funding from individuals, corporations and local businesses to enhance and sustain the Zoo. Since 2015, FHPZ has embarked on a Master Plan to enhance and sustain the Zoo for the next 125 years.
FHPZ is a registered not-for-profit corporation created expressly to generate support for High Park Zoo. FHPZ accepts donations directly and through Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation, a registered charity.
VISION: To ensure there is always a free community zoo in High Park for families to enjoy.
MISSION: To enhance High Park Zoo for the benefit of all visitors by leading activities that engage the community, while promoting education, awareness and fundraising for the Zoo.

  • Accountable – we will be responsible, transparent and accountable to all of our stakeholders
  • Professional – we will at all times conduct ourselves in a manner that is both professional and respectful
  • Collaborate – we will work collectively with each other and others in order to achieve our goals
  • Community oriented – we will engage in initiatives and activities that support High Park Zoo and the community

Duties and Responsibilities of Board Members – Friends of High Park Zoo December 2013
Independently, as a Director, and collectively, as a member of the Board of Directors, a Friends of High Park Zoo (“FHPZ”) Board member assumes responsibility for:

  • setting the appropriate direction (and monitoring achievement of that direction);
  • overseeing FHPZ operations (and ensuring effective and efficient processes);
  • maintaining a strong financial position and appropriate risk management;
  • FHPZ, by providing leadership, advice, direction and support to the organization, its members and its volunteers (and staff, if any).


          1. Communication and Preparation
            1. Prepare for meetings by reading material distributed in advance, and by gathering whatever information may be required or requested by agreed on deadlines;
            2. Be reasonably accessible and responsive, both by phone and by e-mail, to other Board members and key volunteers and stakeholders, as needed;
            3. Attend and participate in all board meetings, except where absence is unavoidable. Listen and be respectful of other board members’ opinions; and
            4. Be reasonably familiar with all by-law provisions, especially those defining the roles of Directors and Officers and setting out requirements for the removal and replacement of same
          2. Time Commitment
            1. Be prepared to contribute at least 8 hours per month on average working for FHPZ (typically 2 hours for board meetings; 4 hours volunteer time, including committee meetings; 2 hours background and preparation).
            2. Maintain current knowledge of programs and major issues related to the FHPZ and to the Zoo itself
          3. Set Appropriate Direction
            1. (i) Provide expertise, guidance, and collaboration to board members (and staff, if any) regarding initiatives that align with the organization’s goals and initiatives and its strategic plan or business plan.
              (ii) Assume responsibility for at least one primary area of expertise relevant to the Board’s activities and/or the strategic or business plan, and make sure that the appropriate goals and deliverables are met, and that progress and changes are regularly communicated.
            2. Work with other Board members to identify and respond to key opportunities in a timely fashion
          4. Resources and Risk Management
          1. Work with other Board member to ensure that key risks are identified and mitigated
          2. Ensure that appropriate financial controls are in place and maintained
          3. Assist in fundraising, for instance by soliciting the financial support of others; and
          4. Set an example by making a significant personal contribution in time and/or money to the organization.

        5. General

          1. Serve as an advocate of FHPZ for the public and build relationships within the community and amongst stakeholders.
          2. Act with loyalty to FHPZ, its Vision, Mission and Values. Immediately disclose any real or potential conflict of interest, as required by the by-laws.
          3. Maintain and protect the confidentiality of confidential information given to the board.
          4. Ensure effective operations, succession planning and continuity by identifying potential volunteers as well as candidates for the board or its committees.


        1. Required Legal Qualifications of a Director Under Ontario’s Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 (ONCA)A director must be:
          • An individual;
          • Eighteen years of age or older;
          • A person who has not been found incapable of managing property under the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992 or the Mental Health Act;
          • A person who has not been found incapable by any court in Canada or elsewhere;
          • Not bankrupt.

          The by-laws may have additional qualifications. Refer to section 23 of ONCA.