Dozens of organizations selected for funding for this year’s City of Yellowknife community grants were unveiled this week ahead of a council’s confirmation vote at next Monday’s regular meeting. 

Yellowknifer Jessie Olson helps customers at the Yellowknife Farmers Market. The market is one recommended funding recipient this year from the City of Yellowknife’s Grant Review Committee. Council will vote on $468,000 in grant funding for Yellowknife-based organizations at next Monday’s regular council meeting.
photo courtesy of YKFM and Hannah Eden

Council approved $468,000 to go toward grant funding during the December 2020 budget deliberations.  

Groups and organizations are selected based on the municipality’s Grant Funding Policy. 

Mayor Rebecca Alty, who has a seat on the committee, said funds are expected to be “municipal in nature,” meaning organizations that benefit Yellowknife residents directly, even if some serve territorial interests more broadly. 

“The grant is about helping local organizations put on events that are put on for residents and it really ranges from stuff like Folk on the Rocks to Farmers Market to NWT Judo Association and NWT Crime Stoppers and Tennis NWT,” she said. “So we really have a variety of sports and culture and art and even environmental organizations, like Ecology North.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has reduced the number of organizations that can use the funds, given some of the public health restrictions that prevented people from gathering.   


“I would say this year that we had fewer groups come forward because groups are putting events on pause until Covid regulations are lifted,” Alty said. 

The municipal committee is also recommending that council put leftover 2020 grant money that groups were unable to use, into the Community Grant Reserve to be used in the future.

“This will allow us to save a bit of money for next year when everyone comes back and we will have a bit of extra for celebrations in 2022,” the mayor said.  

Alty said there were many examples of organizations who were flexible in how they were able to serve residents, despite Covid-related challenges last year. 

Senior administrative officer Sheila Bassi-Kellett said once the Covid-19 vaccine is widely distributed it will make a difference in terms of activities taking place again. 

“The intent is knowing full well that 2020 threw a real curveball at so many different organizations. Our intention is to be able to hold that funding, with the anticipation that as the vaccine rolls out, and as we get Covid under control and life becomes a little bit more back to normal, that we’re going to have a lot of groups with a lot of great ideas and a lot of things that they would like to achieve and present for the city,” said Bassi-Kellett.

“So holding this money waiting for more normal times, the intent is that we’ll have more money to be able to put towards supporting the vast array of activities we anticipate coming back. So it’s being held – there is a reserve set up specifically for the grant allocation.

“We’re quite confident there’ll be a full and very exuberant use of that money in future years.”

Councillors indicated their support for the funding. 

“A lot of groups made all these applications at the end of 2019 and nobody at that point knew what Covid was or that it might be a thing,” said Coun. Niels Konge. “A lot of the groups just simply couldn’t do what they had planned to do.

Konge said he was impressed with the policy for carrying money over that couldn’t be used. 

“I was quite happy to see how many organizations are coming up with new ideas and how they’re going to better the community and continue to make Yellowknife a great place to live.”

Fact file
Proposed recipients for city grants:

Multi-year purpose funding 2021, 2022, 2023
Yellowknife Farmers Market for hosting of the Summer Farmers Market – $30,000 in each of the next three years
Canadian Championship Dog Derby Association for hosting the annual Dog Sled Championships – $15,000 in each of the next three years

Sponsorship funding 2021
MakeWay Charitable Society – Dene Nahjo hosting a cultural camp – $10,000
NorthWords Writers Festival hosting the annual Writers Festival – $10,000
Old Town Community Association hosting the annual Ramble and Ride – $10,000
NWT Judo Association hosting the NWT Judo Championships in Yellowknife – $5,000
Music Teachers Association of the NWT hosting the Yellowknife Music Festival – $5,000
Association franco-culturelle de Yellowknife hosting Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day – $5,000
Midnight Sun Fly-In Association hosting community events and programs –$5,000

Community service purpose funding 2021
Yellowknife Historical Society for the construction cost for Mining Heritage Museum –$10,000
Great Slave Sailing Club to assist with dock replacement – $10,000
Foster Family Coalition of the NWT to assist with programs – $10,000
NWT Literacy Council to assist with community programs – $10,000
Ragged Riders Snowsports Society to assist with improvements to snowboarding site –$10,000
Inclusion NWT to assist with programs – $8,000
Yellowknife Guild of Arts and Crafts to assist with costs associated in delivery of arts programs – $8,000
Sombe Ke Paddling Club to assist with purchase of rowing equipment – $5,325
Special Olympics NWT to assist with delivery of programs and facility rental – $5,000
NWT Crime Stoppers Association to assist with costs associated in delivery of service – $1,500
Tennis NWT to assist with costs associated in delivery of a summer camp – $3,000
The Northern Birthwork Collective – A MakeWay Charitable Society Project to assist with costs associated in delivery of Yellowknife programs – $3,000

Multi-year funding for 2021 (groups without an amount showing for 2022 are in their final year of an existing multi-year arrangement)
Yellowknife Seniors’ Society – $48,000
Northern Arts and Cultural Centre – $48,000
SnowKing Festival – $21,000
Yellowknife Ski Club – $21,000
NWT Disabilities Council – $19,000
Food Rescue (Yellowknife) – $18,600 (plus $15,000 in 2022)
Folk on the Rocks – $16,000 (plus $15,000 in 2022)
YWCA NWT – $16,000 (plus $15,000 in 2022)
Ecology North – $16,000
North Slave Metis Alliance – $11,000 (plus $10,000 in 2022)
NWT SPCA – $11,000 (plus $10,000 in 2022)
Yellowknife Gymnastics Club – $9,000 (plus $8,000 in 2022)
Western Arctic Moving Pictures – $9,000
Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife – $9,000
Yellowknife Community Dance – $7,000 (plus $6,000 in 2022)
Aurora Fiddler Society – $6,000
Yellowknife Playgroup Association – $1,000


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