On February 11, the City of Fernie announced the recipients of their 2020 discretionary grant funding.
Thirteen community groups in the city received funding for a variety of projects. Every year, city council sets aside $18,000 as grants for community groups. The money is often used for events, projects, or programs that support locals arts, culture, environmental initiatives, heritage, recreation, or health related activities. In 2020, city council received a total of $43,000 in funding requests from various groups in the community.
“There are so many groups doing excellent work in the community and having the opportunity to help them through this funding stream is very important,” said Fernie mayor Ange Qualizza. “The biggest challenge is determining how to distribute the funds between so many worthy initiatives.”
The grants were approved at council’s regular meeting on February 10 and will benefit a wide range of people in the City of Fernie.
Several grants went to sports related groups in Fernie, including the Elk Valley Gymnastics Club, the Fernie Nordic Society, Cycling Without Age Foundation, and the Ghostrider Adventure Camp Foundation. Community groups spanning different generations were also granted support, including both the Senior Citizens Club of Fernie and District and the Fernie Youth Action Network.
Another area to see big support with the grants was arts and entertainment. The Fernie Mountain Film Festival Society, the Reel Canadian Film Society, and the Association Francophone des Rocheuses du Sud all received funding for their various arts related projects in 2020.
Funding for the Fernie Pride Society will ensure that queer people in our community are supported, while funding for the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy will see a local outreach program to support literacy skills as a result of the grant.
One grant was awarded to an environmental group, the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network, which will support their Wild Voices program for students. Finally, the Fernie Heritage Cemetery Restoration Society will use their grant to research the life of internees buried in the old section of St. Margaret’s cemetery.
The grants ranged from $500 to $3,000 and will support a variety of community focused events and projects in the upcoming year.