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City approves nearly $3 million in funding for local non-profits

Community Auditorium, Thunder Bay Museum, Shelter House among largest recipients of city’s Community, Youth & Cultural Funding Program.
The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra is among 19 local organizations benefiting from the city's Community, Youth & Cultural Funding Program. (File photo)

THUNDER BAY – The City of Thunder Bay will provide nearly $3 million in grants to 19 local non-profits through its Community, Youth & Cultural Funding Program in 2022.

The fund, created in 2007, provides a sometimes crucial boost, accounting for over 15 per cent of many recipients' budgets, and over 50 per cent for a handful of organizations.

The total allocation of $2,912,612 approved for 2022 represents an increase of around $80,000 from the year before, including some one-time supplementary COVID-19 funding.

Much of the money is reserved for large “sustaining” grants to a handful of groups, with the top five recipients accounting for 75 per cent of total funding.

The biggest single recipients in 2022 are the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium ($758,082), Thunder Bay Museum ($465,191), Shelter House ($430,000), Thunder Bay Art Gallery ($271,300), Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra ($244,700), the Magnus Theatre ($150,000), and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Thunder Bay ($122,300).

Other grants ranged as small as $5,000 for the Superior Theatre Festival, or just over $10,000 to support the Northwestern Ontario Women's Centre’s Good Food Box program.

Leah Prentice, the city’s director of recreation and culture, said the program comes with rigorous reporting requirements for recipients, who must clearly demonstrate need and share audited financial statements and other documents with the city.

 “We have a good understanding of how these organizations are not only spending this money, but their overall budgets and where they’re obtaining revenue,” she said.

A request for a $25,000 operating grant by Community Clothing Assistance was denied, a decision the city’s appeals committee upheld after a review. The organization had received a $25,000 operating grant last year and smaller grants before that.

A full list of program recipients is included in the agenda for Monday’s city council meeting. Council voted unanimously to approve the recommended allocations.


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