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Posted: January 11, 2018

Trust helps Sparwood grow community nest egg

The Sparwood Community Fund recently received a $50,000 matching grant from Columbia Basin Trust to grow a permanent ‘community nest egg.’

“The matching grant from the Trust is a wonderful milestone for the Sparwood Community Fund,” said Barb Nunes, Chair of the Sparwood Community Fund Steering Committee. “The roots of this fund stretch back to 1999 when the District of Sparwood received an anonymous donation to benefit the community. Over time, it became clear that becoming involved with the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation would be the best way to create a lasting impact with these funds. Here we are, all these years later, with the Sparwood Community Fund well-established and ready for continued growth.”

As of January 2018, including the $50,000 from the Trust, the Sparwood Community Fund holds approximately $116,000 in permanently invested funds. This ‘community nest egg’ will produce interest that will come back to the local community, every year, forever, to support local organizations that help local people.

“Community foundations are an important tool for residents in meeting their own needs through local giving, community leadership and a local granting process,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Columbia Basin Trust President and CEO. “We’re pleased we can help the Sparwood Community Fund establish a solid base that will benefit the community long into the future.”

In 2017, through the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation (CDCF) and Canada 150 matching grants, the Sparwood Community Fund was able to grant $2,000 to the Legacy Art Project with the Sparwood and District Arts and Heritage Council. The Sparwood Community Fund Steering Committee is currently in the process of determining its granting process for 2018, and interested organizations are encouraged to visit for further information.

The Sparwood Community Fund was established in the fall of 2016, under the umbrella of the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation, and includes donations from the District of Sparwood, the Sparwood Futures Society, East Kootenay Community Credit Union, the Elk Valley Festival of Trees, and an anonymous donor through the CDCF.

Lynnette Wray, CDCF Executive Director said, “The CDCF is very pleased to see the on-going growth in the Sparwood Community Fund. The interest from this endowment fund will be an on-going resource for non-profit organizations in Sparwood and area. The Sparwood Community Fund’s impact will continue to grow every year, providing sustainable and locally-directed support for local organizations that make Sparwood a great place to live, work, and play.”

The Sparwood Community Fund’s catchment area includes the District of Sparwood, Michel, Natal, and Elk Prairie. The Sparwood Community Fund is led by a local steering committee made up of six dedicated volunteers who bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and community connections to the table: Barb Nunes, Michele Schalekamp, Sharon Strom, Beverly MacNaughton, Joe Tress, and Norma McDougall.

The Cranbrook and District Community Foundation is a CRA-registered charity and was federally incorporated in 2003. The CDCF is governed by 13 volunteer board members and employs one staff person. The Cranbrook and District Community Foundation currently holds 29 permanently invested endowment funds covering a wide range of interests, including arts and culture, sports and recreation, history, healthcare, and the environment.

For more information about the CDCF and the Sparwood Community Fund, please visit and like/share our Facebook page.

Above photo: Dave Struthers, CDCF President (left), and Carol Hatala, CDCF Vice-President (right), thank Rick Jensen, CBT Chair (centre), for the CBT’s recent donation of $50,000 to grow the Sparwood Community Fund. Cranbrook & District Community Foundation photo

Cranbrook & District Community Foundation

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