Western Nunavut community hoping to win money for park renovations
“Currently Lapointe Park is a desolate, abandoned looking ball diamond”
The hamlet of Kugluktuk is looking to an insurance company’s charity competition to help give a local park a fancy new makeover.
Kugluktuk, Nunavut’s most westerly community of 1,500 people, is hoping to snag $150,000 from the Aviva Community Fund, which the project description says will “help us realize our goal and enable us to provide the community with the best possibly facilities and programming.”
Aviva, a Scarborough-based insurance company formed from several other insurance companies that date back to 1887, is giving away $1 million to at least six projects across the country.
Registered members of the Aviva Community Fund can go to their website and vote for their favourite project.
On Oct. 24, “A New Look for Kugluktuk,” the name the project goes by on the website, had 327 votes.
More than 1,000 projects are competing for the money and the one in top place, as of this week, was something called The Cultural Café, a project to provide training and jobs for people who are visually impaired: it had 1,773 votes.
But the community is still hopeful because their needs are high and their resources slim. Even with the money from Aviva, the town will still have to raise $275,000 on their own to complete the planned upgrades.
“Currently Lapointe Park is a desolate, abandoned looking ball diamond with falling down fencing and waterlogged players’ area,” Kugluktuk recreation staff wrote in an overview of the project.
“There is also a run down basketball court and old BMX track that looks more like rolling hills than challenging jumps and climbs.”
The community’s recreation department wants to improve the park by building a gazebo (with grass around), a baseball diamond, a BMX track and half pipe, an outdoor skating rink and a basketball court at Lapointe Park, named after the Father Olvia Lapointe, who lived in Kugluktuk for 50 years, until his retirement in 1992.
The second round of competition qualifying began Oct. 21 and ends Nov. 4. If Kugluktuk doesn’t move into the semi-finals this round, it will have a third and final opportunity in the third round of qualification that starts Nov. 11.
The top 90 ideas, after three qualifying rounds, will reach the semi-finals, when another round of voting will decide who gets into the finals.
Thirty projects make it into the finals and all of those projects automatically receive $5,000. Then a minimum of six will be chosen for full funding, based on the decision of a panel of judges.
The outdoor facility would accompany Kugluktuk’s new, 4,365-square-foot youth centre. It is almost complete, but an opening date is still to be decided.
The hamlet has also “purchased two new playgrounds to be installed in different areas of the community — replacing the run-down, dangerous ones.”
To see the description and to vote for the project, click here.