A locally written opera, the CP Rail station restoration project and a bus for a city seniors’ home are all marked for grants from the Columbia Basin Trust.
Nelson city council chose the final recipients for this year’s Community Initiative Program funding from a pool of 59 applicants. Council doled out almost $133,000 for 2011, with 35 per cent of the money going to projects with an arts and cultural bent.
Councillor Deb Kozak says she’s pleased with the way money was divided up this year.
“We went over the allocation of funding when it was all said and done, and it feels like we covered most of the bases,” she says. “We had funding going towards projects like the CP Rail project, we had funding going towards social projects that were happening, some economic development projects, arts funding.”
While the rail station renovation and a bus for the residents of Jubilee Manor picked up the largest allotments ($38,000 and $15,000, respectively), Kozak says she was most impressed by some of the groups who asked for small slices of the Trust pie.
“There are some projects that come forward, and they don’t even ask for $1,000. But when you look at the meat of the project — whether it’s a $300 or $500 ask — what they expect to gain is inspiring,” she says.
“Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of money for an organization to kick off and do good.”
Among the smaller grants are $500 for the Kootenay Summer Shorts Film Festival and $350 for a handbill promoting a book about Annie Garland Foster, Nelson’s first female city councillor.
While this year’s grant deliberations went smoothly, Kozak says next year will likely pose a bigger challenge for the next Nelson council.
Earlier this month the Regional District of Central Kootenay voted to change the formula for doling out grant money. The new process is expected to give Nelson about $6,500 less to work with in 2012.
With many of the Trust grants ranging from $1,000 to $2,000, Kozak says the change could reduce the number of applicants who make the final cut significantly.
“No doubt about it, it will be more challenging next year,” she says.
“The sad thing for us is we have a tremendous number of excellent projects come forward and it’s the perennial problem: we don’t have enough funds to spread it around to everybody. And I think that’s the most difficult thing for council.”
Though council has decided how to use its Trust money, the grants won’t be finalized until they’re approved by the RDCK at its board meeting next week. Once they’ve been passed there, funds are issued for the projects.
The groups getting Columbia Basin Trust funds include:
• Amy Bohigian, Watershed Productions ($500)
• Amy Ferguson Institute ($2,500)
• Association des Francophones des Kootenays Ouest ($2,300)
• Eileen Delehanty Pearkes ($750)
• Frances Welwood ($350)
• Kootenay Pride ($1,000)
• Nelson and District Arts Council ($5,000)
• Nelson and District Museum, Archives, Art Gallery and Historical Society (Touchstones) ($1,800)
• Nelson History Theatre Society ($3,750)
• Nelson Public Library ($1,230)
• Nelson Overture Concerts Society ($3,000)
• Selkirk College ($5,000)
• St. Saviour’s Men’s Group ($2,500)
• Valhalla Blacksmith Festival Society; ($7,500)
• Nelson Fine Art Centre Society ($8,000)
• 1st Nelson Scouts, Cubs and Beavers ($1,250)
• British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ($500)
• Canadian Red Cross Society ($1,650)
• Castlegar Friends of Parks and Trails Society ($1,000)
• Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee ($1,000)
• Jubilee Manor Place Foundation ($15,000)
• KidSport Nelson ($2,500)
• Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce ($38,000)
• Nelson Community Acupuncture Clinic ($2,000)
• Nelson Curling Club ($5,000)
• Nelson Friends of the Family ($2,000)
• Nelson Nordic Ski Club ($3,302)
• Nelson Regional Sports Council ($8,000)
• West Kootenay Brain Injury Association ($1,000)
• West Kootenay Womens Association ($2,500)
• Wildsight ($3,000)