This past week several local community projects in the Steinbach constituency and across southeast Manitoba received support from two provincial financial programs.
On Monday, I was joined by my colleague Minister Andrew Smith in Steinbach to announce funding from the Building Sustainable Communities Fund of $225,000 for Steinbach and Area Animal Rescue (SAAR). SAAR is a non-profit, volunteer led organization that is dedicated to supporting animals in the region that are in need of shelter and finding a home. For many years, the organization has relied upon the good will and resources of its supporters but have been seeking a more permanent shelter location. The $225,000 will support this effort and is a reflection of people and an organization that led with their heart first in helping animals and demonstrated both a need and an ability to make a difference.
Thank you to Mayor Earl Funk and Reeve Jim Funk for attending the announcement along with members of your respective councils.
Also on Monday, grant announcements from the Arts, Culture and Sport in Community Fund were announced across the province. Locally, a number of initiatives were successful in garnering financial support. Included in these was the Southeast Event Centre that is currently under construction in Steinbach but that has faced inflationary pressures. An additional $1 million has been provided by the province for that project with the hope that the federal government will also come to the table with additional support. The community of Mitchell also received $400,000 for an ice plant replacement in its arena.
Other organizations like the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum ($49,000) and the Steinbach Curling Club ($17,241) were granted funding for their projects as were local recreation initiatives by the Steinbach Skimmers Competitive Speed Swimming club and Island Breeze Manitoba Ministries who operate a sports academy.
What each of these organizations have in common is that they rely significantly on both local volunteer support and local financial contributions. The funding that is provided through the provincial government programs is really partnership funding that augments the local support that is already happening. And this is the most effective kind of support that can be provided because it builds upon a strong base of community contributors.
An additional project that received support through the Arts funding is for the Manitoba Mennonite Historical Society which is undertaking a documentary film on the Mennonites who came to Manitoba from Russia 150 years ago in 1874. This is an important historical effort and a significant part of the heritage in southeast Manitoba.
Congratulations to all the organizations who received funding in the past week through these two provincial funding initiatives. As always, there are more applications than there is money in the program so the selection process is a difficult one, but it is encouraging that so many community-based organizations are being boosted in the work that they do.