Morinville Allocates $2,500 Grant to Sturgeon Hockey Club for 2024-2025 Season Support

by Colin Smith

The Sturgeon Hockey Club will be receiving $2,500 in grant funding from the Town of Morinville in support of its 2024-2025 season.

The Support Grant application approved by the council at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Apr. 9, was one of two received so far this year.

A decision on the other application, from the Morinville Curling Club, was deferred until after a meeting between representatives of the club and administration scheduled in May.

As reported by Community Services Manager Jennifer Potocnik, the Sturgeon Hockey Club sought Support Grant funding to cover an increase in ice fees for its 2024-2025 season.

This was due to the loss of the Legal Arena, currently closed for construction, which resulted in the need to secure ice elsewhere at a higher cost.

The Morinville Curling Club applied for a grant to pay for facility rental, contracted services, hosting the Provincial Master’s Championship (which took place in March), specialized equipment, operating, marketing, and capital expenses.

Both clubs had requested the full $5,000 in Support Grant funding that can be allocated to any particular group in a year. However, $5,000 is the total amount available for all Support Grants in 2024.

Council was presented with options for dealing with the applications.

These were allocating a percentage of the funds to either or both the Morinville Curling Club and Sturgeon Hockey Club, giving the full $5,000 available to one or the other, or postponing the allocation of funds to either organization and awaiting further applications this year.

Potocnik noted that the curling club had already held the Provincial Masters Championship, toward which the grant money was to be directed.

Also, the club received the full $5,000 Support Grant in July of 2023.

Although having previously received a grant in a previous year does not disqualify an applicant from getting another, it is preferable that the money be distributed more widely, said Potocnik.

Councillor Scott Richardson made a motion to divide the $5,000 between the two clubs, with $2,500 going to each organization.

Support for the motion was announced by Councillor Ray White.

“I strongly believe that we should be significantly looking at the curling rink,” he said. “I do support them getting the other $2,500.”

Deputy Mayor Jennifer Anheliger then proposed an amendment to Richardson’s motion calling for approval of a $2,500 grant to the hockey club and postponement of a decision on granting funds to the curling club.

Anheliger indicated she would like to see others have the opportunity to access the grant funding.

At the behest of Councillor Stephen Dafoe, the amendment was split into two parts to be voted on separately, one that Sturgeon Hockey Club be granted $2,500, the other that a decision about a grant to the Morinville Curling Club be postponed.

Both amendments passed unanimously. Mayor Simon Boersma and Councillor Maurice St. Denis were not at the meeting.

There was then a unanimous vote in favour of Richardson’s original motion.

During the discussion, Dafoe noted that the council could see more applications seeking the entire $5,000 amount of the Support Grant.

“We may want to gauge whether $5,000 is sufficient or whether it is too much,” he said of allowing people to apply for the full funding total.

Support Grant funding is intended for community-based events, activities, groups or persons that conform to the guidelines set out in the Community Grant and Support Policy.

Applications are accepted in the areas of Arts and Culture, Community Development, Family and Community Support Services and Sports/Recreation.

Applicants are required to match 50% of the requested amount either in funds, in-kind contributions, or a combination of both.

Funding is also made available through Community Grants, which can be up to $2,500.

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