Centre Wellington allowing 2020 grant funding to be used next year

CENTRE WELLINGTON – Centre Wellington council has approved grant roll-overs for community groups after a year filled with cancellations.

Dorothy Smith, manager of community development, festivals, culture and tourism, provided council with an update Monday on the impact COVID-19 had on Community Impact Grant (CIG) and recipients.

The Centre Wellington grant policy states this grant is meant for not-for-profit organizations that enhance the quality of life for residents through special events, arts and culture, social and environmental activities.

Recipients of this can get a maximum of $5,000 and include The Elora Festival, The Elora Singers, Community Resource Centre, CW Food Bank and others.

Smith called this a “bizarre year” with most cultural events being cancelled.

However, she explained most were able to use all their funding but not all.

For example, Smith’s report shows The Elora Festival has $4,500 leftover from what was intended to be used for a summer camp or $1,600 remaining for the Elora Lions Club’s Santa Claus Parade being cancelled.

She said some groups agreed the ability to carry-over unused funds into the same programming for 2021 would be useful.

The one stipulation is this amount would be deducted from the $5,000 maximum they could apply for next year.

Smith’s report says this roll-over amount would save about $17,000 and could mean more applicants could be funded additional applicants who have shown interest in grants.

“There’s a lot of interest in the grants right now,” Smith said. “I’m getting people out of the woods asking about funding for next year.”

Council was unanimously in favour of this idea, calling it a well thought out plan.

“I think it’s a good plan to help people that were stymied this year,” said councillor Neil Dunsmore. “They got started and COVID shut them down like everybody else.”

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