Colwood council has approved its grants-in-aid for 2022 and will soon start doling out more than $30,000 to organizations to support their work in the community.
On Jan. 10, council voted unanimously to approve 18 of 20 applications received for grants. One did not receive enough councillor support to be part of the vote, while an application from West Shore Arts Council (WSAC) was removed from the vote during discussions.
The city’s grants-in-aid program is a multi-step process. Council first determines the annual budget for the program, then invites organizations to submit applications for the following year.
A list is then compiled of applications meeting eligibility requirements, along with the requested grant amounts. Each councillor independently submits the grant amount they would support for each application, and staff calculate a council average for each, with that final list provided for council to vote on.
Coun. Doug Kobayashi told colleagues during discussions Monday that he was rescinding his support for the WSAC application. Since three other Colwood councillors also did not support any grant amount for the arts council, the application no longer had the minimum support of four councillors to be included in the vote. A motion was made and passed without opposition that council not provide the group a $1,300 grant-in-aid.
Kobayashi later told Black Press Media that in researching what the arts council had delivered to Colwood in recent years after receiving grants, he discovered they had not held any events in the community since 2019, unlike the Arts and Culture Colwood Society.
“I think our taxpayers want some accountability, and they would like to see something come from their dollars. Therefore I changed what I put down for them to zero,” he said.
All remaining grants-in-aid were passed without opposition, among which were $6,200 to Arts and Culture Colwood Society, $4,000 for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Victoria Capital Region, two separate grants to Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91 for their Christmas service and Remembrance Day service totalling $4,500; $2,000 to the Capital Bike Society, and $1,700 to the Juan de Fuca Performing Arts Society.
Due to a conflict of interest, Coun. Michael Baxter recused himself from voting on the three arts-related grant applications.
In total, $32,900 in grants were approved by council against a budgeted $45,100. The remaining $12,200 will be held for any applications which come in throughout the year that council wishes to support.