The West Kootenay EcoSociety was awarded $40,000 and the Chamber of Commerce got $10,000 Monday from Nelson city council Monday with funds from the Columbia Basin Trust’s community initiatives program.
Those were the highest amounts out of 36 awards to applicants.
The chamber will spend the funds on its new visitor centre, and the EcoSociety will use its award to start its Cottonwood Market project.
Other awards of $4,000 and over were:
• Kootenay Carshare, $9,000 toward its purchase of a wheelchair accessible van;
• The Friends of Pulpit Rock Society, $8,000 for trail development;
• Kootenay Literary Society, $6,750 for the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival;
• Oxygen Arts Centre, $6,000 for its exhibition and residency project;
• Mir Centre for Peace, $4,200 for transportation for delegates at its international conference in Nelson in the fall;
• Social Planning Action Network, $4,000 toward a project to monitor Nelson’s health and well-being;
• Nelson and District Arts Council, $4,000 for ArtWalk;
• Nelson Civic Theatre Society, $4,000 to service the theatre with fibre optics;
A full list of the awards to the remaining 26 recipients is attached below.
The Columbia Basin Trust annually allocates money for community initiatives to five regional districts who in turn divide it up between municipalities and rural areas.
This year, the Regional District of Central Kootenay allocated $145,413 to the City of Nelson, an increase of 15 per cent over 2015.
Applicants all pitched their projects to Nelson council at a special session last week. Councillors then individually considered each request according to set criteria, then pooled their results, which were discussed around the council table for about 90 minutes on Monday.
Criteria included such things as the viability of the project, the overall benefit of the project to the community, the quality of the grant submission and budget, whether the applicant applied to other sources, the degree to which the city has supported the group in the past, and whether other levels of government should more appropriately support the project.
The total amount requested by all Nelson applicants was $184,940. This meant city council had to cut back some of the requests and refuse some outright, to come within its budget. The total amount requested by all Nelson applicants was $184,940. This meant city council had to cut back some of the requests and refuse some outright, to come within its budget. Council members were assisted by an independent arms-length jury named by the city’s Cultural Development Committee. That jury adjudicated the arts-related requests. According to city policy, one-quarter of the CBT funds are to be allocated to the arts sector.