Two qathet region organizations have received funding from BC’s community gaming grants program.
Powell River Curling Club has been allocated $114,000. According to a BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs media release, the club is looking to renovate its building with low-maintenance metal siding, a security fence around the side parking lot, a community art project and a solar panel on the roof. These renovations are intended to make the space more welcoming, more secure and more energy efficient.
Powell River Film Society has been allocated $247,354 for the Patricia Theatre, which was forced to close during the pandemic. Plans for the society include running the theatre, offering film screenings and providing a local cinema for the region, according to the media release.
In an interview with the Peak, Powell River Film Society executive director Gary Shilling said with the provincial money, the theatre will no longer have a mortgage. He said the provincial gaming money matches funds the film society had in the bank from its fundraising.
“As a result of that matching money, and a little bit of film society reserve, we now own the Patricia Theatre outright, without a mortgage,” added Shilling. “We had a private lender give us a mortgage at a really good rate, but as anyone who has paid a mortgage would know, if you can eliminate having to pay a mortgage, you take a big chunk out of your monthly operating costs.”
The money coming to qathet region is part of $3.8 million being allocated through the province.
“Not-for-profit organizations are at the heart of fostering healthy, connected and safe communities in BC,” stated minister of municipal affairs Nathan Cullen during a media conference in Vancouver. “This $3.8 million in extra funding will help organizations buy equipment and make renovations to brighten our communities and give people safe, improved access to key services and programs.
Shilling said the society could not have acquired the funding without the generous support of the community.
“I’m really excited,” he added. “Things have gone our way.”