Crystal Schick/Yukon News The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21, 2020. First Nations, towns, and sport associations are among the organizations that will receive project funding from the Yukon government’s first and second tier of the Community Development Fund.

Community Develop Fund doles out over $800,000 to 25 different projects

Organizations are grateful for cash for upgrades, including new swim equipment and kitchen spaces

First Nations, towns, and sport associations are among the organizations that will receive project funding from the Yukon government’s first and second tier of the Community Development Fund.

In total, 25 different community projects will receive a total of $815,597 from the fund. The recipients announced on Aug. 19 submitted their proposals last spring.

“The Community Development Fund is an important resource for many organizations in contributing to healthy, vibrant and sustainable Yukon communities,” said Economic Development Minister Ranj Pillai in a statement.

“These projects help to create employment and economic opportunities for many Yukoners. I am glad to see so many grassroots organizations utilizing the fund to improve their communities,” he said.

A number of the projects will go towards updates for recreation and sports facilities.

The Spruce Hill Community Association will receive $17,601 for updates to an existing rink, the Town of Faro will receive $6,797 for new fitness equipment and the City of Dawson will receive $75,000 for a new park in the Dredge Pond subdivision.

The Yukon Freestyle Ski Association, Klondike Active Transport and Trails Society and the Whitehorse Glacier Bears Swim Club will all receive funding for trail maintenance and equipment upgrades.

The swim club is receiving $52,300 in funds to upgrade starting blocks at the Canada Games Centre. James Stewart who sits on the board of directors for the club, said the current blocks are anywhere from 20 to 30 years old.

“We’re very lucky we can get this done,” said Stewart. “The wear and tear and safety was becoming a big issue, which is why we were looking at having them replaced.”

Three First Nations will receive funding as well. The Liard First Nation will get $40,837 towards planning for a future cultural centre in Watson Lake. Na-Cho Nyäk Dun will get $51,856 for a gardening facility and White River First Nation will get $13,500 for a new website.

Other large projects include a kitchen renovation at the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture (Dawson City Arts Society) and upgrades at Mayo’s Binet House and Annex which will both be funded with separate grants of $75,000.

“We are so, so pleased,” said Klondike Institute executive director Marie-Claire Findlay-Brook. “We’re a small community, so community space is very precious here and it’s used in so many different ways.”

Findlay-Brook said the current space, which is small and outdated, serves as a kitchen for arts and culture programming, ballroom rentals and community events. She said the upgrade to a commercial kitchen will make volunteering more pleasant and provide more space.

In total, the government received 40 applications for Tier 1 and Tier 2 funding. Three were deemed ineligible, eight were withdrawn and four were denied, according to communications advisor Jason Seaton.

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com

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