Excitement builds as Creative County program funds 21 projects

© Can Stock Photo / ollikainen

A local councillor and member of the Creative County Committee is looking forward to seeing completed artistic and cultural projects, recently approved to receive grant funding.

Lambton’s Creative County Grant Program approved a total of $101,965 in funding to support 21 projects in 2022. A full list can be found below.

“I think we have an extremely creative county. The people in our county love culture and love art as expressed through all of the applicants,” said Committee Chair and Councillor Brian White.

The program was launched in 2013 as a way to support innovative and creative projects in the community. Nine projects received funding for 2021 so White said it was great to see an uptake in proposals for next year.

The latest intake put an emphasis on supporting Indigenous heritage projects. Of the 21 approved projects, eight are Indigenous-led or in partnership with nearby Indigenous communities.

“We certainly put a bigger focus this year on our Indigenous partners in the community and the projects that folks in the Indigenous community were hoping to put forward,” said White. “Certainly since we put the focus on our Indigenous community partners, we got more applicants and were able to fund more projects this year. We certainly dipped into reserves so at this point, it wasn’t necessarily a sustainable model in that our usual funding allotment was exceeded.”

Nevertheless, White said it was exciting to see creative projects put forward.

The application criteria was adjusted for this latest cycle to allow for consideration of minor capital purchases since the pandemic prevented many cultural events and program from being held.

White said each of the approved projects is “excellent in its own way”. However, he is particularly excited to see more murals and healing-based projects.

“I’m also excited to see that through this, the City of Sarnia itself was able to partner with the county to bring about the Indigenous crosswalk project, which will be an external and somewhat permanent reminder of our history — our true history, as well as our desire to heal together,” he said.

The next application intake for the creative county initiative is expected to take place in the fall of 2022, to support projects in 2023.

“The funding allotment may change, that certainly depends on what county council decides at our next budget which isn’t until the new year,” said White. “However, at this point, the committee believes that we will be able to hold our normal budget and still proceed with potential extra projects next year.”

Additional details about the creative county program can be found by clicking here.

List of successful Creative County Grant applicants for 2022:

– $15,000 to Sherri DeWolf towards the Mermaids & Mariners on the St. Clair event

– $12,125 in support of the Anishinaabe Thunderbird Sundance

– $10,000 to the Corunna Volunteer Firefighters Association for the 1925 LaFrance Fire Truck Restoration project

– $8,845 to the Aamjiwnaang Early Learning Centre for their Anishinaabe Indigenous Food Sovereignty initiative

– $6,500 to the Town of Plympton-Wyoming for the development and installation of a historic plaque honouring the site of the former Maundaumin Library

– $5,000 to the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation towards the creation of the Golden Eagles Seniors Healing Garden and Teaching Circle

– $5,000 to Monica Virtue towards the Ipperwash Archive project

– $5,000 to the Sarnia Kinsmen Club for their Spring into Summer Arts & Craft Show

– $5,000 to the City of Sarnia and its UNDRIP Committee towards the installation of a commemorative reconciliation crosswalk

– $5,000 to the Grand Bend Art Centre for the interactive mural event May We Come Together

– $4,000 to the Lambton Fairs Association for their Barn Quilt Project

– $3,000 to Liana Russwurm towards the Alvinston, Stories from the Church weekly publication

– $2,995 to Taryn Henry, Anne Stoesser and the Lawrence House for the interactive art experience A Day at a Time

– $2,800 to the Lambton County Plowmen’s Association for their Telling Our History project

– $2,500 to Hillside School and KSPFN Education Services in support of two murals to be installed in their community centre

– $2,500 to the Lambton Young Theatre Players, in support of the LYTP Collective Creation program

– $2,500 to Anika Altiman in support of Reflections: Art in Bkejwanong Territory program and exhibition

– $1,400 to the Kiwanis Club of Forest in support of the Learning and Healing Together event

– $1,050 to Sam Shuqair towards the production of Quick and Easy Cookbook: A Recipe and a Poem

– $1,000 to Kevin Vansteenkiste for the Whereabouts educational video series

– $750 to the Bluewater Lambton Ukulele Ensemble towards sound equipment to support ukulele group performances