EPCOR launches $1.25 million community recovery fund
EDMONTON, Alberta, Aug. 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — To support community recovery from the impacts of the pandemic, EPCOR is launching a new $1.25 million granting program. The Heart + Soul Fund by EPCOR will aid arts, culture, recreation and charitable organizations in continuing to deliver important programming in support of community vibrancy and well-being.
This investment adds to previously announced emergency relief funding, top-up support for existing community partners, and an employee matching fundraising campaign, bringing EPCOR’s total investment in community recovery and relief efforts to $2 million.“Our artistic and charitable organizations are the heart and soul of our communities. They are integral to rebuilding a vibrant quality of life and providing a lifeline to those that need it most. I am excited to see how they will use these funds to bring new work to life, support others and strengthen their financial sustainability,” said Stuart Lee, EPCOR President & CEO.EPCOR developed the Heart + Soul Fund with support and consultation from community partners and leaders working in arts and culture, philanthropy, business, and government.“These conversations helped us to better understand where financial support could make the biggest difference. These insights helped shape the design and details of the Heart + Soul Fund, making sure it provides the most tangible impact to organizations that bring joy and vital social supports to our community,” said Lee.The Heart + Soul Fund by EPCOR will help Edmonton arts, culture and recreation organizations develop new and creative ways to deliver important community-based programming. It also supports non-profits and charities implement new or modified fundraising programs that support the growing demand for community resources.“Support for artists and creators is critical, so they can continue to remind us of the vibrant cultural community that Edmonton is. This funding from EPCOR will go a long way in helping infuse the creative sites and sounds that support togetherness and shared experiences,” said Leela Aheer, Minister of Alberta Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women.“Charities and non-profits rely on our continued support to keep our communities healthy and safe. The Heart + Soul Fund by EPCOR will assist them in fundraising to enable the pursuit of their missions in a time when demand is high. Support like this shows Edmonton is coming together to address the immediate and long-term needs of organizations that care for our communities,” said Don Iveson, Mayor, City of Edmonton.One-time grants ranging from $5,000 to $200,000 will be awarded to arts, culture and recreation organizations. Successful applicants can use funds to offset a portion of program activations costs, including implementing measures to minimize the risk of virus transmission, marketing costs, talent fees, production costs and more.Organizations that deliver critical supports such as food, shelter, mental health, substance abuse and family violence programming are eligible to receive up to $25,000 each to replace lost fundraising revenue or motivate larger giving programs.Applications are open now and submissions will remain open until the entire $1.25 million is fully allocated. A complete list of guidelines and criteria, including an easy to use online application system is available at www.epcor.com/heartandsoulfund.Quick Facts:EPCOR’s investment in COVID-19 pandemic relief and recovery totals $2 million in 2020. This includes:$1.25 million Heart + Soul Fund by EPCOR.$300,000 for the United Way and Edmonton Community Foundation.$82,000 for local Edmonton charities from employee matching campaign.More than $400,000 in top-up support for EPCOR’s existing Edmonton community partners and recovery efforts in the other jurisdictions EPCOR operates.The $2 million for pandemic relief and recovery efforts is in addition to the $1 million EPCOR provides annually in community support.Quotes from the community leaders that helped shape the Heart + Soul Fund by EPCOR“Arts and culture have a strong connection to our wellness and vitality. As we have been uplifted by the arts, individually and as a community, it is crucial that we support the arts and festival organizations that are foundational to our city’s identity. Together, we will find our way through the pandemic while preserving our vibrant and diverse arts ecosystem.”
Sanjay Shahani, Executive Director, Edmonton Arts Council“People are feeling a strong desire for the community to come alive again. We need to re-energize Edmonton and find new ways to reinvent the things we’ve come to enjoy. This funding gives organizations the resources they need to continue to do what they do best.”
Myrna Khan, Vice President, University Relations, MacEwan University.“The arts and culture sector has been hit hard. Public events have been cancelled, arts programming paused, jobs lost. Today’s announcement will provide resources for the artists and organizations who play a critical role making sure Edmonton is a resilient, sustainable and vibrant place to live and work. They need our support to do this.”
Martin Garber-Conrad, Chief Executive Officer, Edmonton Community Foundation.“These funds will support organizations in finding new ways to raise funds and deliver programs that help people who need it most. The impact of this investment will be felt across our communities and will motivate even more support for organizations offering the vital social services our communities need.”
Rob Yager, President & CEO, United Way of the Alberta Capital Region.“EPCOR’s $2 million in support of community organizations sets a great example of how corporate Edmonton is doing its part. Arts and culture support health and social wellbeing. The Heart + Soul Fund will create opportunities for inclusion and togetherness.”
Janet Riopel, President & CEO, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.For more information contact:
EPCOR, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, builds, owns and operates electrical, natural gas and water transmission and distribution networks, water and wastewater treatment facilities, sanitary and stormwater systems, and infrastructure in Canada and the United States. The Company also provides electricity, natural gas and water products and services to residential and commercial customers. EPCOR, headquartered in Edmonton, is an Alberta Top 75 employer.