Nine area organizations will benefit from $425,900 in funding to help them recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and deliver much-needed community programs and services Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli announced Thursday.
“COVID-19 has been a challenge for so many not-for-profit tourism, culture, sport and recreation organizations, and I am proud that our government is supporting their recovery through the Ontario Trillium Foundation's Community Building Fund,” said Fedeli.
The Ontario government is providing more than $46 million to support 648 non-profit tourism, culture, sport and recreation organizations through the fund,
including the following organizations in the Nipissing riding:
- $100,000 for Laurentian Ski Hill: Funding will assist with purchasing a new, contact-less point of sale system and compatible technology, as well as helping with rent and water costs
- $100,000 for the Northern Ontario Hockey Association: Funding will assist by offering a safe environment for all participants by purchasing electronic game sheets, sanitizing materials, and pea-less whistles for officials.
- $50,000 for the North Bay Granite Club: Funding will assist with purchasing and installing video and computer technology to teach and promote curling and help to hire a communications specialist and curling coach.
- $49,900 for the Near North Media Lab: Funding will assist with rehiring support staff to help continue delivering vital media-arts programming for small to mid-sized communities across northern Ontario.
- $43,400 for Creative Industries North Bay Inc.: Funding will assist with developing new, community-engaging fundraising strategies by hiring a Sustainability Officer, and assisting with on-site rental costs
- $30,100 for Nipissing Region Curatorial Collective Incorporated: Funding will assist with delivering online and physically distanced outdoor arts presentations for
- communities by assisting with operational and staffing costs, and those needed for maintaining an online presence.
- $26,000 for the Mattawa Museum: Funding will assist with assisting with staffing and technology purchases to help develop revenue-generating, sustainable and accessible education programs through the digitizing of collections and exhibits.
- $15,700 for the Voyageur Curling Club: Funding will assist with the cost of utilities, purchasing personal protective equipment, sanitizing materials and developing new safety signage.
- $10,800 for the Northern Ontario Curling Association: Funding will assist with supporting staffing and fixed administrative costs to help rebuild the curling membership revenue.
“Organizations such as Laurentian Ski Hill and the Northern Ontario Hockey Association are the bedrock of our community. By providing them with support, we are ensuring that people across Nipissing will have the opportunity to reconnect with the many things that make this community special,” Fedeli added.
Laurentian Ski Hill is coming off its shortest season ever due to a combination of public health directives and a rapid spring melt.
"We were prepared and given the green light last year by the local health unit and the provincial government — as a lot of ski hills were — to prepare to open," said Laurentian Ski Hill's president, John Strang.
Once the green light is given preparations have a "huge upfront cost," observed Strang that can not be recovered until ticket sale transactions begin.
See related: Laurentian Ski Hill to shut down as part of new provincial lockdown mandate
And: Laurentian ready to open as soon as ban lifted
"Last year was challenging. We applaud the provincial government for the stance it took. It didn't make it easier on us but the safety of our patrons is always at the forefront," he added.
"There was a lot of creative work done and a lot of cost-cutting measures. We're just looking forward to being fully open this year," said Strang in thanking the government for the funding.
The Community Building Fund launched earlier this year as a part of the 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover and is administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) through two streams: Operating and Capital. The Operating stream closed on June 1 and is providing organizations across the province with funding support for:
- Essential expenditures, such as staff salaries and fixed operational costs, including utilities, rent, lease, telephone and communication lines/services.
- Equipment costs, programs, services, and adapting to public health measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as equipment for changing technology, health and safety, and personal protective equipment.
- Innovation, digital and mobile web/virtual costs for the delivery of products and experiences.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, working to build healthy and vibrant communities across Ontario through investments of local grants to non-profit organizations. Its programs support the arts, culture, heritage, sports and recreation, human and social services, and environment sectors across the province.