Pledge of $30.000,--
I have received a proposal and budget for building a new Public Library in Smithers, BC and met with Mayor Bachrach and Councilor Atrill to find out more in depth information. Local support is strong with donations and pledges by private individuals as well as local organizations. In order to make this project a reality, it pivots around major funding through government grants. Once those grants are received, this new library will become a reality, if the local support for fundraising yields the needed numbers as well. Support so far seems to be strong, with some impressive contributions by local families and associations. I am pleased to announce, that the Trust will be dedicating C$30,000 as a pledge to the project. Once the town receives approval for the federal and provincial grants and informs the Trustee, THE KASSANDRA TRUST will release the pledged amount.
This is almost a "once in a lifetime" opportunity for this town to establish the much needed building, which is really much more than a building. It is a community focal point - in terms of connection, education, access and also as an architectural focal point at the end of main street. Besides the social and educational aspect, I am especially pleased with the focus on making this building fully adherent to Passive House Standard!
Looking at the current condition of the existing library, it is obvious that the town needs a new building to accommodate the growing and changing needs of such services in the 21st-century, and it is very obviously necessary to replace the current structure, which is near the end of its life span. Conceptual plans and budget look promising, especially together with the cohesive inclusion of the Smithers Art gallery and the proposed option to use the library as a conference centre for a variety of functions.
Once the town receives approval for the federal and provincial grants and informs the Trustee, the Kassandra Trust will release the pledge amount.
The Trust has provided a Totoal of $ 11,000.-- in funding for the Food Action Network (Fan) $ 10,000.-- for their Third Annual Food Security Forum held in Terrace BC on April 5-6, 2019. $1,000.-- for the Food Skills Program with the Dze L'Kant Friendship Centre. Following the work of the organisation since the early beginnings, I have seen them grow into a well organized entity with ongoing momentum, and I am positive they will have a lasting impact in all Northern Communities. Food Security has many facets, it connects many groups and individual in communities. In areas like Northwestern BC we see a multitude of communities with long winters and high dependence on food "imports" from the larger centers, a general disconnect from the producers of food, lack of knowledge about healthy food preparation and health related issues, limited access for lower income groups with overinflated price points for healthy foods. It is a global issue, but especially important in our social and climatic background in Northwestern BC to have an organisation that brings it all together. FAN plays an important role for finding ways to strengthen connections, offer education and support self sufficiency for people and communities of all backgrounds. They are very active on social media, but targeted Public Outreach with an event like the Northwest BC Food Security Forum will be a great way to connect and educate people; especially with a mandate like this, connecting, educating and inspiring people is a key factor. The Food Skills Program will teach Food prep and preservation Skills to Families, carrying those skills into their Communities.
UPDATE: Click on PDF to read the summary of the Event
One of the initiatives of "Access Smithers" is the Willowvale Project. The Kassandra Trust dedicates $ $ 8,000.-- to support further improvements of the Marsh, aiming to improve universal access to this popular trailsystem around and through the marsh. Focus will be on the trail at the west side and access around benches and signs/plaques. The society has done due diligence with several assessments of environmental factors surrounding this man-made marsh, which is home to numerous species of Flora and Fauna.
I have visited the project in 2013 for the first time, and I am pleased to see it is still running strong, having a substantial impact on the social landscape in the Hazeltons area.
The Trust is dedicating $ 30,000.-- in funding to their annual holistic Youth Program from May-September . The Trust has supported this before, and I have personally seen the impact it has on the participants and trickling into their community. The Senden Youth Program aligns with Kassandra Trust’s values of community, ecology and sustainability, and has made good use of previous donations.
This is a short description of the program, as provided by their representative, C. Anonuevo:
"During the holistic program, 8 youth spend 3 days a week on site with Senden staff and learn many skills related to food security: growing food, food preservation, selling food at a market stand. Additionally, the youth learn about traditional food from elders: collecting and picking berries, smoking and preserving salmon and hunting. The outcomes of our project are that youth have a stronger connection to self through personal development, youth have a stronger connection to their peers, their families and the wider community and finally youth have a meaningful connection to the land. Youth invite community members on site once a month during the program and prepare a locally grown meal and to share what they have learned related to food security: bee-keeping, composting, locally grown recipes. Through these activities youth are learning self-esteem, leadership and cultural awareness through growing, harvesting, preserving and cooking from the land. The program encourages wild food harvesting and stewardship alongside growing locally grown food. The program supports people to build their capacity to be healthy so that they are able to have an active and meaningful role in a sustainable economy. Included in the program is transportation, an honorarium and food from the garden to the youth that participate in the program."