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qathet Regional District committee receives grant applications

Each of the 14 delegates were given 10 minutes to provide information on the organization and potential allocation of grant money
FUNDS SOUGHT: Texada Arts, Culture and Tourism Society’s was one of 14 community groups and organizations requesting grants-in-aid from qathet Regional District’s at a recent finance committee meeting.

qathet Regional District’s (qRD) finance committee heard 14 presentations requesting grants-in-aid from the regional district.

The regional district has a budget for grants-in-aid, social planning and economic development totalling $358,000.

According to manager of financial services Linda Greenan, there is $115,000 in the social planning fund, $40,000 in economic development and $203,000 in grants-in-aid. The total ask for grants-in-aid was $261,130.

At the May 17 finance committee meeting, city director Cindy Elliott, serving as alternate chair, provided each delegate 10 minutes to present their organization’s ask and provide information on the organization and potential allocation of grant money.

The first presenter was Nellie Valentine, president of Powell River Therapeutic Riding Association, who requested $5,000. According to the application, the grant money would be used to pay expenses in all areas of operating for the coming 10-week fall session.

Susan MacKay, from Wild Ocean Whale Society, requested $4,390 for spaying and neutering feral cats, on Texada Island, through its rescue and response program.

Dana Lepofsky from Lasqueti Community Association applied for $10,000 as part of the Xwe’etay/Lasqueti Archaeology Project to honour and respect Indigenous heritage, as well as settler heritage on the island, documenting the more recent ecological and cultural history.

Siobhan Brown, qathet Community Justice program manager, requested $2,000 to help keep the organization’s office open, where restorative justice circles are hosted, participants are interviewed, programming meetings are held with the youth committee, and training takes place.

Claudia Medina, representing qathet ART, made a request for $12,000 for overall delivery of activities for the public art program. The main expenses are advertising artist fees, coordinator wages, supplies and training.

Everybody Deserves a Smile (EDAS) community coordinator Mac Fraser made a request for $2,500 for the organization, which, annually, in the Christmas season, instills a sense of empathy and understanding to break down barriers faced by community members who are vulnerable and experiencing economic, health and housing challenges. EDAS organizes annual community drives to assemble bags full of necessities for people in need.

Gary Shilling, executive director for qathet Film Society, was seeking $2,000 from qRD for the 15th annual youth film camp and youth film screening, which is offered free to participants. Shilling stated in his written submission that the project provides valuable opportunities for improving media literacy in the region’s youth. This year’s camp is scheduled to run August 1 to 5. In 2022, 28 campers were accommodated.

Pat Christie, president of Life Cycle Housing Society, was the next presenter. Her organization put in a request for $10,000. According to a written report, the money would be used for important and deferred maintenance work on the society’s rental property on Brew Bay Road.

The next presenter was Duane West on behalf of Lasqueti Island Nature Conservancy. The organization has requested $2,000 for development, printing and distribution of three newsletters during the year, maintaining contact with members and the community, updating the website and other outreach, and assisting with speakers, workshops, the annual general meeting, events and membership relations.

Vancouver Island North Film Commission regional production services manager Brandon Lepine made a request for $3,000. The funding would go to support the organization’s budget, which is funded, in part, by the six regional districts in its area of responsibility.

Texada Arts, Culture and Tourism Society’s interim president Gerry Childress outlined a $12,000 grant request. The money would go toward promoting Texada Island regionally and provincially as a tourism destination, to act as an umbrella organization for the five Texada summer events it represents, and to provide ongoing operation of the Texada aerospace hanger, as well as the Texada ceramics and sculpture studio.

Powell River Salmon Society’s business development officer Tyler Bartfai outlined a request for funds. He said the bulk of the grant would be dedicated toward upgrading the society’s truck dump box, plus the water quality program, and to upgrade technology at the Alex Dobler Salmon Centre at Lang Creek. Bartfai said the ask is $29,516, the bulk of which is the truck box.

Lift Community Services community support programs manager Jessica Colesanto indicated a request for funds was $50,000. The funds would be used to augment operational costs, allowing staff to serve hot meals, assist with applications for governmental programs, and provide resources and referrals to assist residents in navigating their individual crises.

The final presentation was from Adam Gagnon, from qathet Pride Society, for funding for the pride celebration in August, who requested $5,800 from the qRD grants-in-aid.

There was also a written submission from Townsite Jazz Festival Society director Paul Cummings. He indicated that grant money would be used to offset accommodations, travel and meals for the professional musicians. The Townsite Jazz request was for $4,000.

The finance committee will make recommendations at its meeting on June 7.