Tough decision on community grants

District of Sooke hands out semi-annual grants to local groups

The Community Grant Program is designed to assist organizations to improve the well being of the community as a whole through community projects, programs, services, activities or events located primarily in the District of Sooke.

There are two categories of funding: Category A (annual grants – program type) and Category B (bi-annual grants – project type).The bi-annual intake dates for Category B grants are April 30 and September 30.

On May 14, the District of Sooke’s Community Grants Committee made their decisions on which applicants would receive grant monies from the district.

Chair of the committee, Councillor Kerrie Reay said, “It was a tough one,” in reference to the decisions. “The economy in Sooke is still challenged and council worked hard to hold to a 0 per cent tax increase.”

She said in some cases, in regard to the applications, the taxpayer doesn’t have the capability now to fulfill all of the grant requests.

Some of the applications did not meet the criteria while others were situations where performances should cover more of the cost of their productions by raising ticket prices, and not have taxpayer “subsidies.”

Category B grants, 2015 applications:

The following applicants received the full amount requested from the District of Sooke:

• Ecole Poirier PAC – $7,000 for play space

• EMCS Student Art Bus Shelter Project – $1,925.87 for art supplies ($1,891 in 2014)

• Girl Guides of Canada – Milnes Landing Camp Committee – $2,500 for building upgrades

• Sooke Transition Town Society – Bear Wise – $4,000- education

• Sooke Fine Arts Society – $500 – pump house murals ($7,000 Category A 2014)

• Sooke Food Bank – $3,075 plus $8,561 in Category A (2014 $7,000  and $1,100 Category B)

Total amount awarded: $19,000.87

The following did not receive grant funding:

Sooke Harbour Players – $7,000 – production and royalty costs ($5,865 in 2014)

Sooke Horseshoe Pitching Assoc. – $7,000 – building horseshoe pitch ($3,000 in 2011)

Sooke River Bluegrass Festival – $5,000 for festival expenses ($1,600 in 2014)

Sooke Therapeutic Yoga Society – $5,000 – art class supplies

South Island Recreation Assoc. – $3,600 – splash park concept

Sooke Community Choir Society – $5,000 for lights for community hall ($5,000 awarded in 2010)

Total applications requests for April 30 intake: $51,600.87