People of all ages and abilities across northern B.C. will have more opportunities to get involved in fun, community-based sport programs through the latest round of grants in the joint federal-provincial Community Sport Development Program (CSDP).
“Our government is committed to helping people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to get involved in sport and explore their athletic potential,” said Lisa Beare, B.C.’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Our local sports leagues, schools and recreation centres are key resources for people who want to take up sport and active living. Through this program, we are supporting community-level initiatives and increasing participation throughout the province.”
The CSDP is part of the BC Sport Participation Program, an application-based grant program funded by the governments of Canada and British Columbia and administered by viaSport. In fiscal year 2019-20, Canada and B.C. are making matched investments totalling more than $1.2 million. These investments are aimed at getting more people of all abilities active in their communities and involved in a variety of sports.
Communities, Indigenous groups and not-for-profit organizations can apply to receive grants that help them buy equipment, train leaders, officials and coaches, and teach participants sport skills.
“Thanks to the work of community organizations, sport and physical activities are now more accessible to many British Columbians,” said Steven Guilbeault, federal Minister of Canadian Heritage. “Our government is proud to partner with the Province of British Columbia to offer better sport opportunities to all British Columbians so they can get moving and realize their full potential.”
In the North, some of the programs include:
- running introductory curling lessons using both traditional and aided equipment in Vanderhoof;
- providing volleyball programming for girls aged 14-18 in Smithers, Hazelton and Houston; and
- offering a new Learn to Curl program for post-secondary students, in partnership with the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George.
The CSDP has two intake periods each year. As part of the fall 2019 intake, the program is funding 32 projects with a total value of $80,970. In the North, there are four programs receiving a total of $10,950.
Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO, viaSport —
“Positive sport experiences have the power to transform individuals and inspire communities. Through this grant, viaSport supports local organizations to create new opportunities for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities to try organized sport and benefit from that power of sport in their own lives.”
Doug Donaldson, MLA for Stikine —
“Sport plays an important role in building and maintaining strong, connected communities. This is especially true in more rural and remote areas, where community sport programs play a major role in providing access to recreation. This funding will help keep building those bonds for people that turn into lifelong relationships supporting the social fabric within and between our northern communities.”
Kelly Kirton-Spurway, Smithers Avalanche Volleyball —
“We know that it’s common for girls to drop out of sports in their teen years, so creating more opportunities for them to stay in the game is so important. There are no girls’ club-level volleyball teams within three hours of Smithers, so expanding the program to Hazelton and Houston will make a big difference in keeping our dedicated athletes playing. We’re grateful for this funding to make it possible.”
- Government invests more than $50 million annually to make sure people have equal opportunities to participate in and enjoy the benefits of sport.
- Recent investments in sport include:
- $1.46 million to the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council to support Team British Columbia’s participation at the 2020 North American Indigenous Games in July 2020 in Halifax, N.S.
- $2.5 million to Sport BC over the next three years to expand KidSport, to increase access for kids who have traditionally faced barriers to getting involved in sport and recreation — including under-represented population groups such as girls, Indigenous youth and new Canadians.
- viaSport is the main service delivery partner for government’s sport investments and works, with 70 provincial sport organizations that provide programs and services to more than 660,000 provincial sport organization members.
Read about Sport Canada’s work: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/culture/sport.html
Learn about viaSport and the grant intake period, guidelines and applications: https://www.viasport.ca/grants
A backgrounder is available online: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Community_Sport_Development_Program_Grant_Recipients_North_Fall_2019.pdf