Council opens municipal coffers for non-profits 

Grants divvied up among 17 local organizations

Seventeen of 20 non-profit organizations that applied for municipal grants got good news on Monday night.

Council approved more than $183,000 in grants as part of the Community Enrichment Program, formerly the municipal grants-in-aid program.

In the application process each charity had to outline how their request fell in line with the Comprehensive Sustainability Plan.

The Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment (AWARE) was awarded $17,000, which is $3,000 shy of their request. Still, that was welcome news to AWARE spokesperson Eckhard Zeidler.

The money will go towards working with local governments and independent power producers to come up with a region-wide IPP strategy.

"I'm really glad that the RMOW has recognized that people up and down this corridor are really concerned about IPPs moving ahead without a regional strategy," said Zeidler. "We can't have 35 different sets of power lines running all over the place. It has to be co-ordinated."

In addition AWARE will follow up on previous work done in the Sea to Sky Land and Resource Management Plan, in which the organization was instrumental in pushing for a series of wildland protected areas.

"It could be a year where we need to be vigilant and work with the forest district and licensees in the region to see that the wildland zones are respected and kept free from road building and harvesting activities, at least until such time as the LRMP becomes law," said Zeidler.

Other big grants went to the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA) with $24,400 for trail maintenance, among other things. The Dandelion Daycare was awarded $35,000 to build recycling sheds and to buy a washer/dryer to convert from plastic to cloth diapers.

The Whistler Community Services Society got its full request for two grants. The grant of $17,000 will allow the WCSS to pay for an interim fall shelter which will house clients in October/November – a time when many young people come to Whistler completely unprepared for the housing challenges awaiting them here.

The second grant of $6,540 will buy more durable covers for the community greenhouses, which in turn will expand the growing season by an extra two months.

The other approvals are as follows:

Get Bear Smart Society $10,000

Alta Lake School Society $5,000

Sea to Sky Community Services $11,000

Whistler Health Care Foundation $1,800

Zero Ceiling Society of Canada $12,067

Whistler Secondary School Scholarship $2,000

Whistler Adaptive Ski Program $12,000

Whistler Skating Club $13,860

Whistler Youth Soccer $5,700

Whistler Children's Chorus $2,000

Whistler Farmer's Market $5,000

Whistler Secondary School Drama $2,800

Three organizations did not get grants this year. They are the Whistler Public Library, Whistler Reads and Whistler Profile (Community Television).

The 2005 draft budget provides $245,000 for the Community Enrichment Program.

Other Whistler non-profits, such as WAG, the Whistler Arts Council and MY Millennium Place, will be considered for funding separately.

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