Promising projects


Donors’ generosity makes it possible to support a variety of projects in our community.

The following grants were announced January 2020.

Manidoo Gi-Miini Gonaan

R.B. Russell Infant Centre

$10,000, drawn from the Nourishing Potential Fund

R.B. Russell Infant Centre is one location under the umbrella of Manidoo Gi-Miini Gonaan. Located in the North End at R.B. Russell High School, the Infant Centre provides care to children ages three-months to two-years-old. It is seeking funding to provide lunch for children and their parents who are in high school and spend their lunch hour with their children.

“This program is important because it responds to a significant need in our community: food. R.B. Russell Infant Centre is in a severe food desert, meaning the area lacks food options. The centre provides lunch for children and their parents who are in high school. The program is in direct response to a request from parents wanting to spend their lunch hour with their children. This shows the centre is listening to the needs of the community.”

Brigette Depape, Grants Specialist

Christian Reformed Church of North America

Indigenous Family Centre

$40,000, drawn from the Moffat Family Fund

The Indigenous Family Centre (IFC) is a charitable mission established in 1973 by the Christian Reform Church. IFC provides a space for people and families to find wholeness and healing through various programs. These include traditional family parenting; kids’ camp and an after-school drop-in program; services for mothers; healing sharing circles; men’s circle; traditional handicrafts such as beading and moccasin making; and food programs and cooking classes.

“I wanted to highlight this program because of it its innovative approach to artmaking and telling stories. Its primary mandate is to bridge cultural and generational gaps by creating a safe space that encourages positive connections. Through narrative inquiry, art is used as a therapeutic medium for participants’ safe entry into sharing stories of difficult life experiences. This format is particularly helpful for the healing process of vulnerable community members who have experienced trauma.”

Joanna Turner, Community Grants Associate

Manitoba Naturalist Society (Nature Manitoba)

Bridging the Gap Program

$15,000, drawn from the Puchniak Family Fund and Moffat Family Fund

Bridging the Gap gives kids in inner-city schools hands-on experiences in nature. It includes opportunities for them to roll up their sleeves and learn about gardening, as well as visit natural environments, like Assiniboine Forest and Living Prairie Museum. The program incorporates Indigenous traditions and views of the natural world, with a goal of nurturing the next generation of environmental stewards.

“This is a great program for kids in densely populated urban neighbourhoods, where there is little green space or access to nature. At the beginning of the year, participants often can’t identify common plants; by the end, they’re growing their own food and keenly exploring the world around them. It’s a promising project because when kids connect with nature, our entire community becomes healthier, happier, and greener.”

Kerry Ryan, Community Grants Associate

Bear Clan Patrol

Bear Clan Food Program

$50,000, drawn from the Moffat Family Fund, Gray Family Fund and the Wu Family Endowment Fund

Bear Clan Patrol provides safety and security services in a nonthreatening, non-violent and supportive way. They patrol the North End five nights a week alongside numerous active volunteers. They also patrol the West End and West Broadway twice a week.

“The Bear Clan members and volunteers noticed people they meet during their patrols were often hungry and in need of food. This project will enable Bear Clan to continue offering its food program in the North End’s Point Douglas area, which is often described as food desert because stores in the neighbourhood have limited selection of food, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables. Bear Clan works closely with several supermarkets who consistently donate food for the program. This has been a popular program allowing local residents to access food while connecting with others.”

Neneth Bañas, Community Grants Associate

The Fort Whyte Foundation

Welcome to Water

$25,000, drawn from the G. MacDonald Family Endowment Fund

The Fort Whyte Foundation operates as FortWhyte Alive (FWA), providing programming, natural settings for environmental education, outdoor recreation and social enterprise, while promoting an awareness of the natural world and an understanding of sustainable living.

“Welcome to Water will help new Canadians become familiar with water recreation in pools, ponds, rivers and lakes, by using Sherbrook Pool and FortWhyte Alive ponds as locations to teach newcomers how to be safe when swimming, kayaking, canoeing, skating, etc. Statistics on death and injury from drowning reveal a need for water safety programming directed at immigrants living in Manitoba. This project attempts to address this barrier to recreation and sports in the newcomer community, while helping individuals develop their potential to be ‘water safety ambassadors’ in their neighbourhoods and role model healthy behaviours.”

Noah Erenberg, Community Grants Associate

Promising Projects is a feature in the Spring 2020 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.

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