The Pride Report

CIF Grant Enables Moose Jaw Pride to Hire First Staff Person and Open Office

Above: More than 100 march in Moose Jaw Pride’s 2015 “First Steps” Pride March. Image Credit: Autumn Faith Lapointe.

Moose Jaw Pride received word this past Friday that they have been awarded a Community Initiatives Grant in the amount of $25,000 to hire their first staff person and open an office.

“We would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Community Initiatives Fund for supporting this project.” said Joe Wickenhauser, Chair of Moose Jaw Pride’s Board.

The Community Initiatives Fund invests in the quality of life of Saskatchewan residents by offering grants for community projects that help support community development, inclusion, leadership and vitality.

News of the funding has been very emotional for the small non-profit organization which has seen its Pride Week grow from 150 people in 2013 to over 2,400 people attending programs and events in 2015.

“I think I’m going to cry tears of happiness!” said James Szwagierczak, Volunteer Coordinator for Moose Jaw Pride’s board.

“There has been talk about opening an LGBTQ community centre in Moose Jaw for more than 35 years and it is truly incredible to see this dream, shared by so many, finally becoming a reality,” said Wickenhauser.

Moose Jaw Pride has plans to open a small drop-in space in St. Andrew’s United Church in the new year.

This past October, Moose Jaw Pride submitted a grant application called the “Moose Jaw Pride ‘Better Together’ Project”. The project includes an ambitious plan for running diversity training workshops, regular public programming, pride events and conducting rural outreach across southern Saskatchewan.

“The rural outreach is particularly important to our organization because many of us living in Moose Jaw have come from smaller towns and we know how different and how difficult it can be,” Wickenhauser said.

While the funding is welcome news for the organization, fundraising efforts will continue as Moose Jaw Pride seeks to ensure the long term sustainability of the organization.

“This funding will certainly not be a lucrative salary for our first employee, but it will empower us have a dedicated staff person working consistently to meet our vision of a thriving community for all gender and sexually diverse people,” said Wickenhauser.

To continue helping make this dream a reality, you can make a donation to Moose Jaw Pride online at: www.moosejawpride.ca/donate or by mailing a cheque to:

Moose Jaw Pride
c/o St. Andrew’s United
60 Athabasca St E
Moose Jaw, SK S6H 0L2

For media inquiries, please contact:

Joe Wickenhauser
Chair of the Board of Directors
306-514-8565
joe@moosejawpride.ca

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