The Kelowna Art Gallery Association is one of several beneficiaries of the province’s Community Gaming Grants program. (File)

Nearly $2M in provincial grants going to Central Okanagan arts, sports programs

The program will see $682,600 for local arts programs and over $1.2 million for sports organizations

Sixty-eight not-for-profit organizations in the Central Okanagan area will soon reap the benefits of government grants meant to support local arts, culture and sports programs.

The province’s Community Gaming Grants program will see $682,600 come to the community for arts and culture programs and over $1.2 million for sports organizations.

“Funding from Community Gaming Grants is absolutely vital to minor hockey in the Kelowna region,” said Steve Smith, executive director of the Kelowna Minor Hockey Association.

“Gaming support helps us reduce costs for families, access ice time, and support coaches and referees. The grant is essential to our program, allowing us to develop players and a love for the game, all while promoting an active, healthy lifestyle that builds life skills in a fun, safe environment.”

Province-wide, over 700 not-for-profit organizations are receiving approximately $18.3 million to deliver opportunities for people of all ages to participate in visual and performing arts, literature and festivals, as well as Indigenous and cultural programs.

“These programs bring people together, fostering community connections through art, cultural programming and athletic activities for all ages and abilities,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

“Our government is proud to support organizations contributing to vibrant, healthy communities across B.C.”

The province is also providing approximately $27 million to more than 800 sports sector organizations in 2019-20. These community-based sports programs create opportunities for everyone to get active in programs such as soccer, swimming, hockey, cycling, martial arts, skiing and Special Olympics.

“These art, culture and sport programs provide opportunities for people to build community, foster artistic expression and engage in healthy activities,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

“Our government is proud to support these organizations to deliver programs that support inclusion and benefit people of all ages and backgrounds in communities across B.C.”

The Community Gaming Grants program provides up to $140 million to about 5,000 not-for-profit organizations in B.C. each year.

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