CIF Helps Consul Renovate Rink!

Posted by on Sun, Dec 30 2012

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

Posted by on Fri, Nov 30 2012

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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Community Features SENIORS Programming

Posted by on Tue, Oct 23 2012

Martensville Leads with CIF Support!

Something for everyone is the theme of community programming in Martensville this year as the Martensville Community Access Centre (Centre) designs its programs to best meet the needs of all ages ... youth and all adults, with this year's focus on those over 50.

In Martensville, a dynamic and newer city just north of Saskatoon, community programming is being tailored to respond to the needs of its residents. Programs through the Centre range from social and cultural opportunities to recreation, health, employment resources, even assistance with computers and phones. Since inception in 2008, community programming has helped serve residents with baby and toddler programs, daycare and babysitter lists, literacy training, even a homework club. This year programming extends to older adults and seniors, in part through a grant from the Community Initiatives Fund.

"Seniors bring a depth of practical knowledge from their considerable (life) experiences." explains Kristee Lynn Adrian, coordinator of the Martensville Community Access Centre. "This kind of wisdom and presence enriches every member of our community."

The Centre also set the stage for older adults and seniors with discussions and several meetings about the types of community programming that would most interest them. They spoke of excursions and transportation, the challenges of computers and social media, even health and low-cost physical fitness for seniors.

Martensville's Seniors Week in early October began with a seniors' Soup and Pie event, enticing over 140 people to enjoy seniors' homemade soup and pie. Many volunteers, including youth, helped serve and clean up, and help with the heavy lifting! Proceeds provided support for the Martensville New Horizon Centre for older adults and seniors.

Later that week older adults and seniors attended a Meet and Greet event that provided opportunity to explain to a youth the games they had played in past days. They also discussed how these activities could be incorporated into Martensville schools and community events. Discussions also focused on options for community programming relating to older adults and seniors.

Days later the Centre partnered with the City of Martensville's Recreation Department to feature a visit to the Saskatoon Forestry Farm. Twenty-six residents, ranging in age from four months to the late 70s, participated. More seniors' programming plans are now being made.

"We're striving to provide something for everyone here (at the Centre)." states Adrian. "We listen to what older adults want, then try to incorporate it into our community programming. The bonus, though, is the overwhelming value these individuals give back ... like being great adult allies for our youth."

Adrian notes that seniors programming adds meaning and richness to everyone's lives and is a great boost for community spirit, as well.


  One in five Martensville residents is over 50. Photo credit:  Kristee Lynn Adrian (on behalf of the Martensville Community Access Centre).

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New Norm on Crime Prevention in the North

Posted by on Sun, Sep 30 2012

Pinehouse Takes the Lead!


Last July the Police Management Board in Pinehouse began a six-month pilot crime prevention project aimed at reducing break and enter, drinking and driving, and other crimes of damage to private property around Pinehouse in northern Saskatchewan. The pilot is designed for replication throughout the North, should project results help reduce adolescent crime in this area.


The Pinehouse Crime Prevention project represents a broad partnership including the Northern Village of Pinehouse, the Police Management Board, the Northern Lights School Division, local Elder groups, law enforcement and various other community groups. Contributions include an office with computer and desk, access to the community training centre and free weekly radio promotion across northern Saskatchewan, all helping to match the Community Initiatives Fund’s $25,000 grant for this project.


Delivery includes informative workshops with safety tips aimed at grades 10 to 12 across the Northern Lights School Division that further educate, then encourage students to reduce and help prevent drinking and driving and other adolescent criminal activities.  Project evaluation includes a comparison of crime, vehicle injury and other northern health indicators before and after project delivery. Overall, it is anticipated property damage will decrease and residents will feel increasingly safe in their homes and neighbourhoods.


“We’re striving to set an example for crime prevention in Pinehouse and a model for the entire North.” says Phyllis Smith, chair of the Police Management Board in Pinehouse. “We want to show that crime can—and will—be reduced through strong, targeted community awareness in Northern Saskatchewan communities.”









Clayton Natomagan (above) is Crime Prevention Coordinator 

 for the Crime Prevention Project at Pinehouse. 

 Photo credit:  Clayton Natomagan 

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Partners with Purpose at Regina Community Fair

Posted by on Thu, Aug 30 2012

Healthy Living Through Diabetes Awareness


Over 500 of Regina’s community residents were provided opportunity to learn about healthy lifestyles and controlling diabetes at the North Central Healthy Community Fair on August 21, 2012. Many gathered to learn more about the disease and enjoy a healthy lunch and aboriginal entertainment. Everyone was welcome and the event was free of charge.


Presented by the Regina Capital Cosmopolitan Club and coordinated through the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Regina Education and Action on Child Hunger, Inc. (REACH), those attending discussed health-related issues with an on-site health care team and learned about healthy cooking, and the benefits of exercise. Vegetables, fruit and bison burgers on whole-grain buns were a key attraction around noon that day. Posters and handouts promoted healthy eating and identified foods with high sugar content, the basics of the link that ties sugar with diabetes.


“Reducing hunger by providing nutritional and health information to residents takes many steps … and many partners.” says Dana Folkersen, executive director of REACH. “This community fair is a prime example of how a broad partnership of organizations can achieve a shared goal. We're grateful for the Community Initiatives Fund's generous support of this event!”


“Many of those attending don’t receive regular medical care and are at high risk for diabetes.” says Warren Wagner, Saskatchewan’s regional director of the Canadian Diabetes Association. “Several were counseled to seek medical attention from a doctor or at Regina’s Diabetes Education Centre.”


A host of partners and sponsors contributed to this one-day fair. The Community Initiatives Fund contributed $5,000 for event coordination through its SUMMER Community Grant Program to the Regina Education and Action on Child Hunger, Inc.. Other key sponsors were Evraz Place and Bayer, and partners included the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region-Aboriginal Home Care, Four Directions Community Health Centre & Seniors Healthy Living, North Central Community Association, REACH, HELP, and Safeway.



Photo credits:  Community Initiatives Fund

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