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Local grant writer and President of Myriad Consulting Andy Ackerman believes these changes will be beneficial to organizations in the region.

“It opens a door again for some of those groups that had been excluded before, and with more money available, more people will be able to take advantage of the program.” He adds, “there’s going to be more grants available for folks living outside the lower mainland and I think that’s good for us as well.”

For those groups that were previously excluded, there is now an immediate opening for applications, lasting from January 16 to February 13, 2012. Ackerman believes these changes will lead to a much greater number of applications, due to the inclusion of groups such as adult sports programs.

“I think we’ll probably see an increase in groups in this area applying, just because of the fact that they were excluded for the last few years, so now it’s open again.”

Many of the implemented changes link directly to what Fort St. John residents recommended with Triplett and his review visited the Energetic City in August. Several presenters pleaded for there to be a three-year minimum for grants to better help plan budgets, including Ackerman.

However, not everyone is happy with Clark’s announcement. NDP critic Spencer Chandra Herbert pointed out yesterday that although funding has increased, it is still $20 million less than three years ago. The province has increased its budget for grants to $135 million, $15 million more than originally planned, a far cry from the $156 million doled out to charities in 2009.

Regardless, Ackerman is happy for any increase, and encourages any group that may be affected and may have been excluded before to check out the gaming grant website. He says if they think they may qualify, they should apply. Yesterday’s changes have already been integrated into the website.

Skip Triplett’s full review is attached below. To visit the Community Gaming Grants website, click here.

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