Council gives community initiatives grants to 38 groups
Nelson City Council awarded $126,445 in grants to community groups at its Tuesday night meeting. The money comes from the Columbia Basin Trust, which every year gives a package of funding to regional districts and municipalities to grant within their communities.
This year the City of Nelson received more than 50 applications and granted funding to 38. Most of those did not receive the full amount they requested.
The two largest grants were $22,000 (the full amount requested) to the Chamber of Commerce toward completion of its new visitor centre at Railtown, and $10,000 to the Sports Council for the mural planned for the exterior wall of the Civic Arena, on the north side and the Hall St. side.
The mural project created some controversy around the council table, with Mayor Dooley persistently advocating for full funding of the $30,000 requested, on the basis that it is an integral part of Hall Street redevelopment and that it would create employment over several months for artists. Several other council members thought awarding the full amount would pull too much money from other worthy projects on the list.
(Later, in a special regular meeting, Mayor Dooley indirectly got his way: council agreed that its management staff should search for further funds in the city budget and elsewhere to help fund the Civic Arena mural.)
Other large awards included:
- Kootenay Kids Society for safety upgrades to its building: $7,000 of $10,000 requested.
- Nelson Youth Centre for its skatepark ambassador program: $5,000.
- Nelson Cycling Club for the Morning Mountain recreation project: $5,000.
- Nelson Arts Council for Artwalk: $5,000 of $11,500 requested
- Oxygen Art Centre for its residency and exhibition program: $5,500 of $10,000 requested.
- Kootenay Literary Society for the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival: $4500 of $8,000 requested.
This year, council stipulated that projects must further the goals of the city’s Path to 2040 Sustainability Strategy. However, based on materials presented to council before the meeting, this requirement appears to have had little or no bearing on whether an applicant was successful.
A full list of the grants is attached below.