No More Barriers: Yorkton's Family Programming and CIF

Community wellness programming has a new dynamic—with overwhelming participation that includes free childcare—through the Community, Family and Parent Skill Development Project (the Project) in Yorkton and because of a partnership group and the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF).

The Project, delivered through the Society for the Involvement of Good Neighbours (SIGN) in Yorkton, offers a host of life skills training including prenatal guidance, early literacy, teen wellness and family support systems for Yorkton and area residents.

The project was conceived through the Intensive Integrated Services Program and funded by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services in 2011. SIGN and its many working partners then began its development. These working partners included two school divisions, in-home support programming officials, daycares, Regional Kids First, Sunrise Health Region, the Ministry of Social Services and the Ministry of Education, and others.

SIGN is affiliated with many partners. These partners include Family Support, Youth Life Skills, Sexual Assault, Regional Kids First, Intensive Integrated Services and Community Support programs in the Yorkton and Kamsack areas. Project delivery through the Intensive Integrated Services Program offers delivery that involves four key components:

  • Teen Wellness Program, offering youth life skills programming to girls 12 to 18 years of age. The focus is on building self-esteem, broadening horizons, and further access for support and wellness services.
  • Family Support and Youth Life Skills Program, encouraging parenting skills and promoting positive family behaviours.
  • Prenatal Caring Circle, a prenatal family literacy program to promote family literacy and nurture bonding and wellbeing before and after birth. Expectant mothers are encouraged to create a network of family, friends, and professionals for support throughout pregnancy and after birth.
  • GroupTriple P Program, offering support and education for parenting and guidance on family functioning, efficacy and self-sufficiency.

“With care not to duplicate existing community services, our Project is an opportunity for parents to meet and chat while they learned parenting skills and be provided with free childcare, making it easier for them to attend.” says Shelley Zoerb, manager of the Intensive Integrated Services Program with SIGN.  “This (family wellness) programming offered here is very much wanted—and needed—in our community.”

The CIF, through its Community Grant Program, provided a $13,000 grant for various aspects of Project delivery including project supplies, healthy snacks and even childcare services that help alleviate a barrier for attendance. 

“The enormous value of broad partnerships like this, involving programming, services and community group efforts, delivered in tandem for the benefit of individuals and families, cannot be overstated.” says Tracey Mann, executive director of the Community Initiatives Fund. “We (CIF) are pleased to have been a part of SIGN’s community wellness program delivery.”


Participants and facilitators of the Family Support Program

give rave reviews as they end their six months of Tuesday

evening meetings in Yorkton.  Photo credit:  SIGN.

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CIF Programs Update

March 2013

Featuring...CIF Programs Update.

We’re busy at the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF), streamlining our programs, broadening our delivery, and making it even easier for community leaders to make great projects happen. Charitable or nonprofit organizations, or community groups partnering with eligible organizations, may apply to any CIF program.

Here’s a snapshot of the programs, who to contact…and what to expect!


Projects involving youth leadership or urban Aboriginals are now priorities of ourCommunity Grant Program (CGP), complementing our support for the wellbeing of children, youth, families and community, and for community inclusiveness and engagement. This program's Summer Grant helps support summer camps and recreation programs.

The Community Vitality Program, now extended to March 2014, holds two more grant application options for small capital projects and community pride projects and events. 

The Physical Activity Grant Program offers grants that promote and support active living and physical activity at the local, regional and provincial levels. We know that more movement and an active community contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle.

Our Problem Gambling Prevention Program supports projects that inform and help prevent social harm associated with gambling addiction.




Application deadlines are:  April 1st and October 1st annually.The Community Grant Summer Program application deadline is February 1st. 

Want more detail?

Our website is always open!  Sign up for regular Enews bulletins or search out communities with recent CIF grants! Our Grants Administrator can guide, confirm, advise and inform about CIF programs and application process and our Communications person will assist you with CIF profile and recognition. 


Resource Highlights

Volunteer Canada recently announced the launch of its National Volunteer Week online gift store offering many affordable and meaningful gifts! From go-mugs to merchandise bags, posters to thank you cards and more, it's the perfect resource to help you thank your volunteers and celebrate National Volunteer Week.

The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) Convention will soon be here! Why not stop by our Community Initiatives Fund booth during SARM's Convention hours on March 11, 12 or 13, 2013 at Praireland Park in Saskatoon. 


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What's On the Line: CIF Supports Problem Gambling

Problem gambling prevention has long been the focus of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in Saskatchewan. CMHA’s Problem Gambling Community Program helps inform, guide and facilitate an understanding of the challenges of problem gambling among Saskatchewan residents.

More recently CMHA has marked the success of its newest program, “What’s on the Line?”  This program is targeted at 18-24 year-olds, those with twice the gambling rate of the general population. Highly visible displays attract Saskatchewan’s post secondary students’ interest and encourage dialogue at campuses across the province. Interactive games such as Beat the House card game, Turn to Learn spinning wheel, and Cost of Play calculator are featured in these displays and teach students about “house advantage” and various other issues related to problem gambling. In a fun and engaging venue, outreach coordinators share their knowledge and often partner with responsible gaming specialists to enhance students’ experience.  

“We (Canadian Mental Health Association) are the most experienced outreach team responsible to help educate people about the potential risks associated with gambling”, says Shauna Altrogge, director of the Problem Gambling Community Program.  “For most people, gambling is fun and a social activity, but for others, gambling can quickly become a problem. What’s on the Line? helps us work with university students, those at significant risk of developing a problem.”

Although What’s on the Line? reaches 18-24 year-olds, CMHA has developed programs for a range of audiences and anyone may participate. All CMHA services are provided at no cost to residents.


The What’s On the Line? Team at  University of Regina . L-R:Rachel Clare, Abigail Anderson, David Jones, Shauna Altrogge.
Photo credit:  Canadian Mental Health Association.

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CIF Helps Consul Renovate Rink!

It’s time.  Twenty years have passed. Time for rink renovations, more ceiling insulation, and other minor repairs and updating that include new floor mats for hockey and figure skaters. … Updates, just in time for the Village of Consul’s centennial celebrations in 2014!

This rink is the community activity and almost year-round meeting area for Consul and surrounding area residents. Almost all of these 500 or more people enjoy hockey, curling and figure skating, or even summer get-togethers in this facility … a community icon amid 3636 square kilometers (1404 square miles) of southwestern Saskatchewan’s rolling hills and prairie.

Built in 1958 as a curling rink and expanded to include a skating and hockey arena a decade later, Consul rink upgrades and renovations are needed about every 20 years to ensure safe and comfortable operation. The rink is home to three minor hockey teams and a senior’s recreation league, a figure skating club and a curling club. It’s also a gathering place for local celebrations and events.

“Over time and with arduous patience our small community of Consul is again updating its key gathering facility, the rink.” says Nancy-Jean Taylor, fundraising coordinator for the Consul Skating Rink Inc.. “Our (Consul) residents have come together with a unified presence, each bringing specific skills and talents, then adding pride and community spirit as we update and renovate this common, shared facility!”

Broader community support and leadership for the work are also evident.  The Rural Municipality of Reno secured an interest-free loan for the rink’s new header and chiller to help ensure the new equipment was affordable and in place this winter, and to provide ice and set the stage for the renovations and upgrades.

“Without community commitment such as this R.M. support, the entire rink complex would not have been functional, or upgrades attainable, this year.” Taylor added. 

“The Village of Consul is exemplary in many ways.” says Tracey Mann, executive director of the Community Initiatives Fund. “This community has come together to update their anchor facility—the skating and curling rink—and help sustain community life. Efforts like these help us (Community Initiatives Fund) design programming that best meets the needs of Saskatchewan communities.”



(L):  An early 1960s Consul hockey team. (R): Consul Rockets Midget Rockets win Provincial Championship 2006 - 2007. 

Photo credit:  (L) Property of Nancy-Jean Taylor. (R) Nancy-Jean Taylor

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November Nonprofit Summit Sets the Stage

Saskatchewan Nonprofit Network Gets Thumbs Up


In early November 150 nonprofit sector leaders met to consider if an independent network or organization could collectively represent the broad interests and aspirations of Saskatchewan’s nonprofits and volunteer agencies.

Conceptualization began in February 2012 when several individuals who previously attended Imagine Canada's National Summit in November 2011 considered the feasibility and value of establishing a provincial nonprofit body. These individuals formed a steering committee and commissioned a feasibility study of literature reviews, scans of other similar Canadian entities, key informant interviews, and an on-line survey, all funded by the Community Initiatives Fund. 

The survey was completed by 545 sector representatives, with 41% indicating "yes" to the concept of a provincial network. Analysis of the comments provided by the 43% who were "undecided" indicated support for the concept but identified questions and concerns still needing to be addressed. The proposed role of a provincial network is to:

* facilitate collaboration and coordination within the sector and with government and business sectors;

* provide education, mentorship and capacity building opportunities to strengthen organizations and the sector; and

* increase awareness and value of the sector among its many audiences.   

The survey also helped identify current and emerging opportunities and challenges of nonprofit organizations from sectors including human services, community health, arts, culture, sport and recreation, and smaller volunteer community organizations. Nonprofit organizations are generally characterized as self-governing charitable or not-for-profit organizations, or community-based groups representing Saskatchewan community interests.

A Provincial Summit was held November 5 and 6 in Saskatoon to share findings of the feasibility study conducted by McNair Business Development and to invite further discussion. Summit participants commented on the potential role, mandate, and structure of a provincial network. Dr. Michelle Gauthier, vice president of public policy and community engagement with Imagine Canada, presented on Imagine Canada’s National Engagement Strategy and explained how the Canadian nonprofit sector works collectively in other regions and provinces. The Summit ended with agreement to move forward to establish a provincial nonprofit network in Saskatchewan.

Next steps for the Steering Committee involve continued sector engagement and input, funding considerations, organizational development, broadening the involvement of sector leaders, and communications.

Comments and inquiries may be directed to Tracey Mann, chair of the Network’s Steering Committee and executive director of the Community Initiatives Fund  at: .

Updates will continue through CIF’s Enews. 



Saskatchewan's Network of Nonprofits Summit, Saskatoon, November 5-6, 2012.  Photo credit:  On Purpose Leadership.

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