Sooke district council has approved $88,925 in community grants to be shared between 24 local not-for-profit and community organizations for 2021.
“This has been an extraordinary time. The commitment from numerous organizations to support our community has been truly remarkable,” Mayor Maja Tait said.
“There was more of a need this year. There was a great insight into how individuals and families were being impacted in our community by COVID.”
Coun. Jeff Bateman said council needed to find innovative ways to fund this year’s grant requests. He credited Coun. Al Beddows with the idea of using COVID Safe Restart Reserve Fund to support some of the projects.
“It’s challenging but a lot of fun. It would be ideal if we could give the groups everything they asked for, but it’s just not possible,” Bateman said.
This year $65,000 was available for community grants from the district, with council spending $51,700. Council targeted $37,225 from the COVID Safe Restart Reserve Fund to assist in funding. By applying a combination of funding sources, $15,500 remains in the 2021 budget for community support funding.
Last year, the district cancelled the community program as it struggled with diminishing revenues against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis.
Grant recipients for 2021 are Amber Academy Fine Arts Society, $4,050; Bike Victoria Society, $1,300; Edward Milne Community School Society, $3,500; FED Urban Agriculture Society, $5,000; Harmony Project Sooke, $4,000; Intermunicipal Advisory Committee on Disability Issues, $200; Kids Quest Childcare, $2,000; Navy League of Canada, $2,000; NEED 2 Suicide Prevention Education & Support, $3,500; Royal Canadian Legion, $6,000; Sooke Bike Club, $5,000; Sooke Family Resource Society-Caring for Community, $7,000; Sooke Family Resource Society-Prenatal Programming, $7,000; Sooke Family Resource Society-Youth Navigator, $7,000; Sooke Festival Society, $3,000; Sooke Harbour Players, $3,000; Sooke Region Food CHI, $1,600; Sooke Shelter Society, $7,000; Sooke Tennis and Pickleball, $6,000; Sooke Transition Town Society, $750; Sunriver Community Gardens-Meals on Wheels, $725; T-Sou-ke First Nation, $5,000; Vancouver Island South Film & Media Commission, $2,000; and Victoria Brain Injury Society, $2,300.