$50,000 in grants from the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies (CFKR) is available for local charities helping out amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Elkford, Sparwood, Fernie, Cranbrook, and the surrounding rural areas, including the Ktunaxa Nation communities of ʔaq̓am and Yaq̓it ʔaknuqⱡi ‘it (Tobacco Plains Indian Band).

This second round of COVID-19 grants is part of an ongoing partnership with Community Foundations of Canada (CFS), United Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross, funded through the $350-million Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) from the federal government.

CFKR said it is accepting applications for funding from registered charities and qualified donees from October 5th to October 30th. It added that the grants can be used for a variety of purposes, such as covering staffing or resource needs, purchasing assistance, and more. Organizations that wish to take advantage of the grant program can visit the CFKR and CFC websites for eligibility and application details.

“The Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies is honoured to be one of the many community foundations participating in this Canada-wide effort to support our most vulnerable residents, during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lynnette Wray, CFKR Executive Director. “We look forward to, once again, working with our community partners, the Kimberley and District Community Foundation and United Way East Kootenay, to support the excellent work being done by local charities and qualified donees, on the front-lines of COVID- 19.”

CFKR said the Emergency Community Support Fund was initially announced on April 21st by the Prime Minister as part of a broad series of emergency response measures by the Government of Canada.

“Charities and non-profit organizations are at the heart of our communities, helping the most vulnerable Canadians during the COVID-19 crisis. The Government of Canada is pleased to support these organizations through the Emergency Community Support Fund so that they can continue their invaluable work,” said Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

The first round of funding was disbursed through the community foundation network across Canada in June and July. During the first round of ESCF, the CFKR awarded $109,120 in grants to ten local charities and qualified donees to support residents who are most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19.