The Cold Lake Community Recreation, Art, Culture, and Heritage Investment Grant Policy has been updated by council to include some submissions from indigenous communities.
The changes also allow for-profit businesses to apply for grants where their project has a benefit to the greater community and expand upon a previous revision that allowed one of the grant streams to be available to groups or events occurring in Wards 5 and 6 of the M.D. of Bonnyville. Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland says the city is a busy community with a lot of events for residents and visitors.
“This has proven to be a very popular program, and the sheer amount of interest it has seen has required us to see how we can tweak the program to make sure it is working as intended. Our council is focused on assisting events and groups that help to make life enjoyable in our community, who strive to share and exhibit our heritage and the cultures our community shares, and who put the effort in to represent our community on the provincial, national, or international stage. We think these changes are a strong step to ensure the grant program is responsive to all of these things.”
Council debated the inclusion of for-profit businesses in the program and ultimately felt several of the grant streams could reasonably be open to for-profit businesses with the caveat the event must bring a greater good to the community that could justify the public support for a private enterprise.
“When events come to our community, everyone benefits,” Copeland said. “People stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, all while locals have more options for entertainment and recreation, and the benefit of the economic activity that results. Our council remains committed to the program, but we’ve also noticed the need to fund the program appropriately. On one hand, we want the funding to allow the program to make meaningful contributions to important events. On the other, we want to establish a predictable and stable budget from year to year.”
The policy now defines the following 11 categories for grants:
- The Development Incentive Grant is available to non-profit organizations only and is for programs that take place in the City of Cold Lake.
- The Community Event Incentive Grant is eligible to non-profits, for-profit businesses and is for events taking place in Cold Lake, the MD of Bonnyville’s Wards 5 or 6, or in neighbouring indigenous communities.
- The Major Community/Tourism Event Grant is available to non-profits, for-profit businesses and is for events in the City of Cold Lake with a budget of more than $100,000.
- The Travel Grant is available to non-profits that will represent the City of Cold Lake at the provincial, national or international level.
- The Equipment Grant is a matching grant available to non-profits operating within the City of Cold Lake.
- The Leadership Grant is a matching grant available to non-profits operating within the City of Cold Lake.
- The Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant is available to non-profits in the City of Cold Lake.
- The Screen Based Production Grant is available to productions taking place in the City of Cold Lake.
- The Community Fundraising Gala Event Grant is available to non-profits hosting a fundraiser in the City of Cold Lake that have a formal sponsorship or a structured fundraising program to present to council.
- Other Structured Fundraising and/or Sponsorship Grants are available to non-profits and for-profit businesses.
- Other Community Recreation, Art, Culture and Heritage Investment grants are available to non-profits and for-profit businesses.
Council noted the level of interest in the grant has led to challenges in funding the program and plans to have an in-depth conversation during the 2024 budget deliberations.