GUYSBOROUGH – The province announced on June 23 that 30 not-for-profit organizations were receiving grants, totalling $858,000, for repairs and upgrades to gathering spaces under the Community Facilities Improvement Program. Among the organizations receiving funding are the Country Harbour Gun Club ($4,800) and the Canso Lions Club ($30,000).
Canso Lion Mike Hedley, chair of the building repair committee, spoke to The Journal on the day of the funding announcement about the renovations the club has planned.
“When we put the addition on to the building at the front of the building [built in 1981], 15,16 years ago, it wasn’t properly insulated … we just didn’t have the funds. So, we’re doing that, we’re insulating the entire ceiling.
“We put in a new furnace a year-and-a-half ago, so we are re-insulating and putting up fireproof drywall in the furnace room,” added Hedley.
But the biggest part of the project, said Hedley, will be sealing the floor with strong bond coatings “to seal the cracks. We’ll put down a much more durable finish which will help improve heat in the building, get rid of drafts we have coming in through the side wall and out through the flooring.”
The renovations will benefit Canso and surrounding communities, as the Lions Club is the focal point of many activities, including TV bingo. It is also rented out for “wedding parties, receptions, events, whatever. These improvements will improve the comfort for the people renting the hall and using the hall,” said Hedley.
The Lions Club is also the emergency evacuation centre for the local school, Fanning Education Centre/Canso Academy, and the community of Canso.
When asked if the renovations would reduce the cost of maintaining the building, Hedley said, “Boys, I hope so … Our fuel costs are atrocious. Our oil consumption the last couple of months has been $1,800 a month.”
Pat Dunn, minister of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage said, "Community facilities are places where people gather to share meals, enjoy the arts or celebrate local history and culture … These spaces contribute so much to community life in Nova Scotia and we're proud to offer support to help them sustain and grow."
The Community Facilities Improvement Program supports community-led projects to enhance public use of existing facilities, such as community halls, local museums and archives and performance spaces and is open to all not-for-profit organizations that serve their communities. Eligible projects include interior or exterior upgrades to kitchens, windows and roofing, which help the long-term sustainability of the facility and the development of groups that use it. Through the Community Facilities Improvement Program, the department will fund up to 75 per cent of an eligible project, to a maximum of $50,000.
Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal