Philanthropy in Ottawa: Work of The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health inspires generous donation

Johannes Ziebarth/ The Royal Foundation mental health
Johannes Ziebarth, president and CEO, Ziebarth Electrical Contractors 

Who: Johannes Ziebarth, president and CEO, Ziebarth Electrical Contractors 

The donation: $300K

The recipient: The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health

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The inspiration: “Family is my inspiration. I wanted to engage with the work at The Royal Ottawa and I was invited to attend the fundraising breakfast. When I learned about the work being done with addictions, I knew that my own personal family story would influence my gift,” says Johannes Ziebarth, president and CEO, Ziebarth Electrical Contractors. 


Philanthropy has always been at the centre of Johannes Ziebarth’s life. Through the guidance of his father, he learned that a life of giving back to the community has many rewards. 

In his early years, Ziebarth dedicated more than two decades to Habitat for Humanity Ottawa as a volunteer on the board. 

“Sometimes I would help with the electrical work on a new Habitat home myself, with my own hands,” says Ziebarth, president and CEO of Ziebarth Electrical Contractors.

Life was busy for Ziebarth and his young family, but he was committed to giving back when his children were older. The day to make a significant gift came when he was introduced to the innovative work being done at The Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health at its annual fundraising breakfast. He was curious to learn how families were supported when their loved ones were experiencing mental health crises such as addictions. 

Ziebarth said, “I left that breakfast and thought to myself, ‘What do I want my donation to look like for The Royal?’”

When Chris Ide, president of the foundation, met with Ziebarth, the decision became clear as to where the funds would be directed. 

“Johannes Ziebarth’s support for the mental health community appears to know no bounds. With his generous donation of $300,000 in support of The Royal’s Client & Family Resource Hub, he has provided a vital lifeline for clients and families, empowering them with resources and assistance when they need it most. Johannes’s dedication to improving lives is truly inspiring,” says Ide. 

“Johannes’s gift from Ziebarth Electrical Contractors reflects his deep commitment to supporting the families impacted by mental illness and substance use disorder.” 

Ziebarth also serves as president of the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Ottawa (ECA Ottawa). 

“All companies having success need to take a hard think about contributing to the community. If we don’t do this, when you need supports, they will not be there,” adds Ziebarth. 

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