Casino cash for Coquitlam groups
Schools, a Scottish festival and seniors’ society are among the most recent recipients of Coquitlam gaming grants.
On Monday, city council handed out $112,395 in Spring 2014 Spirit of Coquitlam awards to 18 organizations, although the city had received a total of $407,778 in grant requests from 23 non-profit community groups.
And regulations for handing out grants could be further tightened.
In his report to council, Raul Allueva, Coquitlam's acting general manager of parks, recreation and cultural services, suggested changes to the program’s procedures, including:
• new applicants be required to take part in a Spirit Grant information workshop;
• organizations without a complete application submitted on time be considered ineligible;
• and requests from groups with an outstanding bid or grant project completion requirements from previous grants be deemed ineligible until issues are resolved.
As well, staff suggested the eligibility requirements be tweaked to encourage more partnerships and to evaluate bids based on the Simon Fraser formula, a method for allocating resources based on the populations of the Tri-Cities' member municipalities.
As part of its host city agreement with Great Canadian Casino, which runs the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver and must give a share of its revenues to Coquitlam, city hall sets aside 12% of that money for community groups, with balance spent on capital projects.
To date, Coquitlam has received around $100 million from Great Canadian since the gambling venue opened on United Boulevard in 2002.
Below are Coquitlam's spring grant recipients:
• BC Highland Games: $5,000 for annual festival;
• Baker Drive elementary parent advisory council: $1,000 for community fireworks event;
• Glen Pine 50 Plus Society: $5,456 for a multicultural event;
• Société francophone de Maillardville: $4,000 for Flaunt Your Frenchness summer series, St. Jean Baptiste Day and 105th anniversary of Maillardville event;
• 5th Coquitlam Scouts: $1,500 for camping equipment replacement;
• Access Youth Outreach Services Society: $3,883 for upgrade and replacement of cabinets in bus, bike replacement and accessories;
• BC Aquasonics: $2,175 for strategic planning, club leadership/coaches three-year plan;
• Children of the Street Society: $7,000 for a youth art engagement project;
• Community Volunteer Services for Seniors: $8,747 for Tri-Cities grocery program and leisure connections;
• Coquitlam Farmers Market: $8,606 for Connecting Local People to Local Food;
• Place Maillardville Society: $4,776 for staff development and program enhancement;
• St. John Ambulance, Tri-Cities: $5,619 for first aid equipment;
• Theatrix Youtheatre Society: $8,480 for technical operations course for youth;
• Tri-Cities Community TV: $10,000 for HD camera and accessories (contingent on funding from Port Coquitlam and Port Moody);
• Burquitlam Senior Housing Society: $16,500 for pathway replacement;
• Coquitlam Jr./Sr. Adanacs Lacrosse Club: $5,121 for ice machine for sports groups;
• Coquitlam Minor Softball Association: $1,729 for O’Connor field upgrade to host U12 girls provincial softball championships;
• Our Lady of Fatima school: $12,801 for playground equipment.