2020 Grant Recipients

In 2020, the foundation received 150 submissions for projects that supported either recreational, education events and activities, or cultural facilities and programs.

The foundation is pleased to support the Alberta communities of Vegreville, Castor, Irvine and Pincher Creek with the $100,000 grant for their projects.

Ken Davies, Larry Grossman and Darcy Davies are looking forward to a complete arena upgrade to give their small community a boost.
The wooden corrals in Irvine at the 20 Mile Rodeo Arena will be upgraded.
The chutes and corrals will soon get replaced.
Larry Grossman, Ken Davies and Darcy Davies are looking forward to a new rodeo arena to replace the rotten boards on their existing arena.

20 Mile Irvine Rodeo Committee
20 Mile Rodeo Arena Upgrade

Irvine, Alta.
Awarded $37,250

The old wooden corrals, posts, boards and gates of the 20 Mile Irvine Rodeo grounds will be replaced with long-lasting steel with the help of a grant from the Rural Communities Foundation.

Originally built in 1986, the rodeo grounds on the edge of the southern Alberta hamlet have attracted thousands of visitors to its annual rodeo. The facility is used throughout the summer by gymkhana clubs, mounted shooters, 4-H clubs and local horseback riders. Each of these events brings visitors into the hamlet.

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The grant money will be used to almost completely rebuild and redesign the rodeo facility. With an expanded and rearranged arena, organizers hope to attract team roping and other equestrian events. With few dedicated rodeo arenas in southeast Alberta, Irvine will become the premier rodeo location in the region.

The planned $50,000 upgrades will make the arena more user friendly for team roping, calf roping and barrel racers.

Rodeo and horse events are part of daily life for many in the area. Visitors and locals look forward to the annual event as a way to spend time with their friends and neighbours, just one more way to strengthen their community.

Believed to be built in 1910, the Alberta-Pacific Grain Co. Ltd., elevator is believed to be one of the oldest wooden elevators in Alberta.
An antique wagon used for hauling grain to the elevator is part of the museum’s artifacts and is housed inside the grain elevator.
Volunteers George Nichols, Tyrrill Hewitt, John Wright, and Walter Pickles believe their town’s elevator is an important link to the town’s agricultural roots
Tyrrill Hewitt checks out the elevator’s weigh scale.

Castor and District Museum Society
Heritage Museum Renovations

Castor, Alta.
Awarded $27,250

Believed to be built in 1910, the Alberta-Pacific Grain Co. Ltd. elevator is about 110 years old and one of the oldest elevators in Alberta. With help from the Rural Communities Foundation and volunteers, the community hopes their grain elevator will still stand for another 100 years.

Designated a Provincial Historic Resource in 2004, any restorations to the wooden grain elevator must follow strict guidelines to ensure the elevator is restored to its original condition. Restoring and maintaining a wooden grain elevator is a daunting task and organizers have a list of priorities to ensure the town’s major tourist attraction remains in good repair.

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The first phase of the renovations include replacing and painting the four driveway doors, jambs and supports. Plans are also underway to repair the elevator and office siding to protect the building from moisture.

Originally one of five elevators on the edge of Castor, the remaining elevator is an important asset to the museum, town and surrounding agricultural community. School children tour the elevator and learn how grain was delivered, graded and shipped. Maintaining the elevator is one more way the community can showcase agriculture to the community’s history.

Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village.
Gord Tolton and Colleen Casey-Cyr stand on the location of the Colpman’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain location.
The new Colpman’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain will be tucked in between the two buildings.
Some of the bottles will be moved to the new drug store.

Pincher Creek and District Historical Society
Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village

Pincher Creek, Alta.
Awarded $20,500

The Pincher Creek and District Historical Society will squeeze one more building into the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village with the help of a Rural Communities Foundation grant.

Tucked in between the bakery and the Cyr House, a French Canadian homesteading family home, will be the Colpman’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain. With a 10 ft. by 10 ft. concrete foundation already in place, the drug store will add a missing element to the pioneer village.

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The pioneer village was established in 1966 to preserve the area’s vibrant history. With 35 buildings and more than 30,000 artifacts, visitors easily immerse themselves in the area’s history.

The Colpman family ran the local drugstore and ice cream counter in Pincher Creek from 1927 to 1965. While the new building will not be a replica of the original drugstore, it will house drugstore artifacts. The original store was primarily a pharmacy, but sold veterinary supplies, cosmetics, stationary and ice cream. The new small store in the pioneer village will sell real ice cream, a big seller to the thousands of visitors that tour the village each year.

The new Colman’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain may have a small footprint, but it will be 18 ft high with storage upstairs and a large false front to help it fit into the village. Part of the $20,500 grant will also be used to extend 300 ft of boardwalk and decking to help visitors walk easily between displays.

Volunteers Renee Senko, Lois Byers, Jocelyn Svensen and Brent Williams stand in the future location of the Vegreville Rotary Skatepark.
The Site Plan.
Part of the Vegreville Rotary Skatepark will include benches and walking paths.
An old soccer field will soon be home to the Vegreville Rotary Skatepark.

Rotary Club of Vegreville
Vegreville Rotary Skatepark

Vegreville, Alta.
Awarded $15,000

The Rotary Club of Vegreville plans for a skatepark and adjoining family park are designed to encourage interaction between community members of all ages.

The $950,000 park includes an easily accessible concrete skatepark for all small-wheeled equipment. With a growing interest in skateboarding and other wheeled sports, the modern skateboard park will be a destination for the region’s youth. Next to the skatepark will be a family park, which will include walking trails, benches, picnic tables and sensory walls.

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The sensory walls are a unique way to encourage development in children and adults with special needs through touch and smell.

The Rural Communities Foundation is pleased to be part of a park designed to encourage people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors, socialize and encourage people to take up new physical activities. The Rotarians want to create a welcoming park community members and visitors can enjoy for many years.