The BV Museum Society is among the organizations that will receive a grant from The Bulkley Valley Community Foundation. (File photo)

BVCF hands out over $30,000 in grant money

Diverse non-profit groups benefit from money

The Bulkley Valley Community Foundation has announced its recipients for this year’s grants.

The total grant funding awarded was $30,789.68, plus a commitment of $5,000 to the Library and Art Gallery project.

The BVCF is a charity that supports local non-profit organizations and projects from Topley to Kitwanga by giving grants.

The Bulkley Valley Community Foundation was founded in 1991 by a visionary group of citizens who saw the need to establish a legacy for future generations.

“The Board has awarded grants to a diverse group of organizations planning creative projects throughout the area” said Jill Dunbar, board chair.

The BV museum received $550 and it will be put toward a new laptop.

“It doesn’t sound super exciting, but for us it’s a great benefit – our existing laptop is five-years-old and starting to show its age in a number of ways – it’s been well-loved and well-used,” said curator Kira Westby. “Because we have such a small office, having a laptop offers a lot of flexibility for creating an extra work space for a researcher visiting the museum, or for a summer student working on a project.

“There are also times where we need to work with our database system and the artifact collection and need to set up a work space outside of the office. For example, last year we were cataloguing the textile collection, and to do that we had to set up work tables in the exhibit space. Without a laptop we wouldn’t have been able to do the work very effectively- I can’t lay a dress out on my desk next to my desktop computer.

“So it has lots of great benefits for us. I’m super thankful for the grants that the Community Foundation offers. They’ve supported several projects of ours over the past five or so years, including the purchase of our database system, digitization of oversized maps, plan drawings, and newspapers (now all accessible online), and last year they helped support a museums professional development workshop we hosted here in Smithers that was attended by people representing seven different museums from the region.”

Other recipients in the arts and culture category are the Smithers Community Band, Sing Smithers, Misty Rivers Community Arts Council in Hazelton, Valley Youth Fiddlers, and the Smithers Library-Gallery project.

Grant recipients in the community and social support category include Pregnancy Outreach in Hazelton, Grendel Group, Northern Society for Domestic Peace, Positive Living North, Treehouse Housing and St James Soup Kitchen.

Money for health and recreation is going to Spinal Cord Injury BC, Scouts Canada, Cycle 16 Trail Society, McEwen Fund and Affordable Recreation.

Education category winners are Houston Link to Learning, A Rocha Canada in Houston and Learners Opportunity Group in Hazelton.

A reception was held on Tuesday night to hand out the awards.

In the spring, the BVCF will award $12,000 for Learning Awards.

They are also making plans for awarding additional funding as a result of the recent $1.7 million donation from Fritz Pfeiffer’s estate in 2019.

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