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RMOW allocates funds for its 2024 Community Enrichment Program

The annual program is very oversubscribed
The WCSS was one of the successful applications for CEP funding in 2024, receiving $25,000.

Whistler's mayor and council voted to allocate more than $163,000 in funds to not-for-profit organizations in Whistler last month.

The long-established Community Enrichment Program (CEP) is a mainstay for Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) funding for community groups, and since its inception in 2005 has become oversubscribed each year.

This year proved no different—the RMOW had $180,504 to divvy up between 39 applications from 35 different groups, which collectively asked for $288,572.08 in funding, making the CEP oversubscribed by more than $100,000 for 2024.

At the April 23 regular council meeting, Whistler councillors voted to allocate the funds as presented by staff, with $163,685 divided between the 39 applications, a minimum of $6,000 set aside for scholarships that will be awarded to graduating students from Whistler Secondary Schools, and the remainder held aside.

The recommendations were informed by the RMOW’s Staff Advisory Group, which assessed each application from the 35 groups based on the number of active members within the individual groups or programs and other RMOW contributions towards their operations. Funds from the CEP can cover up to 50 per cent of a program's total costs.

Of the 39 applications, only six received exactly the amount they requested—with Sea to Sky Community Services receiving $5,000 to go towards wages for a coordinator for a playgroup open to Whistler families with young children.

The Whistler Youth Soccer Club also counted among the lucky few to receive a full allocation, receiving $6,000 to go towards coaching wages and tournament fees, while the Whistler Writers Society received $3,000 which will count as payment for a guest author during the Whistler Writers Festival.

Among groups to receive a large amount (but not quite what they were asking) was the Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS), which asked for $30,000, and received $25,000 to go towards their counselling program, which provides much-needed supports to locals in need. 

In 2023, that program proved heavily over-subscribed in Whistler, with the WCSS reporting it spent every cent of the $15,400 it received well before the end of the year, with an $8,000 blow-out in costs due to the popularity of the program.

The only other program to receive five figures in contributions through the CEP from the RMOW was PearlSpace’s parent-tot drop-in program, which received $15,000 of the $18,000 requested.

Among the rest of the applications, the RMOW had some tough decisions to make with a handful of allocations falling short of the requested amount by a few hundred dollars, and most others by thousands of dollars—but all 39 applications received a slice of the funds.

Of note, one application received more than requested—but only by a sliver. The Whistler Gymnastics Club asked for a very specific $3,059.64 for the purchase of new gym floor plywood, and the RMOW was very generous, giving them that, and an extra 36 cents for their troubles for a total of $3,060.

Councillors voted to support the staff recommendations for all 39 applications, with no dissent and no discussion.

The full discussion on allocating the funds can be watched on the RMOW website for the April 23 regular council meeting. To watch the initial presentations from the various groups to the RMOW, watch the March 5 committee of the whole meeting.