Interior communities received gaming grants to improve services and support nonprofits
Interior residents will benefit from upgrades to not-for-profit services and programs thanks to additional funding from BC’s Community Gaming Grants program.
Thirteen grants for new capital projects were awarded throughout the Interior region for a total of $1 million.
“From bringing new independent films to the North Okanagan to helping post-secondary students pursue their goals, the Okanagan Screen Arts Society has brought so much wealth to our community” , said Harwinder Sandhu, MPP for Vernon-Monashee. “I’m thrilled to see this funding support improvements to their theater so they can continue and expand their programming.”
With this latest round of 2021-2022 funding, the Community Gaming Grants capital projects program will provide $3.8 million to 51 non-profit organizations across British Columbia for community infrastructure upgrades, technology update and new equipment. This is in addition to $5 million in capital funding for 45 nonprofit groups announced in January 2022.
New projects funded under this indoor grant series include:
- new and upgraded sound and lighting equipment for the Okanagan Screen Arts Society, which will allow the theater 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 safely store snowmobiles; and
- a new storage yard with parking area and security fencing 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 promoting healthy, connected and safe communities in British Columbia,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “This additional $3.8 million in funding will help organizations buy equipment and do renovations to brighten up our communities and give people safer and better access to key services and programs.
Organizations that have faced increased service pressures during the pandemic have been prioritized in this round of funding. Many nonprofits are using these funds to make adjustments that support physical distancing and other measures to ensure services and activities meet public health and safety guidelines.
“Due to the COVID-19 closures, the future of the historic Vernon Towne Theater – which our organization operates – was in jeopardy,” said Okanagan Screen Arts Society Board Member Scott John. “This grant allows the company to purchase much-needed equipment and add the ability to host live events in addition to its film offerings. This capacity building will ensure the theater’s long-term viability as it continues to be a community gathering place and entertain future generations of residents.
All community games grant funding in 2021-22 must comply with provincial health orders, and the program allows organizations to delay delivering services and projects until it can be done safely.
Caroline Miller, President, BC Association for Charitable Gaming –
“As BC community organizations continue to emerge from pandemic-restricted operations and operating challenges over the past two years, provincial gaming grant funding is one of their critical revenue streams. . Funding major capital projects means a fresh start, expansion, repairs, and expanding an organization’s impact and reach on its community. These groups are to be applauded as they continue to work with community members to improve lives and keep more than 85,000 BC residents working.
Niki Sharma, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Nonprofit Organizations –
“Many nonprofits are struggling with shrinking budgets as demand for their services has increased during the post-pandemic recovery period. Throughout the pandemic, nonprofits have continued to stock food banks, provide essential services like childcare, and help vulnerable people in need. Our government is supporting non-profit organizations with community gaming grants so they can continue to provide the essential services British Columbians rely on across the province.
- Community Gaming Grants provide approximately $140 million each year in funding to support nearly 5,000 not-for-profit organizations that provide services to the people of British Columbia, with $5 million dedicated to funding the gaming project sector. fixed assets.
- To support vulnerable British Columbians during the COVID-19 crisis, the province awarded a $3 million Community Gaming Grants emergency grant to Food Banks British Columbia in March 2020.
The full list of Capital Project Grant recipients for this round of funding can be found 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 COVID-19 Emergency Community Gaming Grants, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020MAH0049-000583