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Nelson doles out community inititive funding

  - Bob Hall photo
— image credit: Bob Hall photo

City of Nelson doled out about $126,000 in community initiative funding to 38 successful applicants at a council meeting Tuesday night.

The largest sum went to the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce, which received $22,000 — the full amount it applied for — to go towards work at the former CP Rail Station that will help finish the new Regional Visitor Gateway Business Opportunity Centre.

Nelson Regional Sports Council was awarded $10,000 towards a hiring an artist to create a mural on the back wall of the Civic Arena. However, that was only one-third the amount originally requested by the group.

The Chamber was the only organization seeking more than $6,000 that received full funding for its project. Kootenay Kids Society got $7,000 of the $10,000 it requested for fire safety upgrades on the heritage home it recently purchased on Stanley Street. And the Kootenay Literary Society was given $4,500 to put on the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival, though they asked for $8,000.

Oxygen Art Centre got $5,500 for its 2014/15 residency and exhibition programming. Nelson District Arts Council received $5,000 for this summer's ArtWalk and Nelson Electric Tramway Society was given $3,000 towards developing its streetcar museum. All three had initially sought $10,000 or more towards their projects.

But with limited funds to go around, council had to decide between fully funding relatively few projects or giving partial funding to as many applications as they could. Generally council favoured the latter option, though there were a few smaller projects that were funded to the full amount requested, including Nelson District Youth Centre's skatepark ambassador program ($5,000), Nelson Cycling Club's work at Morning Mountain recreation area ($5,000), Nelson Bicycle Co-op's startup costs ($3,750), Health Arts Society's concerts in care program ($2,500), Nelson Overture Concert Society's school outreach program ($2,000), Selkirk Pro-Musica's 2014-15 concert series ($3,400), West Kootenay Enterprise Society's job skill training ($1,200), Nelson Sailing Association's purchase of safety equipment ($900), and Starbelly Jam's request for new festival tents ($250).

The following seven groups/projects received between $2,500 and $3,500 (listed in descending order): Nelson's All Wheels Park, KidSport Nelson, Stepping Stones emergency shelter, Kootenay Literary Competition, Savoy Lanes, West Kootenay Parkour and Outskirts Theatre Festival.

Ten groups received $2,000, including Kootenay Storytelling Festival, Nelson Sports Museum, Nelson Heritage Walking Tour and Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism, the Nelson Food Cupboard, Rod and Gun Club, Women's Centre, 1st Nelson Scouts, SEEDS, and Kootenay Chaos track and field.

Five other organizations received between $900 and $1,200 (listed in descending order): Kootenay Doula Group, West Kootenay EcoSociety, Nelson Good Neighbour Program, West Kootenay Minor Lacrosse, and Friends of Kootenay Lake.

Thirteen applicants received no funding, either because council felt they were asking for too much money or their request didn't fit within the funding criteria (i.e. it didn't benefit Nelson residents, would support a private business venture, duplicated a government service, or would go towards travel costs). The unsuccessful applicants included: BC Conservation Foundation, Corazon Youth Choir, Cottonwood Park community mural, Deconstructing Dinner film festival, Kootenay Animal Assistance Program, Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital, Kootenay Open Network Alliance, Kootenay Spirit Festival, Nelson History Theatre Society,  Our Daily Bread, SQx Danza, Taghum Community Hall, and Waldorf School.

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