by Ida Koric
On May 28, Rossland saw the first event of its kind as a variety of local non-profit organizations councils and societies gathered at the Miner’s Hall to exchange ideas.
The evening was the vision of one such not-for-profit, the Sustainability Commission, the members of which felt it was a great opportunity for local groups to gain exposure, and share resources and ideas.
Considering Rossland’s size, it is quite remarkable that the mountain city has about fifty non-profit groups functioning within its limits; eighteen of which were present for the Collaboration Evening.
Participants ranged from small-scale groups without official society standing, to large, labour-intensive societies like Red Mountain Racers, who employ around twenty people each year. City Council-mandated task forces like the Heritage Commission were also on-hand to explain their roles in the community.
Ten of these groups were given the opportunity to make elevator pitches, during which their mandates and current goals were shared with the audience. Some of the major projects in their initial fund-raising/feasibility study stages include the Arts Council’s hopes to renovate the Miner’s Hall attic into a greenroom, the Rossland Historical Museum’s major facelift of its facilities and programming, and the Red Mountain Racers hopes for snow-making capacities to draw more athletes to the area and extend the skiing season.
One thing that these organizations have in common is the positive economic impact the groups had on the local coffers, whether it be through supporting paid employees, drawing tourists to the area or purchasing goods and services from neighbourhood businesses.
Another commonality is each group sought to increase their impact in the community… which, of course, requires additional funding. The scope of projects ranged from a few hundred dollars to $21 million.
Deanne Stevens of the Sustainability Commission explained the City of Rossland’s new grant application procedure, and Kevin Saldern of the CBT told everyone what they wanted to hear; there is millions in grant money just waiting to be showered upon deserving groups.
Professional accountant, Jeff Ross, was also on-hand to talk about tax tips and book-keeping. Local entrepreneurs Amber Hayes and Fletcher Quince offered their expertise in business consulting services and internet technologies, respectively.
Ultimately, the evening was a display of vibrant volunteer culture present in Rossland. With so many dedicated people pursuing the betterment of their community in their not-so-spare time, it is clear that the city will continue to thrive for years to come.