$3 million rapid-grant program aimed at Manitobans’ mental, physical health

People feeling extra blue this winter will be able to access free programs to help combat poor mental and physical health.

The province of Manitoba will spend $3 million to allow local groups to put together programming that people can watch or use online, like fitness classes, arts programming, mental health courses, cooking programs and more.

Called Safe at Home, the new program hopes to encourage Manitobans to take care of themselves despite not being able to leave the house to go most places.

Click to play video 'Holiday Cooking with ACC: Vinarterta' Holiday Cooking with ACC: Vinarterta

Holiday Cooking with ACC: Vinarterta

The program will be administered by the United Way of Winnipeg, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, the Manitoba Arts Council, Sport Manitoba and The Winnipeg Foundation.

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The qualifying criteria include:

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  • Up to $50,000 per project; organizations can submit more than one project
  • Municipalities, First Nations, local authorities, Not-for-Profit, Charitable and For-Profit businesses, Government agencies, post secondary institutions and individual artists may apply
  • Grant requests may include:
  • New projects that support social inclusion, mental health and physical wellness while staying home
  • Expansion or additions to existing projects, including the removal of fees or costs to participate
  • Equipment or supplies required to deliver a program or project
  • Administration or event costs directly related to program delivery

The organizations handing out the grants will look at things like how the program will provide an outlet, how many Manitobans are likely to participate, whether the group has the capacity to do the project quickly, how collaborative the idea is, and how accessible it is to a diverse number of people, said the province.

Several groups have already been approved for grant funding for programs, including the Festival du Voyageur, the Legislative Building’s Open House online, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre for a variety show, Skills Manitoba on making a gingerbread house, the Archives of Manitoba screening five films with a question and answer period, and more.

The Safe at Home program will also include a $150,000 advertising campaign to get the word out.

Groups wanting to apply can go to SafeathomeMB.ca to find out more information.

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