Village supports school group’s grant application

Playground equipment/file
Written by Stu Salkeld

The Village of Big Valley agreed to support the local school’s efforts to secure funding for playground upgrades. The decision was made at the Nov. 10 regular meeting of council.

Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Elaine Macdonald noted the village had received a request from the Big Valley school’s parent council asking for the municipality’s moral support for grant funding applications.

“We have received a request from Big Valley School to provide a letter of support for their grant application for playground equipment,” stated Macdonald’s memo to council.

“Their project will include repairing equipment that can be repaired and replacing that which can’t be repaired. The new equipment will have accessibility features making the playground more inclusive.”

In a draft letter provided by the CAO, Mayor Dan Houle noted, “If they are successful in their endeavours to receive this funding, it will help the Village of Big Valley become more vibrant, attractive and healthy.”

When asked about the old basketball courts, Macdonald answered that those courts are the school’s property and there’s nothing the village can do.

Councillors unanimously agreed to support the Big Valley School’s efforts to get playground grant funding.

Experience Quebec
Councillors unanimously agreed to provide $3,000 in FCSS funding to the Friends of Big Valley School and the school itself for a student exchange with a community in Quebec.

“An application was received for FCSS funding from the Big Valley School and Friends of Big Valley School,” stated Macdonald’s memo to council.

“This funding is for a student exchange program where they have a ‘twin’ school in Quebec and students will be moving from one location to the other to learn about the culture and lifestyle of their twin municipality.”

An application form filled out by the organizers noted the “Experience Canada” exchange will involve about 60 Grade 7 to 9 participants from both Big Valley and Byemoor Schools travelling to Quebec from Oct. 24 of this year to May of 2023. During that time students from Quebec will travel to Big Valley and Byemoor.

Macdonald noted the students may have a chance to experience the Quebec Winter Carnival.

“That’s an awesome experience,” she said.

All students will learn about other parts of Canada through the exchange.

Councillors unanimously agreed to grant $3,000 in FCSS funds for the program.

Kids Christmas
Big Valley kids may have a very Merry Christmas this year after council approved a request for $2,000 in FCSS funds for the annual “Kids Christmas” event. “An application was received for FCSS funding for the Kids Christmas event being held December 18,” stated Macdonald’s memo to council.

An application form filled out by event organizers noted the annual family-friendly event will feature a gift for each child, a visit with Santa Claus with the goal of ensuring the community’s social well-being and bringing Christmas spirit to big Valley and area families.

The CAO noted a requirement of the FCSS funding is for participants to fill out a survey afterwards.

Organizers estimated between 200 and 250 participants at the event. Councillors unanimously approved the request.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.