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Arctic Winter Games left $350,000 legacy

It was the first time Debbie Reid had ever held a $300,000 cheque – and she gave it away according to a recent article by Josephine Lim in the Grande Prairie Herald-Tribune on March 1. Reid, the president of the 2010 Arctic Winter Games Host Society, presented the cheque to members of the Grande Prairie council community development committee.

It was the first installment of the Games legacy fund, which created a surplus of about $350,000. Some $12,000 of the money will be available each year as interest of the endowment fund. "We're providing to the city to set up a fund for the assistance of seed funding for cultural sport activities in the Grande Prairie region for youth," Reid said. "Basically what it's intended to do is if we want to attract an event or some type of an activity and there needs to be seed funding or bid funding or those types of things, they'll now have a one-stop shop to go to.

"They'll be able to get those funds and maybe bring some smaller, or larger, events to Grande Prairie." This applies to both the city and county since they were equal Games partners, Reid added. Francois Fournier, general manager of the host society, added that accessing funds will be through a similar process as applying through the Pursuit of Excellence and art development committees.

The duo also mentioned that Grande Prairie left a lasting impression with the Arctic Winter Games officials. "What we did as a host society here in Grande Prairie was set some standards that they really did like," Fournier said. "One of them is the financial reporting and accountability form and that has now been placed into the staging manual so future host societies must follow those."

The next Arctic Winter Games will be held in 2012 in Whitehorse. International participants in the Games one year ago included Alaska, Greenland, Russia, and the Sapmi nation of northern Scandinavia.
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