BOW VALLEY – A local foundation has received funding to help assist organizations in making an impact in the Bow Valley.
The Banff Canmore Community Foundation – in partnership with Family and Community Support Services in the Towns of Banff and Canmore – were awarded $400,000 from the Alberta Civil Society Fund to go towards their Moving Mountains initiative.
The initiative helps organizations in the region collaborate, explore and develop additional ways to generate funds for local groups doing community work, including social enterprises. The funding will allow the BCCF to create new funding channels, such as the first social impact fund and help foster the development of social enterprises.
“This initiative is all about collaboration. A project of this scale will bring each partner’s perspectives to the table. In coming together, we can take on challenges and opportunities in the Bow Valley at a regional scale,” Karen Antrobus, chair of the BCCF board, said in a release.
The Town of Banff’s community development coordinator, Ruth Pryor, added the transformational opportunity the funding can have in the region.
“The FCSS teams in both Banff and Canmore had been on the lookout for a chance to really go after some big ideas and capacity-building opportunities. This grant gives time to explore with community, bring in expertise and create change to funding and supporting the non-profit sector,” Pryor said. “We were thrilled that BCCF saw the potential as well and jumped right in.”
The BCCF has long worked with regional municipalities to help tackle local civil society issues. The Moving Mountains program is aimed at addressing challenges together rather than separately from one another.
In the Bow Valley, there are more than 200 formal and grassroots initiatives that help provide supports and opportunities from Lake Louise to the Stoney Nakoda First Nation.
“The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the capacity of civil society to raise money and support people in our communities,” Rajan Sawhney, Alberta’s Minister of Community and Social Services, said in the release. “I am confident this funding will help increase the capacity of civil society organizations in the Bow Valley region and ensure their success in the future.”
The civil society fund will provide roughly $20 million in the next three years to help address social issues in the province.