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'Swag' now excluded from Didsbury's community grant funding

Applicants to the Town of Didsbury can get funding support, facility rental discounts to a maximum value of $2,000

DIDSBURY - Council has approved a number of changes to the community grant policy, including no longer permitting the grant to be used for promotional items, also known as swag.

The move came by way of motion at a recent regularly scheduled council meeting, with deputy mayor Curt Engel outlining the proposed changes for council.

The policy was established in 2020 as a way for council to offer modest financial support to Didsbury organizations, groups, clubs, community events and festival organizers. 

The program utilized up to $30,000 of previous year’s operating surplus to offer applicants funding support and/or facility rental discounts to a maximum value of $2,000, he said.

The policy governance committee recently reviewed the policy, making a dozen recommendations for improvements. 

Those recommendations include removal of promotional item requests as part of the policy, refinement of two streams of funding available (community grants and facility discounts), allocation of surplus funding between the streams (85 per cent grants, 15 per cent discounts), groups can only apply once per funding cycle, and preference for applicants operating within Didsbury.

Other recommendations include town council to oversee community grant funding decisions and community services department administering the facility rental discounts, the requirement that applicants be a registered non-profit or charity, preference to be given to applicants that have not received community grant support in the previous years, and applicants not meeting acknowledged requirements (advertising, signage, etc) will not be eligible for future funding.

Council carried a motion approving the updates to the community grant policy.

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