Below are the groups requesting grants from the City of Prince Rupert of $10,000 or less.
AFFNO – $1,000
The first group to do so was the Association des Francophone et Francophile du Nord-Ouest (AFFNO), a non-profit group dedicated to promoting the french culture of Northwest BC. Last, year the group held Prince Rupert’s first annual Sugar Shack Festival to coincide which took many of its cues from the popular Winter Carnival in Quebec.
AFFNO’s Patrick Witwicki came to council asking for $1,000 to help pay for the second Sugar Shack Festival which he says will be even better than the last one. He told council that the festival depends largely on the group’s ability to get a grant from the federal government. An important factor for deciding who gets one of these grants is evidence of community interest such as attendance and help donations from the community.
Councillors asked if AFFNO had been looking for funding from business donations as evidence of community interest. Whitwicki said they had and that about five to 10 businesses who turned them down last year had jumped on board.
The Canadian Red Cross – $3,651
Regional representatives of the Canadian Red Cross sat before council to ask for $3,651 to pay for the training of a Prince Rupert resident who will serve as the community’s “first volunteer”.
After the training, this person will be able to manage a team of on-call volunteers to provide aid to the community in the event that a natural disaster hits Prince Rupert; something the Red Cross says is an inevitability.
In Prince Rupert, local volunteers working in the Red Cross’s heal equipment loan program procured over 600 pieces of medical equipment for 258 different patients. The Red Cross says that its important for the city to have someone trained to organized Red Cross disaster relief which could be needed for weeks or even months in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
Councillor Gina Garon asked city staff to explore the possibility of finding money for the training in the city’s Emergency Social Services budget.
The Navy League of Canada – $2,500
Prince Rupert’s Sea Cadets came in full uniform to the council chamber to ask the City for a $2,500 grant so that much-need repairs can be done to their building in Seal Cove.
The Department of National Defence and the Provincial Government do provide money to the Sea Cadet Corps here, but DND does not cover building maintenance costs and the corps’ share of provincial gaming revenues has shrunk in recent years from $8,000 to just $1,610 a year,
As a result repairs to their building needed since last year remain on indefinite hold, and cadet trips, training camps and other activity’s have either been scaled back or cancelled entirely due to lack of funds. The cadets have been doing different fundraisers such as selling chocolate door-to-door but its still not enough.
The Prince Rupert Sea Cadets have been in town for 80 years and the leaders say that the organization helps develop better young and it would be a wise investment in the town’s youth for the city. One cadet red an essay for council she had written about why she likes about being in sea cadets. One reason was that she now tie up her father’s fishing boat better than he can now.
National Aboriginal Day – $5,000
The planning committee for Prince Rupert’s Aboriginal Day celebrations is asking the city for a $5,000 grant that go towards putting on this year’s event which will be held on June 21.
The committee says that National Aboriginal Day is important in that it is day to celebrate the culture of a huge segment of the Prince Rupert community. They say its a way to help raise the self esteem of First Nations youth and help foster respect and understanding between cultures.
The committee is asking for a grant from the City to help keep attendance of the events free-of-charge. All First Nations are invited to Prince Rupert to share their culture and the event is large and well attended, and so costs a lot of money to put on. They point out that Prince Rupert is one of the few big celebrations that costs nothing to go to, the committee members feel that its important that it stay this way to allow people who might not have any spending money to come out and celebrate First Nations culture.
Guns N’ Hoses – $900 – $1,200 over three years
The only applicant that is sure to get money from the City is the annual charity hockey games played between the RCMP and the Firefighters called “Guns N’ Hoses,” for the benefit of Everyone Gets to Play program. The game is scheduled for January 20.
Organizers of the games are asking $300 to $400 for renting the Ice Rink at the civic centre. Councillor Garon suggested that considering the small amount, the council should approve funding for the event for the next three years instead of requiring them to come back and ask for it each year. The rest of the council agreed.
The Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehab Centre – $6,000
The Golinias have been nurturing injured wildlife back to health in Prince Rupert for 23 years. Nancy and Gunther Golinia run the Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehab Centre where the husband and wife team stretch money from donations and even their own pension cheques as far as it can to help animals.
Gunther and his supporters asked council council to help the Golinia’s cover the cost of getting the domestic animals in their care fixed as that cost is currently coming out of their own pockets.
Because the SPCA is almost always filled to capacity, the Golinia’s are being called upon to take care of injured or unwanted domesticated animals despite the fact that their mission to to help wild animals and the SPCA is meant to take care of domestic ones. But the couple does take them in anyway.
The rehab centre wants the city to contribute $6,000 to help get the animals fixed in order to help stem the feral animal problems in Prince Rupert and Port Edward. Tobbi Gjelsvik, who did most of the speaking on behalf of the rehab centre, says that its unfair to expect the Golinas to pay to fix a public problem on their own.
The shelter helps hundreds of injured animals every year, the Golinas are called in for everything from an injured eagle on the highway to bear cubs.
Salmonberry Market – $2,700
The Salmonberry Market wants to go in a whole new direction and is asking the City for some seed money to help get them there.
The market was originally conceived as a open-air market catering to cruise ship passengers. Now with cruise ships being few and far between, Salmonberry wants to reinvent itself as a weekly farmers market aimed at Rupertites, similar to the one they have every Saturday in Terrace.
To get this going, the market’s organizers are asking the city for a grant of $2,700 which will be largely spent on signage and advertising. The organizers think that professionally made signs that could be placed around town to remind people that the market is open and where it is. They also talked about getting a sign on the highway to get people from other communities to come for the market as well.
The organizers feel that the events like Christmas craft fair prove that there are plenty of people in Prince Rupert who are potential fenders in a farmers market not the mention the vendors from out of town, The problem they say is making sure people know that its happening and where it is.
Growing Space – $2,700
The Growing Space, located inside the Ocean Centre, is asking the city for $2,700 to cover this year’s property taxes.
The Growing Space has been in Prince Rupert for almost 30 years. It’s a playing space geared for small children and their parents.
For $35 a month someone with a small child can have a place to go and play with their children every day where they’ll be toys play with and activities to do with them. The managers of the space say that keeping the membership fee low is important and so they rely on business donations such as the Northwest Credit Union’s community investment grants.
Elizabeth Melanson from the Growing Space says that the space is an asset to the city because it helps Prince Rupert families and its popularity is on the rise. Recently, she says, small groups of young fathers have taken to coming in together with their children which is change from the mostly young mothers who frequent the space. The space has also become a popular place to rent for birthday parties.
Northern Career Services Society – $620
Northern Career Services Society run both the Career Centre and the Edge Youth Employment Centre, which help people in Prince Rupert find work. They’re asking for $620 to go towards their annual job fair which will be held on March 2.
If the city gives them the grant it will go towards the promotion of the Job Fair to get more residents out to see what the possibilities are for getting a job or getting a new job.
Options for Social Growth Society – $1,293.84
The Options for Social Growth Society is asking the City for enough money to cover their cost of water /sewer access as well the garbage pick up: $1,293.84.
The society runs the Discovery Childcare Centre near Charles Hays Secondary. The centre provides childcare for the children of young parents who are going to the highschool. And help parents deal with the challenges of parenting and homework. The Centre is also used for work experience for CHSS students.
Most of the Discovery Centre’s budget comes from the province and fees charged to parents but the Social Growth Society says that the money is still tight and a grant from the city to cover water and garbage will help keep operating costs down.
Prince Rupert Community Enrichment Society – $3,000
The Community Enrichment Society is sponsoring a grant application for $3,000 made by their Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Committee.
The Enrichment Society’s mission is to develop resources for children, youth and families in the Prince Rupert area, The society wants to use the money to provide more up to date information on FASD and how to support those affected by it, educate women of child-bearing age the dangers of alcohol on the unborn and help develop some kind of community support system for people living and working with FASD on the north coast.
How these goals will be worked towards depends could include professional speakers, to school informations sessions, or a booth at SeaFest depending on the amount they’re given.
They say this work is important because how big a problem this is in Prince Rupert as well as the north, and it can have a profound impact on communities.
HalloweenFest – $6,000
The organizers of massive kid-friendly Halloween party held every year at the civic centre are asking the City for $6,000 to pay for the rental of the both the civic centre and the pool and for the transportation services from the bus company.
For 24 years now the HalloweenFest has been a easy place for families can go on a rainy halloween night in a town where it with the kids in their costumes and play have fun while getting lots and lots of candy. Getting the grant form the city means that organizers will be able to secure the venue on Halloween night without worrying about raising the money first.