Changes to grant program could benefit local groups

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Recent changes to the Government of Alberta’s Community Initiatives Program (CIP) may benefit local sporting and cultural organizations, such as the Airdrie 2020 Alberta Winter Games.

Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda announced the addition of a Major Cultural and Sports Events (MCSE) stream under the program, which will provide funding of up to $250,000 for sanctioned cultural and sports events of national or international scope.

“Changes to both Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) and CIP will help better meet the needs of non-profits by addressing funding gaps, streamlining access and providing clarity to the grants process,” he said while announcing the changes Dec. 5. “For Albertans, these changes mean great transparency, accountability and effective use of resources, and a greater return on public dollars.”

The new MCSE stream will support events that help to build tourism or provide other benefits to the community. Applications will be accepted two times per year on April 1 and Oct. 1. Applicants are able to apply for funding for multiple events.

Shauna Quinn, chair of the Airdrie 2020 Alberta Winter Games organization committee, said the group is just beginning to get up and running and look at the available sources of funding.

“We’re already moving forward with getting our society together and registering the society so we can have an early start for lottery and casino funding and the grant programs,” she said.

Organizations wishing to apply to both the MCSE stream and other grant programs such as Alberta Sport Connection, Alberta Tourism and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, must submit one application for the total requested amount. The ministry will consider the application and successful organizations will receive one grant cheque.

“We’ll definitely be pursuing it,” Quinn said. “Right now we’re looking at all the different avenues we have for funding…so we can host the best games ever.

“We are working very closely with the City of Airdrie and Alberta Sport Connection who have been offering services to help us find these grants and get the information we need to apply.”

The CFEP funds projects involving the construction or renovation of community spaces. Changes to this program include the introduction of two funding streams – the Small Funding stream provides up to $125,000 in support while the Large Funding stream provides support between $125,000 to a maximum of $1 million.

Applications are accepted for the Small Funding stream three times per year – Jan. 15, May 15 and Sept. 15 – and once per year for the Large Funding stream – Oct. 1.

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