The Town of Strathmore is announcing the establishment of a dedicated Culture and Wellbeing Task Force, following approval by council during the June 7 regular meeting of council.

The goal of the task force will be aimed at fostering a healthy, welcoming and inclusive local community, and will help guide the Strathmore Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) with the implementation of two grant-funded services. 

These services will be the Strathmore Welcoming Initiative, funded by the Government of Alberta, and the Connected by Culture Project, funded by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

In the fall of 2022, Strathmore Town Council supported a grant application to the Alberta Government Settlement Integration and Language Projects Program (SILP) to support initiatives to increase the community’s social services capacity.

This was also intended to meet the needs and lived experiences of newcomer communities, as well as to develop a welcoming and inclusive community for all. 

“The task force gives us the opportunity to actively involve the community to develop programs and execute efficient use of the grant money,” said Melissa Masse, community support coordinator with Strathmore FCSS, who also brought the taskforce proposal before Council. “We’re looking for the advice and expertise of Strathmore’s residents to help decide what programs Strathmore will benefit from most – ensuring these funds will create meaningful and lasting change.”

Town of Strathmore administration was successful in the application to the Government of Alberta and was awarded funding in the amount of $258,000 to be utilized over a 24-month period. 

“Administration was also successful in receiving funding in the amount of $12,950 from the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to support community wellbeing that leverages the strengths of Strathmore’s unique culture and heritage,” said Masse. “Both grants have significant budgets to support community events such as the Alberta Culture Days, as well as additional ongoing programming and initiatives.”

A requirement of both funding agreements is ongoing community consultation and engagement to guide the implementation of the grant activities and events. 

According to a release distributed by the town, both grant-funded projects will provide opportunities for community programming, events, and educational opportunities for community members and professionals. 

Members of the Strathmore community are invited to apply to become members of the Culture and Wellbeing Task Force by reaching out to Strathmore FCSS at 403-934-9090. 

More information regarding the task force is available through the Town of Strathmore website, as well as via the June 7 regular council meeting agenda.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jun 14, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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