The City of Campbell River has approved its next round of Community Partnership Grants, which supply operational funding for various non-profits within our city.
For the first time this year, organizations that qualify under “Category 1” grants from the city were allowed to put forth requests projecting five years of need, instead of the three they used to be able to ask for. Category 1 grants are for core community organizations who operate out of city-owned facilities to cover their general operational costs. The decision was made earlier this year to increase the number of years in the applications to allow groups to project increases due to increases in mandate or special projects they wanted to take on, as well as build capacity within their organizations.
Only one of the organizations was approved for such increases, however. The Museum at Campbell River was approved for $189,800 in 2019, increasing annually to reach $211,500 in 2023.
The Tidemark Theatre Society was approved for a one-time increase between 2019 and 2020 – going from $175,000 to $185,000, but held steady at that amount through the end of the five-year term of approval, despite having asked for increases year-over-year much like the museum.
“The committee felt that the information they had given (in their application) maybe wasn’t concise enough to warrant granting the increase requests that far into the future,” said finance reporting supervisor Dennis Brodie. “But the Tidemark can come back in a subsequent year at some point over this five-year funding arrangement and provide some better information as to what the nature of the increase is for. At this time it wasn’t clear enough what the specifics of that were, so the committee is recommending a one-time increase – because they haven’t had an increase in a number of years – but then holding off until some more information comes in future years.”
Other groups approved for grants for 2019 include the Haig-Brown House – which is overseen by the museum – at $47,000, the Campbell River Art Gallery at $81,000, the Campbell River Arts Council at $27,000 – along with $5,000 for its annual Banner Project – and Greenways Land Trust at $27,000. The city also approved a continuation of the $20,000 they set aside for recreation facility subsidy, which allows various groups to receive up to a 50 per cent subsidy of rental fees at city facilities to a maximum of $1,000.
Category 2 grants – which provide funding for ongoing events and/or services – were awarded to the Campbell River Salmon Festival in the amount of $25,000, the Shoreline Arts Society for $7,500, Volunteer Campbell River for $1,500 and the River City Arts Festival for $6,000.
Category 3 grants for 2019 – which are discretionary funds awarded on a case-by-case basis – went to Citizens on Patrol ($4,000) and Search and Rescue ($9,500) while Category 4 grants – which are for one-off special events and/or service and travel went to Words on the Water ($2,000), Discovery Passage Sealife Society ($2,000) and Shoreline Musical Theatre Society ($2,500).
The total awarded for next year is $646,800, which is below council’s approved cap of $715,594 (1.6 per cent of general revenues) for the grant program.
It is also, however, an increase of $40,389 over last year’s approved grant amount, which equates to an increase of 6.83 per cent, which drew concern from Mayor Andy Adams.
“What we heard on the campaign trail was ‘housing’ and ‘taxes,’” Adams said. “What we have tried to do over the last number of years is to keep the taxation rate increase in line with the national rate of inflation, which is running about two per cent. So when this comes in at 6.83, that means something else has to give somewhere else along the line. There is only so much in the piggy bank to go around,” he said, asking Coun. Moglove and Dahl, who will sit on the committee going forward, to “please keep an eye on that.
“With that being said,” Adams continued, “I think what these groups do with the funding they get is nothing short of remarkable for the community.”