Oak Bay council approved $117,130 of the $148,246 in community grant requests at their April 23 session.
Council had already capped the 2019 grant funds at $211,475 – to match last year – from which will be deducted the previously approved grant of $78,000 to the of Business Improvement Association of Oak Bay (which is a flow through of levies to local businesses specifically for the BIA), $5,000 to the 2022 Invictus Games Victoria and $1,345 to the Heritage Foundation Council, as well as creating a $10,000 holding fund available throughout the rest of the year. That left $117,130 open to disbursement.
The total grant requests of $148,246 far exceeded the $117,130 remaining in the fund.
To whittle the number down, council took an innovative approach by asking each councillor to come prepared with only the dollar figure they would approve each of the applicants.
It was a much simpler process with a lot less deliberation, noted Mayor Kevin Murdoch during the motion.
Taking averages from each councillor’s suggestion, the initial total worked out to $115, 878.
The City of Victoria’s request of $2,000 for Canada Day Celebration and Fireworks was granted $1,650. Of the remaining 2019 requests, the Community Association of Oak Bay’s request for $2,000 was granted $1,430; Friends of Uplands Park ($2,000) $2,330; the Greater Victoria Bike to Work Society ($2,000) $1,650; Green Teams ($8,000) $3,790; the 2020 Francophone Games organizing committee ($20,000) $12,290; the Maritime Museum ($6,500) $1,500; the North Oak Bay community association ($1,000) $560; Oak Bay Figure Skating ($6,500) $2,620; Oak Bay Heritage ($5,000) $3,930; Oak Bay Lawn Bowling ($4,700) $3,280; Oak Bay Sea Rescue ($6,150) $5,210; V.I. South Island Film and Media commission ($10,000 to complete phase two of its marketing campaign) $10,000; Victoria Sexual Assault Centre ($10,000) $5,580; and the Victoria Women’s Transition House Society ($2,000) $1,220.
Council also met the annual perpetual funding deals they had previously agreed to with Kiwanis’ Halloween of $500; Oak Bay High Scholarship, $1,500; Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Fund, $3,000; Oak Bay United Church, $3,500; South Island Prosperity Project, $44,331; and the Integrated Recreation agency, $7,065.
The April 23 approved grants total $116,936.
There is also an Oak Bay Volunteer Services Society grant of $35,000 that flows separate from the grant fund.
Council noted the BIA money has traditionally flowed through the grant account but because of its much greater size it is recommending that in future years this amount have a separate account, though for comparative purposes it is deducted from the $211,475.