2019 Grant Recipients

In 2019, the foundation received more than 200 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 Delia, Onoway and Paradise Valley with the $100,000 grant for their projects.

More than 60,000 people visit Onoway’s museum facilities each year, including during the annual threshing bee and harvest festival.
Teaching about the area’s agriculture and community roots is key for volunteers Hazel Bourke, Brian Turnbull and Jim Fegyverneki.
Hazel Bourke sells Brian Turnbull a pale of honey in her father’s reconstructed Eddy Dales General Store in the Onoway museum.

Onoway and District Historical Guild
The Heritage Village Project

Onoway, Alta.
Awarded $50,000

The Onoway and District Historical Guild’s museum expansion plans have begun with the help of a $50,000 grant from UFA’s Rural Communities Foundation.

The money will be used to build a pole frame shed to house a threshing machine, binders, buggy wagons and other pieces of antique farm equipment now stored around the area and not at the guild’s museum.

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The equipment, used for the annual threshing bee and other historic event days, must be hauled back and forth each time they are being used and featured at the museum.

The combination of the pole shed, new gates and fencing, for added security, will allow the guild to expand the Heritage Museum. The group plans to collect equipment and acquire buildings to create a small village with a blacksmith shop, teacherage, livery stable, banks, hotels and other businesses. Their goal is to help the more than 62,000 visitors to the centre each year learn about agriculture and the region’s history.

Now, the guild operates the museum and leases space to other community groups including the library, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, 4-H, playschool and Parent Link programs.

Students, staff and families have enjoyed a small garden space beside their school for years and look forward to a larger green space beside their new school.
Organizers followed the school motto and persevered to raise funds for the Delia Community Hub and community garden beside their new school.
Kim Thompson, Amber Marshall and Meghan Chostner hold plans for the new Delia school and community garden.

Delia School Enhancement Society
Green Spaces Project

Delia, Alta.
Awarded $39,000

A community garden and green space will become an important hub and ensure agriculture is a focus for the small Alberta community of Delia.

The Delia School Enhancement Society’s Green Spaces project includes a community garden, green spaces and a community recreation area in the new $1.2 million Delia Community Hub project.

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UFA’s Rural Communities Foundation is pleased to provide $39,000 for the Green Spaces project a key element of the larger Delia Community Hub project alongside the new Delia school.

The green spaces project will ensure community members can come together to plant, grow and harvest both food and connections. The space will include a combination of raised beds, in-ground vegetable garden and individual and community group plots.

The space will be used for outdoor meetings and educational programs. The mixed use area is expected to be used by the local seniors, community groups and children to help build intergenerational connections.

The Delia Green Spaces project will provide an integrated, welcoming, easily accessible green spaces in the heart of the community. The foundation is pleased to be a part of this important community project.

The historic grain elevator museum has become the community’s hub with a small coffee shop and visitor’s centre.
Ashley Dobson and Kyla Purser stand in a replica of a sod house, one of the displays in the grain elevator museum.
Bev Haydu and Ashley Dobson, hold a picture of their parents and grandparents, Ardis and Parke Dobson, founders of the grain elevator museum.

Climb Thru Time Museum

Paradise Valley, Alta.
Awarded $11,000

For more than 25 years the Climb Thru Time museum in Paradise Valley has been the centre of the community and a link to the community’s farming past.

While grain elevators once stood in rows along prairie towns, the site of a wooden elevator is now like spotting an endangered species.

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Members of the Paradise Valley and District Museum Society know their community is home to a rare species they want to preserve and share.

The $11,000 awarded to the society from UFA’s Rural Communities Foundation will help ensure the elevator remains in good condition, programs are expanded and more visitors can climb through time up the elevator annex.

The original Alberta Wheat Pool elevator and railway station are designated as provincial historic resources and any upgrades must follow strict guidelines. Old wooden windows in the grain annex are beginning to rot and must be replaced with historically correct replicas and the glass sealed into the new frames with putty, just like the originals.

Upgrading the electrical wiring in the elevator building and the elevator agent’s office will allow visitors to tour the agent’s office and learn how an agent graded, sorted and blended grain. Plans are also underway to add exterior lights to showcase the elevator and make it easier to work outside.

Like all old buildings, the Climb Thru Time Museum, needs a good scrub to clean out mouse droppings, old grain dust and cob webs that have collected in the corners. Part of the money will be used to clean up parts of the elevator that have never been open to the public.

With the changes proudly supported with money from the Rural Communities Foundation, the museum and its coffee shop will continue to be an important link for the community, an educational centre for students and a gathering place to reminisce about our proud prairie past.