VANCOUVER – New Democrat MLAs in Vancouver say that $1,448,052 in funding from the province will help support arts, sport and social service organizations across the city in light of challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
15 of the 53 local not-for-profit organizations around B.C. receiving support this year from the capital project stream of the Community Gaming Grants program are based in Vancouver.
This year, the program prioritized capital project requests from not-for-profits facing an increased demand for services or requiring modifications to programs and facilities to meet public health and safety guidelines.
The program has made it a condition that all grant funding this year complies with Provincial Health Officer orders and is providing flexibility for organizations to delay project and service delivery until they can do so safely.
“We know how hard local social service and arts non-profit organizations have worked to adapt and still provide the services British Columbians rely on. The pandemic has increased the challenge and underscored the valuable role these groups play in our communities,” said George Heyman, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview. “That is why our government is committed to continuing to support them during this difficult time and as we move along the path to recovery.”
“Take a Hike Youth at Risk Foundation in my community has helped so many youth across Vancouver gain lifelong skills and increase their resiliency, something that is even more important now as COVID-19 has changed our world,” said Brenda Bailey, MLA for Vancouver-False Creek. “These funds will go far to ensure vulnerable youth can continue to access the mental health and emotional well-being supports they need virtually.”
“Arts and social services have always played a vital role in my community and they continue to step up to meet the needs of our neighbours during the pandemic,” said Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings. “Organizations like the Vancouver East Cultural Centre and The McCreary Centre Society are paramount to helping us ensure vulnerable people are safe and supported as we fight COVID-19.”
“COVID has shown just how important local art spaces and service providers are to our daily lives. Without them, this pandemic would be even more challenging for so many people,” said Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. “We know how vital it is that these non-profits stay accessible to people in our communities and operate in a COVID-safe way. Our government is committed to empowering them, the same way they empower others.”