Youth in Kimberley are heading into the third year of being able to access Community Directed Youth Funds — $25,000 per year from the Columbia Basin Trust earmarked specifically for youth activities in Kimberley.
This being Youth Week, Lori Joe, who has been working with Kimberley youth since the funding became available, thought it was important to let the community know what has been happening.
Turns out, quite a lot.
The Youth Steering Committee drives the use of the funds, providing feedback to the Oversight Committee.
The Oversight Committee created the Community Value Added Grants which allow groups and clubs to apply for funding to enhance new and/or exiting programming that would promote youth engagement for Kimberley youth.
“Many youth service groups are doing a great job engaging youth in the community and sometimes they just need some extra funds,” Joe said. “We are proud to see some new clubs being created with these funds.”
One of those clubs is the Art Music People Project (AMP).
The club was born from the Youth Talent Night held last June (another talent night is being organized for this June 5 at Centre 64). Some of the kids had such a great time performing that they have now organized once a month open mic nights at the Bean Tree in Kimberley.
“The kids wanted to have these nights at a public space where they felt part of the community,” Joe said. “The great thing is, it’s mostly kids who attend. They are excited to have a place to go. It’s a place they have been craving and haven’t had. There is not much for kids to do after 4 p.m. in Kimberley. There’s not even a theatre any more.”
Another perk of having the gatherings in the Platzl, Joe says, is that it allows the community to see teenagers in a different light, being productive and contributing to arts and culture.
“There are lots of talented kids in Kimberley who are just sitting in their bedrooms. The open mike nights offer them a venue.”
An added bonus to that has been the music nights bringing together students from the international program with local students.
“This music piece has really integrated the two,” Joe said. “They are often very separate. This has allowed them to get to know each other, just listening to music and having coffee.”
The Youth Steering Committee meets once a month at the Snow Drift Cafe.
“This is where they get to share their ideas,” Joe said.
Those ideas are all centered on how to engage more youth.
“We are mindful that not everyone is an athlete or an artist. That’s why we have the theme movie nights. There’s always a theme but it’s open to all youth. Ultimately youth love movies.
“Youth are driving this money and are involved in all aspects of decision making. They seem really proud of what’s going on,” Joe said.
The CDYF Oversight Committee recognizes the essential work so many local youth clubs and service groups are doing in and around Kimberley for our local YOUTH.
The following are local youth groups who have benefitted from this funding
1. Fly Tying Club (Selkirk High School)
2. Cooking Club (funds created a new after school cooking club for teens at Selkirk High School)
3. SD6 Alternate School (funds to subsidise 1st Aid and Serving It Right courses)
4. Kootenay Skate (funds to buy equipment to teach youth proper safe practices of the sport of skateboarding)
5. Kimberley Gymnastics Club (hire local young artists to create a large painting outside gymnastics building)
6. Kimberley Speed Skating (equipment to encourage more youth to join club)
7. SPARK Youth Centre (TV)
8. Kimberley School of Archery (equipment replacement and repair)
9. Girl guides/Pathfinders (funds to purchase tents for wilderness leadership camp outs)
10. Greenwave (canoe workshop for youth)
11. Kimberley Arts Council (funds used to offer a rusticated art exhibit for local youth)
12. Selkirk After school Art Club (art supplies for volunteer art mentor to offer free art classes after school)
13. McKim Baseball Club (funds have supported the creation of a new club for youth in McKim Middle School)
14. McKim Photography Club (funds have supported the creation of a new art club in the middle school focussing on the medium of photography)
15. A.M.P Art, Music, People club (newly formed with the funds to promote and encourage a growing group of local youth that have been showcasing their talents at local Open Mic-Coffee House Nights at local cafes around town)
Applications are available two times a year and are made available for pickup and return at City Hall. For more information call Lori Joe 250-427-4200
A grant Committee that is made up of senior members and one to two youth review and determine which applications meet the outlined requirements for funding.