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Local art and environment projects set to receive a $15,000 boost from FortisBC
Nov 10, 2021
FortisBC’s Community Giving Awards will support grassroots initiatives in the Lower Mainland, Similkameen and Powell River
SURREY, BC ̶ November 10, 2021: Three non-profit organizations in British Columbia will receive crucial funding from FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. (together, FortisBC) that will help them advance important projects in their communities. The successful 2021 recipients of FortisBC’s annual $15,000 Community Giving Awards are Watershed Watch Salmon Society, Lower Similkameen Community Services Society and the Powell River Salmon Society.
“The nominations we received this year showcased the diversity of grassroots organizations working hard across the province to respond to the unique needs of their communities,” said Doug Slater, vice-president of external and Indigenous relations, FortisBC. “These three recipients exemplify those efforts and we’re confident their projects will have a lasting, positive impact.”
Each year, FortisBC invites local government officials from across the province to nominate a charity or non-profit project in their community for these financial awards. Consideration is given to projects that promote safety; gas and electrical trades; energy literacy; skill development or leadership; environmental protection and preservation as well as projects that meet the unique needs of Indigenous groups, organizations or communities.
Watershed Watch Salmon Society’s Connected Waters campaign
The Watershed Watch Salmon Society’s Connected Waters campaign promotes the restoration of one of the most productive salmon rivers in the world -- the Fraser River.
Funding from the Community Giving Awards will be used to create in-person and online events designed to educate both government officials and the general public. These events will focus on the importance of connecting Lower Fraser waterways by updating flood infrastructure like dikes, flood boxes and pump stations to meet the needs of salmon.
“Telling the complex story of managing the floodplains can be quite challenging and expensive. These funds will really help us access the resources we need to tell this story in a compelling way,” said Lina Azeez, campaign manager, Connected Waters. “We really appreciate that FortisBC understands the importance of these waterways and is providing funding to help share this message.”
Connected Waters was nominated by Laura Dupont, councillor of the City of Port Coquitlam.
Lower Similkameen Community Services Society’s Kulture Kompass
The Lower Similkameen Community Services Society’s Kulture Kompass promotes local Indigenous, LGBTQi2+ and marginalized artists who may be struggling to have their voices heard, by showcasing their art in the community and along a hiking trail that links Keremeos to other communities in the Similkameen Valley. In addition to helping build art installations, funding from the Community Giving Awards will be used to develop a website to promote the project.
The idea for the Kulture Kompass was conceived by Tristan Boisvert as a bridge between young artists, their community, and local businesses. As the project coordinator, Boisvert envisions art expanding from the downtown core to neighboring rural businesses such as wineries and farm stands, as well as online.
“For our community, the funding means so much more than meeting the practical needs of artists like purchasing supplies,” said Boisvert. “For us, the funding creates spaces where young creative people can connect with one another, grow and receive crucial validation: from their craft, from their community, and most importantly, from themselves.”
The Kulture Kompass was nominated by Marg Coulson, chief administrative officer of the Village of Keremeos.
Powell River Salmon Society
The Powell River Salmon Society promotes environmental protection and preservation of the Chinook salmon population. Each year, 10,000 volunteer hours, along with corporate and government partnerships, help support the release of 1.9 million salmon smolts (young salmon) back into regional waters along the south coast of British Columbia. Funding from the Community Giving Awards will be used to strengthen salmon enhancement efforts and modernize classroom education through their recently launched website, salmoneducation.org.
“Receiving funds from FortisBC ties into everything we do, from the enhancement of salmon to the educational programs which have grown exponentially during COVID,” said Shane Dobler, hatchery manager, Powell River Salmon Society. “It’s through donations like this that we can complete our goals, and FortisBC has stood behind us for a long time which has contributed to our long-term success.”
The Powell River Salmon Society was nominated by Rod Tysdal, vice president of Powell River Community Forest.
These three latest Community Giving Award recipients are among the 17 non-profit organizations from across B.C. to receive this funding since the awards began in 2017. They also represent just a few of the many community organizations that receive support from FortisBC each year. From funding grassroots projects to employee giving days, giving back to B.C. communities is an integral element of FortisBC culture. Together with its employees, FortisBC gave close to $3.5 million to 74 communities through corporate investment, employee donations and community engagement in 2020 alone.
More information about the recipients and FortisBC’s community investment initiatives is available at fortisbc.com/communityinvestment.
FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. do business as FortisBC, a regulated utility focused on providing safe and reliable energy, including natural gas, electricity, renewable gas, propane and thermal energy solutions. FortisBC employs approximately 2,550 British Columbians and serves over 1.2 million customers in 135 B.C. communities. FortisBC owns and operates two liquefied natural gas storage facilities and four regulated hydroelectric generating plants, approximately 7,335 kilometres of transmission and distribution power lines, and approximately 50,182 kilometres of natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines. FortisBC is indirectly, wholly owned by Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. FortisBC Inc. and FortisBC Energy Inc. use the FortisBC name and logo under license from Fortis Inc. For further information on FortisBC, visit fortisbc.com. For further information on Fortis Inc., visit fortisinc.com.