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Christmas comes early for centennial committees
The Port Coquitlam and Port Moody centennial planning committees got an early Christmas gift in the form of hefty cheques from the federal government.
The PoCo Spirit Committee will receive $101,600 and PoMo's centennial committee will get $103,800; another $96,750 is going to the PoCo Heritage and Cultural Society to expand the heritage centre.
"We're very thrilled that we received recognition for our 100th birthday celebrations," said Renee Chadwick, chair of PoCo's Spirit Committee. "We have a number of events and initiatives that are going through this federal grant."
Much of the money will pay for entertainers booked for events taking place throughout the year, Chadwick said, starting with the 100th birthday launch on Jan. 4, and towards a unique legacy project. Next year the city will be commissioning an artist to carve an old silver maple tree that had to be taken down a couple of years ago due to stability issues.
Chadwick said once the tree was down, it was clear that it had been from PoCo's early days and was likely at least 100 years old.
"We kept it in storage because we knew at some point it would be used for a public art piece," Chadwick said. "It's going to become a living legacy for generations to come."
Port Moody's centennial committee also expressed gratitude for the funding windfall, noting it will help enhance several events already in the works.
"We'll be able to expand some of our programs and add some others, so we're very pleased and thankful to the federal government," said Coun. Gerry Nuttall, the committee's council representative.
Committee chair Robert Simons said the federal grant will boost activities planned around the recreation of the first council meeting on April 7 and the community celebration immediately following. The community picnic in August is getting a large share of the funding to enhance the all-day entertainment capped off by an evening of fireworks.
Funding will also go to the heritage house tours event, presented by the Port Moody Heritage Society.
"There are a number of different programs during the year that this grant will help us to expand, to deliver a wonderful show to residents and visitors to Port Moody," Simons said.
In announcing the more than $300,000 in grants MP James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage, said, "Our government is proud to invest in projects that contribute to our collective identity and define who we are as Canadians."