About The Foundation

Communities for Veterans Foundation is a registered Not-for-Profit Society in BC. In 2015, Paul and Terry Nichols founded the Communities for Veterans Foundation. The society receives donations - monetarily, often-needed supplies like gift cards, household goods, gifts for special occasions from bestvalentinegifts.ca, care packages or letters and more. There are also volunteers which serve on a committee, mentor a veterans, sponsor a companion dog for veterans, help build houses and other kinds of help.

They achieved this goal through an initiative they called, “The RIDE Across Canada”.

From April 13th to November 9th, Paul and Terry and their crew conducted a 211 day horseback relay from Victoria to St. John’s. They invited as many veterans as they could to join them in sharing their story. Over 350 veterans and serving members registered, received a lesson and rode with Paul throughout their own communities. Each participant on The Ride Across Canada received a lesson on one of the ride horses. The horses on the ride were either a member of Paul and Terry’s own herd or they were on free lease from members of the Canadian community. Community members believed in what Paul and Terry had set out to achieve that they allowed them to take their own horses, train them for the ride and let them be a part of this incredible journey.

Paul and Terry set up Administration Camps in over fifty-five different communities where they were put up by individuals, equestrian facilities, therapeutic riding centers and agricultural societies to conduct the lessons and administrate the registration, publicity, events and logistics of the ride. The entire ride was conducted through the support of community. The Foundation expresses an immense gratitude for everyone who contributed to the success of The Ride Across Canada through time, labour, donated services and funding. Throughout the duration of the initiative, there were outcomes that have developed into the future of Communities for Veterans Foundation.

The goals of Communities for Veterans Foundation when combined are to provide access to a smooth transition for serving members. The preparation of the member and the community is a combination that the Foundation believes will reduce the incidence of family trauma, the struggles of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and number of veteran suicides.

A community that invests in a veteran is an investment in the future of the community.

What`s the schedule for 2017?

We are planning thousands of miles of horse riding and meeting hundreds of people.


Changing the face of Canadian veterans


From the veterans of World War II to the peacekeeping missions and international operations of today, Canada needs to know the stories of our veterans to learn how to help them, support them and keep them after they give themselves for the security of our country. The Ride Across Canada is collecting the stories of our veterans while introducing them to their own communities on horseback. From coast to coast, veterans are volunteering to be a part of the ride, share their story and aide in the discussion and discovery of our veteran needs.

“Our job is to put as many veterans in the saddle as we can to show Canadians who our veterans are and tell their stories. I chose to execute this journey on horseback because of my own experience with horses and how important it was to my return to civilian life. On this journey, we introduce our veterans to the horses on The Ride and we can see the connection with just one lesson and one ride.”

Our mission is to bring communities together through the introduction of their veterans on a horseback ride across Canada. Canada continues to be home to over 540,000 veterans whose average age is fifty-six (56). In order to understand our veterans and their needs, it is imperative that we hear their stories and get a clear vision of who our veterans are. The Ride Across Canada introduces the faces and stories of over 700 veterans from Victoria to St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Throughout the ride, our goal is to share stories, encourage discussion and bridge the gap between our civilian and military communities. Together we can change the statistics for our soldiers and work toward reducing the instances of mental illness, depression, family trauma and suicide. For 211 days, we will continue to ride across Canada raising awareness and funds to support veteran equine therapy programs.

– Paul Nichols, Founder of Communities for Veterans Foundation

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As a Canadian veteran, your story is an integral part of the growing and changing face of our veteran population.  For the past three generations of military service, the deployments and terms of service have changed.  The type of service, the type of wars and the dangers they face are all different.

In order to assist our service men and women with their transition back into civilian life, it is important to know what they have been through. By collecting the stories of over 700 veterans along our ride, we will give our country a vision of the best ways to help, assist and support the transition.

We will give the families of veterans the realization that they are not alone in their situation and provide them with the avenues to understand how different their Mother or Father is when they return from their service. Your story will connect with another soldier who thinks they are alone in their fight to reconnect with the people in their community.  Your story will make them understand they are not alone and they can find the help they need.

What we stand for

Kukala Horses and riders

  • Community Engagement – this continued goal to raise awareness for the stories of our contemporary veterans through the active engagement of community.
    • The book – The Changing Face of Canadian Veterans… a chronicle of The Ride Across Canada
    • Education – Guest speaking at educational facilities from Elementary to University, service organization involvement and within community through government, business and social organizations
    • Events – In 2017, Communities for Veterans Foundation will conduct The Ride Across Canada in a new and exciting way that gives an opportunity for transitioning members to take part in an Equine Assisted Mindfulness Program
  • Equine Assisted Mindfulness (EAM) – the program development to assist both serving members and transitioning members in effective life tool development.
    • Canada-wide goal to provide localized EAM for veterans and currently serving members through the development of certified EAM centers across Canada
    • EAMA Excellence Centre – to build a research and program development centre for Equine Assisted Mindfulness
  • Ranger Expeditions – the program to further the use of the tools developed into a continuous victory environment.
    • Canada-wide goal to provide excursions for EAM participants to utilize their tools in an unstructured, supervised and challenging environment that allows for progressively difficult and frequent victories to build confidence and trust
    • EAMA Excellence Centre – provides the opportunities for learning and the obstruction to build confidence for the development of a bi-annual expedition for extreme trek-style scenario