Facilities and ice surfaces across the province of Saskatchewan have benefitted from the Community Rink Affordability Grant Program. A total of 594 ice surfaces and 379 facilities received grants to be used for maintenance and covering various costs. One of the facilities to receive this grant was the Dodsland Sports Arena. With the help of this money, the facility is able to cover the cost of power and other utility bills.
Administrator for the Village of Dodsland, Amy Sittler says this grant is a huge importance for the rink and the village as a whole.
“It helped us pay our power for a month. Its not a lot, but every little bit helps. We've always received it before and then last year was our first year back again receiving it. We kind of rely on it to help us offset some of the costs.”
The CRAG Program was reinstated in 2020-2021 and communities, First Nations, schools, and non-profits are encouraged to apply for the grant. The program has already been confirmed for 2022 and registration will be open beginning in the fall. With the help of Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation administering the program, communities and recreation within the province benefit greatly.
Applying for the CRAG Program is a simple process and Sittler encourages fellow communities to consider it.
"It was just an online application that we had to fill out and just specifying what we wanted to use it for. They give you the options of if you want to put it towards utilities or into ice costs"
A total of 1.7 million dollars was dispersed to the 594 ice surfaces which included 377 skating rinks and 277 curling rinks.