Choral groups land grant

Duane Hicks

The Fort Frances Choraliers and Fort Harmonies, with the Valley Adult Learning Association (VALA) as a lead organization, have received $11,500 in the latest round of grants from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).
The choral groups will use the money to purchase sound equipment, as well as a trailer, risers, office equipment, and resource materials, to enhance their performances and better establish them as a fixture in the community, choir director Diane Maxey said this morning.
“It’s very exciting new that we were able to get that,” she enthused.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this.”
The choral groups have partnered with VALA which, as a non-profit organization with a charitable registration number, enabled Maxey to apply for the Trillium grant.
VALA administrator Barb Duguay said that through the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, VALA is mandated to partner with community programs.
She noted the VALA board decided each year it would partner with a different one—both to give VALA exposure and as a learning experience.
When Maxey approached VALA as a non-profit partner, which would allow her to apply for the Trillium grant, the board agreed, Duguay added.
The partnership over the next year will involve the VALA board handling the choral groups’
finances, with the choral groups providing some musical expertise in return, such as music appreciation or music notation courses for VALA learners.
“We’re excited the grant went through and we can work with them,” Duguay remarked.
“It’s going to be good.”
Maxey said after the year has elapsed, she hopes the various choral groups—including the Fort Frances Choraliers, Fort Harmonies, Rainy Lake Ringers, and youth choir—will be incorporated together as a non-profit entity with its own charitable registration number.
The only other area community receiving a OTF grant for this round of announcements was the Town of Rainy River, which got $25,600 to conduct a structural assessment of its recreational facilities, including the community centre, arena, and curling rink, and develop a long-term replacement plan.
This will help ensure safe and well-maintained facilities for use by residents of all ages and abilities.
The OTF announced this week that 491 not-for-profit and charitable organizations in Ontario would receive funding totalling $35,726,400.
Tourism and Culture minister Michael Chan said in a press release that these groups address local needs, enhance employment and economic potential, and improve the quality of life in their communities.
Many of the latest grants represent an investment in community organizations that use innovation and collaboration to generate revenue, encourage social entrepreneurship, and provide skills training, he noted.