Three local organizations received a total of nearly $475,000 in Ontario Trillium Foundation grants Friday.
Quest Art School and Gallery, the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Simcoe and the Midland Area Reading Council (MARC) celebrated their grants at a reception at Quest’s Penetanguishene location.
Quest will be getting $200,000 over four years to hire staff, grow programs, foster community support and develop a long-term vision for the arts in the area.
President Tim Laurin said the funding will allow the arts group to hire more staff and continue to develop programming – specifically education and exhibition initiatives that help foster artists.
“We’re overwhelmed with the support we’ve received from Trillium,” Laurin told The Mirror. “It really validates all the hard work of the board and all the volunteers over the years. We’re just really excited that we will be able to continue to bring arts to the general public.”
The Boys and Girls Clubs will receive $145,000 over three years to help boost the organization’s internal fundraising capacity. Staff will be hired to work with volunteer teams to raise operating funds and increase awareness of recreation programs.
Ron Shaw, president of the board of directors, said the grant will go a long way toward providing programming in the future.
“We tried (applying to Trillium) last year unsuccessfully, so this year it was really a pleasure,” he said.
Added vice-president David Rew: “It’s going to allow us to really solidify the fundraising plans and help out over the long term to provide more programs to children and youth across Simcoe County.”
MARC will receive $128,300 over two years to increase the availability of literacy, numeracy and skills training in North Simcoe.
Executive director Sue Bannon said she was overjoyed to learn her organization will be able to maintain its programs.
“I’m terribly excited. This two-year grant is going to go a long way for the organization to enable us to help our students and ease our volunteer workload by hiring two staff members,” she said. “It’s going to boost our organizational capacity and help us get young people – and people of all ages – back to work.”
The level of commitment and initiative demonstrated by each of the three organizations is incredible, Simcoe North MPP Garfield Dunlop stated in a news release.
“I’m pleased that the Ontario Trillium Foundation has recognized their potential to grow. The impact of the three multi-year grants will benefit the area for many years to come.”