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Three local groups receive Farm Credit Canada funding

by Chris Daponte

WELLINGTON CTY. - Three local groups are among  36 in Ontario to receive over $283,000 in grants for capital projects through Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) AgriSpirit Fund.

On Dec. 15 the FCC granted a total of $1 million to 120 rural community groups across Canada.

“The FCC AgriSpirit Fund helps us support much-needed projects and celebrate the people responsible for making a positive difference in the lives of those around them,” said Barry Smith, FCC’s vice-president of western Ontario operations.

The three Wellington County groups, selected from over 1,146 applicants across Canada, received over $21,000 in total from the FCC. They are:

- Arthur and Area Historical Society, $6,000 to paint murals and install lighting on murals;

- Town of Erin, $6,100 to purchase modular equipment for its new skateboard park; and

- East Wellington Community Services (EWCS), $9,500 to purchase a bus for its seniors’ transportation program.

President Ian Turner said the Arthur and Area Historical Society is getting behind downtown improvement efforts in Arthur and the murals are one way of doing that.

“I think it’s important to remind people of our past,” Turner said. “Those who cannot appreciate the past can never anticipate the future.”

He added there has been a fantastic response to the society’s first mural, which was unveiled earlier this year and recognizes the pioneer heritage in the area.

“The mural kind of draws people,” said Turner. He noted the society plans to do four or five more across the village.

Erin’s town manager Lisa Hass submitted a $10,000 AgriSpirit Fund application on behalf of the town earlier this year for the skateboard park proposed beside Centre 2000. She said town officials were “pleased” with the $6,100 grant.

“This will certainly help out,” she said.

The grant will be put towards equipment for the skateboard park, though Hass said she’s not exactly sure what that may entail, as the park is still in the design stage.

The town, whose council pledged to match any contributions from the skateboard park committee, has also applied for a Trillium grant for the project, expected total around $100,000.

Hass said the municipality hopes to break ground and have the concrete pad completed in the spring.

Caroline Turnbull, marketing and revenue development coordinator for EWCS, said the organization is very grateful to receive $9,500 from the FCC.

“For well over a year EWCS has been collecting funds and looking into ways to replace and/or upgrade our seniors’ bus,” she said.

“This latest addition to the bus fund has finally put a new bus within reach. The board of directors will now be looking at the appropriate size and model to purchase.”

Calling the seniors’ bus “a vital part of EWCS programming,” Turnbull explained it  is used to transport locals to the EWCS seniors day program and is also used for active adult recreation day trips.

“In the plan to provide more transportation options and services, we look forward to integrating a brand new bus into our programming,” she concluded.

About the fund

The FCC AgriSpirit Fund annually awards rural community groups between $5,000 and $25,000 for community improvement projects. To receive funding, selected groups must meet specific criteria and finalize their projects before December 2013.

In Ontario, $1,576,235 has been given to AgriSpirit projects over the past eight years, and across Canada the total is $5.5 million.

FCC officials encourage groups that did not receive funding to re-apply next year. Applications for the 2012 AgriSpirit Fund will open on May 7, 2012.

Visit for eligibility requirements and more information.


December 30, 2011


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