Painters at the Kilby Historic Site, and example of some of the things Kent and Harrison’s community grant funding can support. (Submitted/Kilby Historic Site)

More than $24K in grant funding for Agassiz, Harrison community groups

The annual funding gives community organizations money for operating and capital expenses

Most community groups in Agassiz and Harrison will be getting at least part of the funding they hoped for this year, after Kent and Harrison councils approved their grant programs for 2019.

During their respective meetings at the end of February and beginning of March, Kent and Harrison councils approved a total of $24,325 in grants to support 11 different community groups.

This year, Kent is providing funding to the Agassiz Agricultural and Horticultural Association ($5,000), the Fraser Heritage Society ($1,000), the Harrison Festival Society ($2,000), the Harrison Mills Community Club ($2,000), the Kent Harrison Foundation ($2,000) and the Cheam Vista Classical Concert Society ($1,000).

RELATED: Cheam Vista Classical Concert Society hosts finale

Both the District of Kent and Harrison Hot Springs are providing funding to the Kent-Harrison Arts Council ($1,000 from Kent and $2,000 from Harrison), the Agassiz Baseball Association ($2,000 from Kent and $500 from Harrison) and Agassiz-Harrison Community Services ($3,500 from Kent and $500 from Harrison).

The Village of Harrison is also supporting the Fraser Valley Paddling Club ($1,800) and the Miami River Streamkeepers Society ($525).

This funding will allow these organizations to continue their operations or undertake new capital projects.

The Cheam Vista Classical Concert Society, for example, will be using its $1,000 to pay for the venue rentals for the season’s concerts and also help create a piano fund, so the society can eventually purchase its own grand piano. The Fraser Heritage Society, which operates Kilby Historic Site, will be using its funding to do an update of the First Nations exhibit in the museum.

RELATED: B.C.’s rich, mysterious history brought to life at Kilby

Not every organization got the money they were hoping for.

Most organizations applying for grants through the District of Kent received several hundred dollars less than they had requested, and some didn’t get anything at all.

The Fraser Valley Watersheds Coalition requested $4,875 from the District of Kent to continue their work on the Agassiz Slough, removing invasive blackberries and morning glory, as well as enhancing the natural waterway between Cutler Road and Mountain Road. The coalition had received a grant-in-aid from the district before for a similar project.

However, this year the coalition did not get its requested grant. Council instead asked staff to invite members of the coalition to come during another council meeting as a delegation and explain their project further.

Harrison Hot Springs also decided not to provide grant funding to the Agassiz-Harrison Historical Society, the Earthwise Society and Bhima Yoga.

The historical society had requested $2,500 to organize the newly-acquired Harrison Hot Springs Recreation Commission files, but was denied because the village already funds the society through a different part of the budget.

RELATED: Agassiz Harrison Museum gets funding boost from village

Bhima Yoga’s $13,000 request was also denied because it was a for-profit company looking for a grant to help offset its operating costs.

Both Harrison Hot Springs and the District of Kent have left some contingency funds in their grant program, so they can fund other community requests during the course of the year if the situation arises.

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