EDMONTON, AB – From live streaming concerts to virtual workshops, event organizers are preparing to roll out a new brand of spring and summer entertainment for Edmontonians to enjoy safely. As public health measures evolve, organizations are working hard to develop innovative programming offering hope to Edmonton families looking forward to traditional summer activities.
Today, EPCOR announced 23 arts, cultural and charitable organizations are receiving $465,000 in the first wave of its Heart + Soul Fund this year. This significant community investment will also help deliver more robust fundraising campaigns for not-for-profits providing vital services to people who need this help the most, including Hope Mission, Meals on Wheels, Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters, and more.
"We're grateful for the role that arts, culture and charitable programs play in uplifting Edmontonians, revitalizing our community and making life brighter for all of us," said Stuart Lee, President and CEO of EPCOR. "We hope this funding will allow organizations to continue to do what they do best: bring the heart and soul to our community and bring hope to families and youngsters looking forward to enjoying some of their favourite annual traditions this spring and summer."
Re-imagining arts & cultural programs
EPCOR has committed $290,000 to sixteen organizations in the arts and culture sector, including the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival Association, which is preparing to host street performer acts and workshops across the city.
"Performing live in front of an audience is at the core of StreetFest's being," said Shelley Switzer, Artistic Producer, Edmonton International Street Performers Festival Association. "Determining the ways to do that safely during our current situation is key. Through the support of the EPCOR Heart + Soul Fund, and in partnership with the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues, StreetFest is aiming to bring our unique brand of joyously uplifting and vibrant programming to small audiences in their own communities. For 2021, StreetFest's MaskParades and workshops will keep our festival spirit alive and well and living in Edmonton neighbourhoods."
Thousand Faces Festival Association is producing a new play about an 11-year-old Indigenous boy finding his voice through storytelling while being told traditional tales by his grandfather. The production will be broadcast live to schools on National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21.
"Receiving this funding makes it possible for us to share an engaging home-grown Indigenous Story about the power of Indigenous Stories with thousands of Indigenous and other students, in classrooms and at home, on National Indigenous Peoples Day," said Mark Henderson, Artistic Director, Thousand Faces Festival Association. "With the money from the fund we will be able to pay the artists and arts workers whose expertise will see this engaging, seasoned performance translate as well as possible to the screen."
Partner organizations are planning to safely stage more than 140 community events and performances in person or virtually this year. Additional announcements from fund recipients on these events and how people and families can participate is expected in the weeks and months ahead.
Funding supports to help charities meet growing demand
Today's funding announcement includes $175,000 to seven charities to replace lost fundraising revenue or motivate larger giving programs.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for our volunteers to provide nutritious meals to our clients and has hurt our ability to fundraise," said Liz Tondu, Executive Director for Edmonton Meals on Wheels. "At the same time, we have also seen an enormous increase in demand for our services. Being awarded Heart +Soul Funding will help us to continue to serve those who need it most."
Applications remain open
This is only the first allocation from the $1 million EPCOR has earmarked in 2021 for the Heart + Soul Fund. Grant applications remain open and organizations are encouraged to continue to apply.
EPCOR's Heart + Soul Fund provides grants ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 to arts and culture organizations across EPCOR's operational areas. Funding can be used to offset program activation costs, including implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, marketing costs, talent fees, and more.
Charities that deliver critical supports such as food, shelter, mental health, substance use and family violence programming are eligible to receive up to $25,000 each to replace lost fundraising revenue or motivate larger giving programs.
View guidelines and an easy to use online application system.
View a full list of recipients who received funding in the first wave.
- In March 2021, EPCOR announced new grant support of $1 million through its Heart + Soul Fund. This is in addition to $100,000 in pandemic relief provided by EPCOR to the United Way and Edmonton Community Foundation this year.
- Last year, EPCOR provided $2 million in COVID-19 pandemic relief and recovery; including:
- $1.25 million through the Heart + Soul Fund to support 47 organizations.
- $300,000 to the United Way and Edmonton Community Foundation.
- $82,000 to local Edmonton charities from employee matching campaigns.
For more information, please contact:
EPCOR, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, builds, owns and operates electrical, natural gas and water transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment facilities, sanitary and stormwater systems, and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. The Company also provides electricity, natural gas and water products and services to residential and commercial customers. EPCOR, headquartered in Edmonton, is an Alberta Top 75 employer.