We've all been impacted by the pandemic in different ways. As a community we lost access to so many of the activities we take for granted—the very things that make Edmonton so special. Some of what we've missed the most—togetherness, community vibrancy, live performances, or a night out with friends and family—are fueled by organizations facing significant challenges delivering the programming that connects and supports us.
In response to COVID's ongoing effects on some of our city's core sectors, the EPCOR Heart + Soul Fund was developed in 2020 to help arts, culture, recreation and charitable organizations find new ways to ensure their sustainability, so that we continue to benefit from their essential services. In 2020, $1.25 million was deployed to help nearly 50 organizations do what they do best—provide life-altering support, connection and joy to Edmontonians during a very challenging time. This is in addition to the $300,000 granted to United Way and the Edmonton Community Foundation, $82,000 for local Edmonton charities from the EPCOR employee matching campaing, and more than $100,000 in top-up support for existing Edmonton community partners and recovery efforts in other jurusdictions where EPCOR operates.
Another $1 million has ben committed in 2021 to continue to help re-energize Edmonton's arts community; develop new and creative ways to ensure the show can go on; implement innovative fundraising programs to inspire the community to step forward to support the growing demand for food, shelter, mental health, substance abuse and family violence programming; and more.
The $3 million committed to date for pandemic relief and recovery efforts is in addition to the $1 million EPCOR provides annually in community support.