Community support will help secure funding to build the Bowen Island Community Centre
The Community Centre Select Steering Committee was excited to learn of an announcement made at the Union of BC Municipalities convention on September 12, 2018. Selina Robinson, the provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing said that “together with the federal government, we are investing in infrastructure that will build up communities, strengthen local economies and create opportunities for people in every part of the province.”
The Province is partnering with the federal government through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to provide more than $134 million toward an initial intake under the Community, Culture and Recreation Program.
What does this mean for the Community Centre project? Bowen Island Municipality (BIM) can now apply for funding that will pay up to 73% of the costs of building a community centre and space for arts and culture. Our community has a short window of opportunity to take advantage of this grant program to realize one of its long-held dreams.
Access to grant funding is a key component of the Community Centre’s estimated capital budget of $14 million. But so is local support for the project. The grant application – with a deadline of January 23, 2019 – must clearly demonstrate community support for the project to be considered for eligible funding.
The announcement arrived at an opportune time, as the Community Centre project team has recently launched its capital fundraising campaign. Meeting - or better, exceeding - the fundraising target, through immediate or pledged donations, is an excellent way to show that the community supports the Bowen Island Community Centre.
But that’s not the only way the community can contribute. Writing letters of support, participating in fundraising events, advocating for the Community Centre and even taking selfies on social media (hashtag #bowenislandcommunitycentre) will help as BIM gathers the necessary documentation for the application, due January 23, 2019.
Come together, Bowen Island! Bowen Island needs a place for residents of all ages to gather, access facilities and amenities, create health and wellness benefits, and enhance the experience of living on the island. For decades, Islanders have envisioned a place where community can better flourish, and lives are enriched in multiple and profound ways. Now, we are within reach of realizing that vision.