Sports, arts and culture, emergency services—all and more benefit from our community foundation through its granting process.
The Phoenix Foundation of the Boundary Communities hosted its annual social Thursday, Sept. 29 to showcase some of those groups which received grants this past year.
Coming together at the Grand Forks Curling Club for appetizers and socializing, foundation members, guests and grant recipient representatives were treated to presentations from Midway and Beyond Little Theatre, Grand Forks BMX Club, Grand Forks Fire/Rescue and Grand Forks Recreation.
The Grand Forks BMX Society received a grant from the Phoenix Foundation to assist with the rehabilitation of the track in Grand Forks City Park.
“[Grand Forks BMX] is very much a family organization,” said representative Grant Hill.
The track was originally built in 1994, and revamped in 2004. Erosion was setting in once again, Hill explained.
Work on the track began in May and now the track is up to national standards.
“Now that we have these new changes to our track, we’ve started to grow our club,” he said.
Deputy Fire Chief Kevin McKinnon was next to present photos and explain how funds from Phoenix have helped develop the new fire training facility for Grand Forks Fire/Rescue.
“I’m here tonight representing the volunteer firefighters because it’s very much their project,” McKinnon explained.
The project has been a dream for the last five years. “What we had to do was find a way to train the firefighters on interior attacks through repetitive drills. We are now, this month, doing our first training at the centre.”
The facility also includes a foam pit and cement pads, which will allow a variety of training scenarios including flammable training and dumpster fire training.
“This is not just for Grand Forks,” McKinnon said, explaining that the fire department will be opening the grounds to the other departments in the region.
McKinnon said the Grand Forks Volunteer Firefighters have signed up to host the B.C. Volunteer firefighter Association training in the spring, which brings in about 300 firefighters to Grand Forks and the new training centre.
“There will be a bit of an economic benefit to the community,” he said. “What we have here is the envy of every other small fire department.”
Recreation Director Tom Sprado didn’t bring photos in to describe how Phoenix has helped GFREC—he brought in the aquatic wheelchair itself! It’s the second such wheelchair for GFREC, and sees a lot of use, he explained.
John Hibberson presented a slide show and commentary about Midway and Beyond Little Theatre, which first opened its doors to the community two years ago under the umbrella of the Midway Community Association.
The theatre group began productions at the Midway Community Centre with a live radio play, All that Glistens, in November 2014. The play, based on a true local historical incident, recalled the robbery of three gold bars from Camp McKinney in 1896. The production was a great success, selling out both nights.
The group has been very active since that inaugural radio play, presenting Nanny’s Naughty Knickers, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and “silly Christmas things, too,” Hibberson added.
A portable stage, and more lights thanks to Phoenix, will help the theatre group further a sense of community through the arts.
Watch for dates on Midway and Beyond Little Theatre’s next production, The Snow Queen. “You’ll see the effect of some very welcome money from the Phoenix Foundation,” Hibberson said as he showed photos of past productions.
The social also featured information tables from Boundary Musical and Theatre Society, Boundary Metis Community Association, Beaverdell Community Association, and Boundary Family and Individual Services Society (Peer Mentors).
It is through contributions from donors that the foundation assembles and administers permanent endowments so the income can be eternally reinvested in the Boundary.
“There’s a new movement to see how we can be more impactful; to encourage people to take ownership for what kind of community they want to live in,” said Phoenix Foundation President Gary Smith.
“It’s going to be a great year. There’s a lot of really good things happening. In fact, in 2017 the Phoenix Foundation marks its 20th year of supporting the dedication and hard work of people building a better life for us all.”