The Governor General of Canada David Johnston has proclaimed 2015 “The Year of Sport in Canada”. The announcement was made during the torch lighting ceremony for the 2015 Canada Winter Games in October, and represents an acknowledgement of the place of sport in the overall welfare of the nation.
But will this announcement significantly impact the landscape of available grant funding for sport and recreation organizations?
“In 2015, Canadians from across the country will have many opportunities to cheer on our remarkable athletes and celebrate their achievements. With events such as the World Junior Hockey Championship, the Canada Winter Games, the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, the Pan and Parapan American Games and many others, 2015 will be a memorable year for all Canadians—an opportunity not only to attend sport events, but also to be inspired to participate in sport activities throughout the year.” – Bal Gasol, Minister of State (Sport)
The announcement appears to have been driven primarily by the nation’s hosting of several significant international sporting events, most notably the Pan/Parapan Am Games and the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The press release does not make specific mention of increased funding or grants for sport and recreation organizations, however does state, “The Year of Sport in Canada is a proactive pan-Canadian initiative to celebrate the role that sport plays in our country and encourage Canadians to participate in and seek the benefits of sport.”
With the 2014 calendar year approaching its conclusion, many grants for sport and recreation have already closed their application windows. It remains to be seen whether grantmakers will increase funding opportunities for sport and recreation in 2015 – however we wouldn’t count on it.
While this announcement may not coincide with an official increase in the amount of grants available to organizations promoting healthy living through sport and recreation, it should nonetheless be taken as an encouraging sign. Grant seekers should use this announcement to their benefit. You should remind municipal and provincial governments, grantmaking foundations, and corporate partners of this declaration. Invite them to join in this celebration.
Remember, grantmakers want to be a part of the public conversation. Participation in the Year of Sport in Canada provides them the opportunity to do just that.
To read the full press release, click here.