Funding is part of EPCOR's commitment to help Edmonton's arts, culture and charity sectors bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This significant community investment comes from the $1 million EPCOR earmarked for its Heart + Soul Fund in 2021. Recipients for this round of funding include: the Fort Edmonton Management Company, Citadel Theatre, Dreamspeakers Festival Society, the Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta and the Mental Health Foundation.
"Edmonton's arts, culture and charitable organizations are the heart and soul of our community, and we are proud to continue to support them in delivering important programming this summer, as we rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic," said Stuart Lee, President and CEO, EPCOR. "We're grateful for the role these organizations play in uplifting residents, revitalizing our community and making life brighter for all of us."
Funding for Indigenous programming
With this latest wave of grant support from EPCOR's Heart + Soul Fund, one of the recipients is the Fort Edmonton Management Company. The funding will help support the creation of Indigenous-focused workshops and educational programs this summer as part of its new Indigenous Peoples Experience.
"We are excited to launch to the public our Indigenous Perspectives workshops," said Darren Dalgleish, President and CEO of Fort Edmonton Management Company. "Partnering with Indigenous businesses is an extension of our existing relations with the Confederacy of Treaty Six First Nations and the Metis Nation of Alberta Region Four. We want to bring fun, engaging, immersive and totally authentic experiences to our guests and we want to continue to bring light to Indigenous narratives, customs and traditions. EPCOR's support through the Heart + Soul Fund will help us, and the Indigenous businesses we partner with, bring this program to life."
EPCOR is also providing financial support to the Dreamspeakers Festival Society, a registered non-profit organization that produces an international film festival every year celebrating the work of Indigenous peoples in film, video and new media. Funding will support the creation of digital programming for the Rubaboo Arts Festival in September.
"Art is a powerful medicine we need right now. Our Elders tell us art began as a participatory process embedded in our ceremonies meant to communicate our humanity to the Creator and to each other," said Christine Sokaymoh Frederick, Executive Director, Dreamspeakers Festival Society. "EPCOR's funding will support Indigenous artists and communities, while increasing access to cultural Knowledge Keepers for all."
Funding is also being provided to support the following organizations and projects:
- Citadel Theatre – the Citadel is embarking on a reopening fundraising campaign to rehire staff to ready the theatre and support marketing efforts to reach out to audiences. EPCOR will provide matching funds.
- Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta - the society created Studio 19 in 2020, a mobile space designed to professionally record, live-edit and stream performances and online festivals for performing arts organizations. EPCOR funding will help cover operational costs.
- Mental Health Foundation – the foundation is holding its Heart to Heart and Breaking the Silence campaigns this month. These events encourage people to get outdoors, take part in daily webinar learning sessions and support urgent mental health needs. EPCOR funds are supporting wellness kits for participants, costs for the webinar series, and matching dollars of up to $20,000 for the Heart to Heart campaign, which runs until July 31.
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 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 United Way of the Alberta Capital Region and Edmonton Community Foundation.
- $82,000 to local Edmonton charities from employee matching campaigns.
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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.