The St. Paul and District Arts Foundation will be receiving $2,000 in funding from the County of St. Paul following a brief discussion at the Nov. 10 council meeting.
The foundation had been asked to provide more information about how the previous year’s funds were used, the impact of COVID-19 on their ability to provide programming, and plans for a dance program in Mallaig.
In an e-mailed response, the foundation explained that when they learned the gym at Mallaig School would not be available for the foreseeable future they made arrangements with the Royal Canadian Legion to host their program in the Mallaig Legion Hall.
“To maintain our community connection to Mallaig we are offering workshops on a monthly basis to continue to offer dance programming. The board is committed to offering arts programming in Mallaig in whatever capacity we are able to,” read the e-mail.
The group also noted that approximately 25 per cent of their participants are residents of the County who attend programming in the Town of St. Paul.
“Arts programming is an effective self-care tool for positive well-being. Consistent funding grants us flexibility in offering programming with the County even when programs are running at a loss.”
Div. 6 Coun. Laurent Amyotte expressed support for the group.
“It might not be perfect right now, but just to see. It will build, but if we shut the door right now then it’s probably going to die,” said Amyotte.
Div. 1 Coun. Darrell Younghans reiterated his previous concerns about the arts foundation using a paid instructor.
“With sporting it’s all volunteer,” said Younghans.
Younghans also wondered if the County was playing favourites by choosing to support the Arts Foundation over another dance group in St. Paul. Amyotte pointed out the County has not received funding requests from any other dance groups, and that the foundation is still providing some programming in the county.
A motion by Div. 5 Coun. Dale Hedrick to provide the $2,000 grant carried.