Yukon-based projects receive funding

Initiatives will contribute economic, cultural and social benefits, YG says

The Yukon government’s Community Development Fund (CDF) has awarded more than $1.7 million to 22 community-based projects in the territory.

A statement said the projects will contribute to the economic, cultural and social benefits of Yukoners by providing them with invaluable opportunities and resources.

CDF provides funding for projects, events and initiatives that offer long-term, sustainable, cultural, social and economic benefits for Yukon communities.

Premier Ranj Pillai said the recently funded projects contribute to economic growth, cultural resilience and social well-being throughout the territory.

“Recognizing the essential role each of us plays in building strong and resilient communities, our government takes pride in supporting Yukoners and local organizations,” said Pillai. “Together, we are driving grassroots initiatives that aim to strengthen and empower our communities, fostering a strong, sustainable future for generations to come.”

Funding for the projects is divided into three tiers. Tier 1 projects receive $20,000 or less; tier 2 applications receive between $20,001 and $75,000; tier 3 projects receive over $75,000 in funding.

Signpost Seniors Association received $275,000 to repair the roof of the building that houses the Signpost Seniors offices and hall, Watson Lake Daycare and the Watson Lake Food Bank.

The statement said the project will allow the building to continue to be used for social gatherings, recreational programming and celebrations.

Kaushee’s Place received $250,000 to upgrade the kitchen, bathroom and flooring in five apartments. Services at Kaushee’s Place, which supports some of the Yukon’s most vulnerable people, are in high demand. This funding will allow Kaushee’s Place to continue to offer essential services to the public.

The Teslin Historical & Museum Society will receive $250,000 to complete a roof upgrade on the George Johnston Museum. The proposed retrofit avoids temporary rehousing of the collection and will allow the museum to continue operating throughout the summer season.

“The museum itself is a cornerstone for the community and the roof repair will allow it to operate safely for many years to come,” the project description read.

In the tier 1 category, the Youth of Today Society received $20,000 to organize the 2023 Yukon Youth Summit. The event seeks to unite young people from across the territory.

The summit will be a hybrid event — in-person and virtual — and will include performances and showcases, events hosted by local community organizations and programs, an awards dinner, a mini career fair, breakout rooms for conversations about youth-identified priorities and a review of the Territorial Youth Strategy.

“This event works to empower youth to organize, network, learn and make a difference in their communities,” said a government press release.

The Cycling Association of Yukon also received $20,000 to hire an event coordinator to organize the Canadian Cross-Country Marathon Mountain Bike Championships. This will be the first national mountain biking event hosted in the Yukon and will attract hundreds of athletes, volunteers and spectators.

Large sporting events play a critical role in developing athletes in communities and will allow the Yukon to be showcased to the visiting public, the statement read.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Yukon received $18,851 for a pilot project focused on music-based mentoring. Mentors and mentees will be paired to participate in two 10-week programming blocks, where music instructors will facilitate ensemble rehearsals, group music and art-oriented activities.

“Music mentoring creates a healthy outlet for creative expression, boosts academic performance, increases confidence and self-esteem, and develops motor and visual learning skills,” according to the statement.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yukon executive director Ben Johnston-Urey said by tapping into their community’s wealth of interest in music and the arts, the organization has established a dynamic group mentoring platform which “expresses care, expands possibilities and promotes a culture of community and inclusion.”

He added support from CDF has played an instrumental role in providing a nurturing environment for mentors and mentees alike.

The next deadlines for CDF applications are July 17 for tier 1 funding, Sept. 15 for tier 2 funding and Jan. 15, 2024 for tier 3 funding.

Contact Patrick Egwu at patrick.egwu@yukon-news.com