2020 Grant Recipients

In 2020, the foundation received 150 submissions for projects that supported either recreational, education events and activities, or cultural facilities and programs.

The foundation is pleased to support the Alberta communities of Vegreville, Castor, Irvine and Pincher Creek with the $100,000 grant for their projects lekarna-slovenija.com.

Ken Davies, Larry Grossman and Darcy Davies are looking forward to a complete arena upgrade to give their small community a boost.
Old wooden corrals were replaced with metal panels to ensure the rodeo grounds can be used for many years.
A new expanded area for roping events was added to allow the facility to be used for world-class events.

20 Mile Irvine Rodeo Committee
20 Mile Rodeo Arena Upgrade

Irvine, Alta.
Awarded $37,250

The old wooden corrals, posts, boards and gates of the 20 Mile Irvine Rodeo grounds will be replaced with long-lasting steel with the help of a grant from the Rural Communities Foundation.

Originally built in 1986, the rodeo grounds on the edge of the southern Alberta hamlet have attracted thousands of visitors to its annual rodeo. The facility is used throughout the summer by gymkhana clubs, mounted shooters, 4-H clubs and local horseback riders. Each of these events brings visitors into the hamlet.

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The grant money will be used to almost completely rebuild and redesign the rodeo facility. With an expanded and rearranged arena, organizers hope to attract team roping and other equestrian events. With few dedicated rodeo arenas in southeast Alberta, Irvine will become the premier rodeo location in the region.

The planned $50,000 upgrades will make the arena more user friendly for team roping, calf roping and barrel racers.

Rodeo and horse events are part of daily life for many in the area. Visitors and locals look forward to the annual event as a way to spend time with their friends and neighbours, just one more way to strengthen their community.

John Wright, Mike Bain and Walter Pickles, stand in front of the Alberta Pacific Grain elevator. The museum association received funds to help upkeep the elevator, believed to be one of the oldest elevators in the province.
The rotten doors were rebuilt, replaced and painted to help keep the weather out of the heritage elevator.
By preserving history, the members of the Castor museum are preserving memories of the people in their community.
Footings under the driveway were replaced to ensure the elevator’s integrity and to ensure water ran away from the old elevator.

Castor and District Museum Society
Heritage Museum Renovations

Castor, Alta.
Awarded $27,250

Believed to be built in 1910, the Alberta-Pacific Grain Co. Ltd. elevator is about 110 years old and one of the oldest elevators in Alberta. With help from the Rural Communities Foundation and volunteers, the community hopes their grain elevator will still stand for another 100 years.

Designated a Provincial Historic Resource in 2004, any restorations to the wooden grain elevator must follow strict guidelines to ensure the elevator is restored to its original condition. Restoring and maintaining a wooden grain elevator is a daunting task and organizers have a list of priorities to ensure the town’s major tourist attraction remains in good repair.

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The first phase of the renovations include replacing and painting the four driveway doors, jambs and supports. Plans are also underway to repair the elevator and office siding to protect the building from moisture.

Originally one of five elevators on the edge of Castor, the remaining elevator is an important asset to the museum, town and surrounding agricultural community. School children tour the elevator and learn how grain was delivered, graded and shipped. Maintaining the elevator is one more way the community can showcase agriculture to the community’s history.

Colpman’s Pharmacy and soda fountain is the newest building at the pioneer village. The pharmacy antiques are now in one place. The pharmacy will also be home to a soda fountain and a place to buy ice cream while touring the village.
Walls of the pharmacy are lined with old medicine bottles and pharmacy goods.
Some of the bottles from the original Colpman Pharmacy are on displace in the new village pharmacy.
More than 300 ft of rubber sidewalk was replaced with wood sidewalk to replicate original store sidewalks and to help make the village more wheelchair accessible.

Pincher Creek and District Historical Society
Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village

Pincher Creek, Alta.
Awarded $20,500

The Pincher Creek and District Historical Society will squeeze one more building into the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village with the help of a Rural Communities Foundation grant.

Tucked in between the bakery and the Cyr House, a French Canadian homesteading family home, will be the Colpman’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain. With a 10 ft. by 10 ft. concrete foundation already in place, the drug store will add a missing element to the pioneer village.

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The pioneer village was established in 1966 to preserve the area’s vibrant history. With 35 buildings and more than 30,000 artifacts, visitors easily immerse themselves in the area’s history.

The Colpman family ran the local drugstore and ice cream counter in Pincher Creek from 1927 to 1965. While the new building will not be a replica of the original drugstore, it will house drugstore artifacts. The original store was primarily a pharmacy, but sold veterinary supplies, cosmetics, stationary and ice cream. The new small store in the pioneer village will sell real ice cream, a big seller to the thousands of visitors that tour the village each year.

The new Colman’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain may have a small footprint, but it will be 18 ft high with storage upstairs and a large false front to help it fit into the village. Part of the $20,500 grant will also be used to extend 300 ft of boardwalk and decking to help visitors walk easily between displays.

Parents and visitors can relax at the skateboard park while children hone their skills.
Brian Match guides a wheelchair at the top of the skateboard park, while County of Minburn planner Davin Gegolick tests out the park on his bike.
Davin Gegolick dusted off his old bikes and scooters for his daughters to develop their own skills at the new skateboard park.
The skateboard park attracts children of all ages wanting to develop their skills.

Rotary Club of Vegreville
Vegreville Rotary Skatepark

Vegreville, Alta.
Awarded $15,000

Within days of opening, the Rotary Club of Vegreville’s skatepark and its adjoining family park became a gathering place for community members of all ages.

Raising the $950,000 for the park was difficult during the pandemic, but grants, including the RCF’s donation, gave organizers the spark to keep going. The park includes an accessible concrete skatepark for all small-wheeled equipment, walking trails, benches, picnic tables and sensory walls. The modern concrete skateboard park has curves, jumps, bumps and bends and has become a destination for wheeled enthusiasts in the region.

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The Rotarians wanted to create a community gathering space, not just a skateboard park. The sensory walls are a unique way to encourage visits to the park by children and adults with special needs. The addition of trees, benches and picnic tables ensures the park is a place residents and visitors can enjoy for many years.