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2012 Mini Grants

At our public meeting on 17 May, 2012 at East Mill Tapas and Grill, we were delighted to reveal our first ever Mini-Grant program recipients, from two of our funds Cedarcliff Fund and Community Fund, as follows:


Organization: Wellington County Museum & Archives
Project: Elora Tarot Project

The Elora Tarot Project is a new enterprise that involves the collaborative production of a Tarot deck by artists from Elora and environs under the coordination of Shelley Carter.

The Tarot originated in the Renaissance as a card game.  The original decks were hand painted by court artists and were beautiful works of art in their own right.   Following a Tarot tour in Italy and France last year, Ms. Carter became excited about the idea of developing a Tarot deck that reflects the diversity of artists, art styles and media that make up the Elora arts community.

Most of the prominent artists in the local community have committed to create one or more original art pieces to represent the cards in the Tarot deck.  The artworks will be published in a Tarot deck and will be sold through various outlets.  The project will culminate in the production of a deck and an exhibit of the original works of art at the Wellington County Museum in Fall 2013.

Watch this just released video to see how this project grew:

Organization: Heritage Centre Wellington
Project: Casson’s Elora Portfolio

Heritage Centre Wellington is a voluntary Municipal Committee to the Township of Centre Wellington that advises on heritage matters. The mandate of the committee is to undertake the promotion and preservation of built and cultural heritage in Centre Wellington, which is achieved through a combination of building designations, education and community involvement.

This grant will assist the committee in pointing out some of the Elora scenes that were painted by A J Casson, which was a member of the Group of Seven. These paintings were known as the “Elora Portfolio”. A small display box will be placed at various spots in the Village, which will draw attention to the scene from the artist’s vantage point, and will provide information about Casson and his time in Elora and Salem in the early 1930’s.

The first site will likely be “The Blacksmith Shop”, which includes the Dalby House, Shoppers Drug Mart, and in the background Knox Presbyterian Church. It is hoped that the first site will be in place by Fall 2012.



Organization: Big Brothers/Big Sisters
Project: Game On! Go Guys!

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Centre Wellington amalgamated as on agency in 2004. Their mission is to enhance the confidence, self-esteem, and social well-being of children through supportive friendships with caring adults.

They provide a wide variety of programs to serve the young people of our community including matching a child with an adult, matching a child with a couple, weekly groups, school mentoring and Go Girls! Which encourages girls to develop a healthy lifestyle.

Organization: Elora Centre for the Arts
Project: Kids to Art Camp

The Elora Centre for the Arts is located in a restored three story limestone former school building, and consists of 10 large classrooms that have been converted to over 10 000 square feet of dedicated space. The Centre is a hub of artistic activity throughout the year, and among other things hosts art exhibits, concerts, program and educational activities in addition to studio space for arts, music and dance students of all ages.

The Elora Centre for the Arts plans to work with Family and Children’s’ Services of Guelph to send three children to the Imagination Station Summer Arts Camp at the Centre, in August 2012. The Imagination Station runs for the last three weeks of August and is geared for children ages 4-12. The children that will be targeted are those who might not otherwise be able to attend camp due to financial restrictions. We hope that the camp experience will be a highlight of the child’s summer and help them to learn the skills to develop and succeed at reaching their own personal goals

Organization: Elora Environment Centre/Neighbourwoods
Project: QR Code Tree Project

The Elora Environment Centre is one of the longest green community non-governmental organizations in Ontario. The EEC has performed more than 26000 home energy assessments since 1993, and has run a number of other environmental programs such as Well Aware, EcoDriver and nature camps. EEC’s urban tree program, NeigbourWoods on the Grand has a five-year record of tree planting, stewardship and raising public awareness about the value of and need for urban trees.

This grant will assist in supporting an innovative pilot project in which EEC will identify at least 6 trees in Centre Wellington, and tag them with recognizable signs with a printed QR code bar. The QR code bar will take visitors to a page on the EEC website showcasing an interesting and informative aspect about that particular tree. The EEC hopes to provide a fun, festive and educational feature that will benefit both tourists and residents alike, but providing a fresh angle, features and values of some of our trees.

Organization: Elora United Church
Project: Wheels of Hope

Wheels of Hope is a grassroots project of the Elora United Church and Friends coming together throughout Centre Wellington to collect unwanted bicycles and ship them to the Bicycling Empowerment Network which is made up of community based organizations in Africa. Once the bikes arrive they are refurbished and distributed. Local residents are trained in bike mechanics and business opportunities arise for community based bike shops.

This grant will assist in supporting this project, which eventually will purchase a sea container, collect unwanted bikes, host community collection days and events, and eventually ship 350 to 400 bikes to Africa. The group hopes to have a sea container ready to ship by fall 2012.

Organization: Food School of Centre Wellington District High School
Project: Pig Roaster

This project involves the Food School at Centre Wellington District High School, which aims to connect youth in our community with real food and real food production. The Food School is starting an all day farm program that will be held on Township land, in a township owned building.

In order for the Food School to use these facilities, they need to have a means of consistent fundraising to cover the costs. This grant will provide funds to purchase the materials needed to have the High School metal shop manufacture a pig roaster/barbeque. This will allow the Food School to hold regular pig roasts that students will run and the proceeds of which will be used to pay for the use of the Township facilities. The completion date for the pig roaster is June 2012.

Organization: Grand River Conservation Foundation
Project: Youth Outdoors Day

Youth Outdoors Day is dedicated to introducing youth to the outdoors through a one-day event in September of each year. Enabled by Grand River Conservation Foundation, over the past 11 years, over 2000 youth have participated in the program, which involves approximately 250 kids each year between the ages of 9 to 16. This year’s project involves each of the participants assembling their own wood duck box. Most of the boxes are then installed at the Luther Marsh wildlife area

Organization: Habitat for Humanity
Project: Safety Equipment for Fergus Build

Habitat for Humanity Wellington County builds simple, decent and low cost homes and sells them at no interest and with no profit to low income families. Habitat has built one or two homes in Guelph or other communities in Wellington County every year since they incorporated in 2000, and has completed 19 homes to date.

This year Habitat is building 2 homes in Fergus (a duplex on Forfar Street) and 2 homes in Guelph. A Habitat home takes many volunteers from the community; typically 10 volunteers per day building 5 days per week for a minimum of 16 weeks are needed. Product and service donations are sought from businesses within the local area. The families who are offered a Habitat house for purchase contribute 500 hours of their “sweat equity” into the house.
It is important to ensure that all volunteers have a safe work environment. This grant will assist in purchasing safety equipment for the volunteers to use at the Fergus build site. Once purchased, the equipment will be used for Habitat builds in Centre Wellington for years to come


Photos courtesy of Bill Longshaw and Sharon Grose. Videos courtesy Tivoli Films.