Forestry and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson pictured with members of the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre after a $15,000 grant from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture was announced in 2018. (Michael Grace-Dacosta photo)

Two Smithers not-for-profits receive $122K in gaming grants

Dze L Kant Friendship Center and Saltos Gymnastics will use funds for building projects

Two local not-for-profits are getting a bit of a financial boost from the Community Gaming Grants program to help with upgrades to their buildings.

The Bulkley Valley Gymnastics Association (BVGA) and Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre Society in Smithers are getting just over $72,000 and just under $50,000 respectively.

READ MORE: Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre receives $15,000

The BVGA is using the money for renovation of the Smithers Saltos Gymnastics Building, while the friendship centre will be using the cash to revitalize their building .

Part of those renovations for the friendship centre include removal of existing siding and asbestos, replacement of plywood and installation of durable and energy-efficient stucco. The latter of those replacements will also allow them to paint a mural honouring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).

The gaming grants were announced earlier last month which will see B.C. providing $5 million in capital project grants to a number of organizations looking to buy or upgrade community facilities, infrastructure or equipment.

The $140-million Community Gaming Grants program supports approximately 5,000 community organizations that deliver arts and culture, sport, environment, public safety, human and social services and support parent advisory councils.

“The 2019 capital project sector program provides another round of long-term investments in not-for-profit organizations across British Columbia,” said Caroline Miller, chair for the BC Association of Charitable Gaming. “It is critical that not-for-profit organizations have access to funding for major capital projects, so they can support people in need, support children and families, and help build vibrant communities.”

A number of other communities along the Highway 16 corridor will be receiving grants as well.

READ MORE: Social services society outlines opportunities

Prince George and Prince Rupert are getting just over $200,000 and $120,000 respectively for the replacement of both cities’ search and rescue societies’ command centre trucks.

The Invasive Species Council of British Columbia in Williams Lake is getting just under $165,000 to purchase a mobile “Education Centre.” The custom-built 16-foot trailer will help deliver the ‘Take Action Against Invasive Species’ project across the province and will be used by educators at community events, fall fairs and other similar youth-geared events.

The grants are funded by commercial gaming revenue that the Government of B.C. invests in key services.

The next round of applications for the capital project program will be accepted from June 1 to July 31, 2020.

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