Obviously, this is one of those stories. I know there are people out there who think their taxes are too high (and at least some of them may be right), and that our local government should focus exclusively on keeping the roads open, the park grass cut, and the snow ploughed.
On the other hand though is the responsibility to create a higher standard of life beyond the bare essentials, and that includes the offering of a financial helping hand to those in need, and the accommodation of the city's various arts, culture, sports and recreation organizations. Numerous community groups are recipients of this funding, and the year 2013 will be no exception.
Yesterday, the city announced which groups are getting money this year and how much. Here's the press release from the City of Guelph with link to details:
GUELPH, ON, January 22, 2013 – Yesterday, City Council received a report listing this year’s recipients of the City’s Community Wellbeing Grants. Through the Community Wellbeing Grant program, the City awarded $225,400 in funding to support community-based activities in health and social services, arts and culture activities and special events this year.
Guelph’s Community Wellbeing Grants contribute to the success of community-based organizations delivering a range of programs and services; securing food and shelter for individuals and families in need, organizing inclusive and affordable sports and recreation activities and staging vibrant arts and culture events.
The City received 71 applications seeking a total of $543,655 funding for 2013. Representatives from not-for-profit sectors joined City staff to review the applications and awarded $85,550 to 19 health and social services applicants, $84,300 to 22 arts and culture applicants, and $55,550 to 16 special events applicants.
“Without this support from the City of Guelph, the Support Through Engagement, Programming and Sport (STEPS) program would not be able to meet this identified need in our community and, more importantly, would not be able to continue to help underserved youth realize their full potential,” said Leisha Burley, program manager for Wyndham House.
“By helping to fund arts and culture groups, events, and programs, the City of Guelph not only shows its support for these initiatives, it enhances the capacity of local citizens working on local projects,” said Sonya Poweska, executive director of the Guelph Arts Council.
“The grants are just one way the City supports these important programs and services,” said Barbara Powell, general manager of the City’s Community Engagement department. “The City works with several not-for-profit organizations all year round to improve the quality of life in Guelph.”
The City will continue improving the Community Wellbeing Grant Program in 2013 by aligning funding with community priorities set out in Guelph’s Community Wellbeing Initiative, increasing the number of citizens participating in the application review process and improving how grant recipients report on the benefits of the investment.
“We will continue updating the community as we explore several new ways to support local organizations and their efforts to improve wellbeing in our city,” added Powell. “In addition to the Community Wellbeing Grants, we’re developing community benefit agreements, an innovation fund, facility rental discounts and small dollar waivers as part of Guelph’s Community Investment Strategy.”