People throughout the Interior will benefit from upgrades to not-for-profit services and programs with additional funding from B.C.’s Community Gaming Grants program.
Thirteen new capital project grants were awarded throughout the Interior region for a total of $1 million.
“From bringing new independent films to the North Okanagan to supporting post-secondary students pursuing their goals, the Okanagan Screen Arts Society has brought so much richness to our community,” says Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon-Monashee. “I am thrilled to see this funding support upgrades to their theatre so they can continue and expand their programming.”
With this final round of 2021-22 funding, the Community Gaming Grants capital projects program will provide $3.8 million to 51 not-for-profit organizations throughout B.C. for upgrades to community infrastructure, updated technology and new equipment. This is in addition to $5 million in capital funding for 45 not-for-profit groups announced in January 2022.
New projects funded in this round of grants in the Interior include:
- new and upgraded sound and lighting equipment for the Okanagan Screen Arts Society, which will allow the theatre to continue programming and add capacity for larger events;
- a renovated building for Community Connections Revelstoke that will include a community kitchen, a safe space for women seeking support and a drop-in centre;
- a new garage for the Nelson Nordic Ski Club to securely store snowcat machines; and
- a new storage yard with a parking area and security fence for the Castlegar Society for Search & Rescue to help volunteers more efficiently access equipment for missions.
“Not-for-profit organizations are at the heart of fostering healthy, connected and safe communities in B.C.,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “This $3.8 million in extra funding will help organizations buy equipment and make renovations to brighten our communities and give people safer, improved access to key services and programs.”
Organizations that have been navigating increased service pressures during the pandemic have been prioritized in this round of funding. Many not-for-profit organizations are using these funds to make adjustments that support physical distancing and other measures to ensure services and activites meet public health and safety guidelines.
“Due to COVID-19 closures, the future of the historic Vernon Towne Theatre – that our organization operates – was in jeopardy,” said Scott John, board member, Okanagan Screen Arts Society. “This grant allows the society to purchase much-needed equipment and add the ability to host live events in addition to its film offerings. This capacity building will ensure long-term viability for the theatre as it continues to be a community gathering place and entertain future generations of residents.”
All Community Gaming Grants funding in 2021-22 must comply with provincial health orders, and the program is allowing organizations to delay service and project delivery until this can be done safely.
Caroline Miller, chair, BC Association for Charitable Gaming –
“As the organizations in B.C. communities continue to emerge from pandemic-restricted operations and the challenges of operating over the past two years, provincial gaming grant funding is one of their vital sources of income. Funding major capital projects means fresh starts, expansion, repairs and broadening an organization’s impact on and reach into their community. These groups are to be applauded as they continue their work with community members to improve lives and keep more than 85,000 B.C. residents employed.”
Niki Sharma, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits –
“Many non-profits are struggling with dwindling budgets because demand for their services has increased in the post-pandemic recovery period. Throughout the pandemic, non-profits continued to stock food banks, provide essential services such as child care, and help vulnerable people in need. Our government is supporting non-profits with Community Gaming Grants so they can continue to deliver the critical services British Columbians count on throughout the province.”
- Community Gaming Grants provide approximately $140 million each year in funding to support nearly 5,000 not-for-profit organizations that deliver services to people in British Columbia with $5 million dedicated to funding the capital project sector.
- To support vulnerable British Columbians during the COVID-19 crisis, the Province provided a $3-million emergency grant from the Community Gaming Grants program to Food Banks British Columbia in March 2020.
The full list of capital projects grant recipients for this round of funding is available here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/Community_gaming_grants_round_2_21-22.pdf
For more information on Community Gaming Grants, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/sports-culture/gambling-fundraising/gaming-grants/community-gaming-grants
To read the March 2020 news release on emergency COVID-19 Community Gaming Grants, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MAH0049-000583