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  • City awarded $375,000 from Federal Government’s Canada Community Revitalization Fund for new play space in Galt Gardens

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    The City of Lethbridge has been successful in securing $375,000 in grant funding through the Government of Canada’s Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) to construct a new Inclusive and Accessible Play Space in Galt Gardens that will add to community vibrancy and the vitality of downtown by fostering active, social, educational, inclusive and accessible play opportunities.

    The CCRF is a two-year $500 million national infrastructure program meant to support communities across the country with projects that revitalize downtown cores and main streets, reinvent outdoor spaces, create green infrastructure and address accessibility of community space. PrairiesCan is administering the CCRF in Alberta.

    Leveraging the exciting synergies created between Casa, Rotary Fountain, 3 Avenue Reconstruction, Festival Square, and the pending SAAG expansion; the play space will act as a catalyst to attract residents and tourists to the core, support local shopping, enhance children’s programming of the adjacent Southern Alberta Art Gallery and Casa, and address a notable gap in recreation and play opportunities within a 10-minute walking distance of Downtown Lethbridge.

    The project has an approved budget of $500,000 – 75 per cent of which ($375,000) is being funded by the CCRF grant. Lethbridge City Council approved the additional 25 per cent ($125,000) within Urban Core Public Realm Enhancements D-20 in the 2022-2031 Capital Improvement Program.

    “This addition to a concentrated nucleus of redevelopment and vibrancy we are developing in the heart of Downtown Lethbridge is a great step forward to helping the public perception,” says Andrew Malcolm, Urban Revitalization Manager. “Galt Gardens is the ‘Central Park’ of Lethbridge and is the primary downtown festival and events park in the city. We are thrilled for this funding to help provide a new daily use option that will bring enjoyment and fun to this important downtown park.”

    “Our government is making investments that transform public infrastructure into modern gathering places for residents and visitors of all ages through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund,” said the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan. “Today’s support to revitalize Galt Gardens in Lethbridge will help create an inclusive and accessible community space where everyone can gather and enjoy outdoor activities.”

    “Parks and public spaces across Alberta communities bring people together, attract visitors to downtown cores and help support countless small businesses,” said the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance. “Today’s investment in Galt Gardens will help support recovery in Lethbridge by creating more jobs and provide opportunities for residents and visitors to benefit from the local businesses and attractions that are at the heart of this community.”

    A community advisory committee, which includes representation from the Heart of Our City Committee, the Downtown BRZ, Casa, SAAG, Lethbridge Plays, and the Rotary Club of Lethbridge, have been consulted for initial design ideas. Detailed design is underway, to be then followed by construction this summer and fall, with an opening date of Spring 2023.

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  • New Re-Imagine Downtown Activation Grant Launched

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    The COVID-19 pandemic has led to many plans being altered. However, with the Provincial Government's new "Alberta Open for Summer" plan, the Heart of Our City Committee (HOCC) has been proactive to re-image how to enhance the vibrancy of Downtown in the context of pandemic and post-pandemic realities.

    The new Re-Imagine Downtown Activation Grant aims to support businesses, entrepreneurs, organizations and community-minded individuals in implementing initiatives, events, and/or programs that seek to activate vacant, underutilized and under programmed private and public spaces and places – safely with COVID-19 restrictions in mind – within Downtown.

    The total funding available for the Re-Imagine Downtown Activation Grant in 2021 is $150,000, with applications eligible for up to $25,000. Funding is provided through the Downtown Redevelopment Fund's unutilized contributions to the previous HOCC Activity Grant, which was temporarily suspended in 2020 with the continual changes to public health restrictions severely impacting the ability to plan for events and festivals in the Downtown – which support vibrancy, safety and economic stimulus for local businesses. On an annual basis, the grant has supported 20-25 events and festivals which have attracted 45,000-65,000 people per year.

    The HOCC felt it important to do as much as possible to safely encourage people back into the vacant and underutilized spaces of Downtown by supporting initiatives that look to create a critical mass of activity that supports local businesses, fosters healthy and safe social settings, and provides a feeling of safety and security through positivity," says HOCC Chair, Lorien Johansen.

    With the hopes of supporting initiatives as early as July, the first intake of new grant applications is open now and will close on June 25. Applications will be evaluated and awarded by the HOCC and all successful applicants will be required to meet and adapt to applicable COVID-19 restrictions in effect at time of initiative.

    More information and the application form can be found here:

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