RBC Future Launch Community Challenge grant recipients gathered at the RBC Branches in Cranbrook recently. Participants included RBC Branch Manager Karl Sterk (Cranbrook), RBC team members, youth leaders, and representatives from the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies, including Michele Bates (CFKR Board President). Photo courtesy Lynnette Wray

Community Foundation, RBC support local youth

Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies and RBC Foundation Award $28,000 to Youth-Led Projects

The Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies and RBC Foundation are providing $28,000 in grants to local, youth-led projects.

The CFKR made the announcement Friday, conjunction with November 15 as National Philanthropy Day.

In Cranbrook, $10,500 has been granted to the June 2020 BC Performing Arts Festival, and $4,500 has been granted to an arthritis research project through the East Kootenay Foundation for Health.

“It’s so exciting to receive this support to help our communities. Thank you to the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies and RBC Foundation for recognizing the impact young leaders can make,” said Mya Robinson, youth leader with the BC Performing Arts Festival in Cranbrook.

In the Elk Valley, $5,000 has been awarded to the Elkford Youth Action Network for a terrain park on the local ski hill, $3,000 to the Sparwood Youth Action Network for a gardening project at Sparwood Secondary School, and $5,000 to the Fernie Youth Action Network for a space in the Fernie Heritage Library, tailored to teens.

Justin Hart, Elkford Youth Action Network leader, added, “These grants are going to make a real difference in our communities, by adding to our community resources and by developing leadership skills among our local youth.”

As a part of the RBC Future Launch Community Challenge, grants like these are being made to youth-led projects in 150 small and medium sized communities across Canada.

“The Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies is so pleased to partner with RBC Foundation to bring these funds and this opportunity to our region,” stated Michele Bates, CFKR Board President.

The goal of the RBC Future Launch program is to shift the power to young leaders making positive social or environmental change in their communities, while gaining valuable skills and experience.

“Young people are not future leaders — they are leading social and environmental change right now. We are honoured to play a role in the bold change that youth are leading across the country through this national initiative with RBC,” said Andrew Chunilall, CEO of Community Foundations of Canada.

“RBC is committed to the power, vision, and potential of youth, and the important role they play in their communities,” said Angela Gagne, RBC Branch Manager-Sparwood.

Karl Sterk, RBC Branch Manager-Cranbrook added, “We are thrilled to see the results of this important partnership with the Community Foundations of Canada, supporting positive, youth-led projects in communities across the country.”

The Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies was established in 2003 as a federally incorporated not-for-profit and a CRA-registered charity. It is governed by a 13-member, volunteer Board of Directors and employs one staff person. CFKR holds a total of approximately $2.5 million in 37 permanently invested funds. Since its first community grants in 2004, the Community Foundation has shared almost $500,000 with local projects and programs in our communities.

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