Eleven organizations in Rocky View County (RVC), Airdrie and Cochrane will receive a small funding boost for community programs, the County announced July 3.
“There’s some great programs going on out there,” said Susan de Caen, community services co-ordinator with Recreation, Parks and Community Support. “They’re a real benefit to our citizens, and beyond the residents of the county.”
According to de Caen, RVC will disburse a total of $46,000 to groups including the Springbank Community Association, Bragg Creek Artisans Society, Cochrane Society for Housing Options, Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation and Airdrie 2020 Alberta Winter Games Society through the annual Community Benefit Initiatives Grant.
“It’s a diverse ranges of community projects that are not otherwise supported by our other grant programs,” she said.
According a July 3 press release, funding to Kidsport Calgary and Area will cover sport registration fees for low income families in RVC, while the Cochrane Public Library will put the funds toward costs for its Medieval Celebration Day and a cash prize for a youth writing contest. The Cochrane and Area Humane Society plans to purchase “materials to make volunteers’ jobs easier,” and Langdon Citizens on Patrol will buy safety equipment and pay operational expenses thanks to the grant.
The program has been available since 2004, de Caen said, with an annual June 1 deadline for applications. Once requests are received, according to de Caen, RVC administration determines if the organizations qualify for the grant and meet the County’s priorities.
Applicants must fit one of five categories, she said – heritage awareness, volunteer development, culture and events, community beautification and cultivating stronger communities. Organizations must also demonstrate how they benefit residents of RVC, enabling groups outside the municipality’s boundaries to take advantage of the funding.
“They provide a service to residents, and if we don’t help fund them, that service may not be available,” she said. “If there are groups in the County that don’t qualify in our other grant programs, we want to make certain we’re there for them.”
According to de Caen, RVC sets aside $50,000 per year for the grant, with each group eligible to receive a maximum of $5,000.
“If we have applications for more funding than we have available, groups may not get as much as they’re asking for,” she said.
This year, she added, RVC was able to fulfill the total request for each applicant.
While the totals on the cheques may appear small, de Caen said, they have an outsized impact.
“They’re significant to the groups, and what [the groups] provide to the County is a significant benefit,” she said.
“We want to make certain that the tax dollars that are paid by the taxpayers [will] benefit the taxpayers. Whatever we can do to support non-profits that are providing services to our residents, we’re there for them.”