A year ago at the February 12th Council Meeting Richmond Hill Councillors Carmine Perrelli, Joe DiPaola, Tom Muench and Greg Beros abruptly cancelled the 2020 Community & Culture Grants Program.
Richmond Hill had been distributing an annual $65,000 fund for many years in order to support groups and individuals who help build a vibrant community through their services and activities.
Councillor Beros, who forwarded the motion, stated council “shouldn’t hand out tax dollars” to community groups on behalf of the residents. Regional Councillor Perelli referred to his own survey to suggest that Richmond Hill citizens are not in favour of supporting cultural groups with tax dollars.
These same Councillors do not seem to mind "handing out" taxpayer dollars when it comes to their own expense accounts. In 2019 Perrelli and DiPaola spent over $100,000 on their "communications" alone and that would include the aforementioned survey. In the first 9 months of 2020 Council expenses already totaled more than $132,000.
Yet $65,000 could not be found to support the Community and Culture Grants? Shame!
Richmond Hill residents would you rather that council gives $65,000 back to the community for arts and culture programming or that hundreds of thousand of taxpayer dollars are spent on their communications? Arts or Robocalls? Culture or Facebook ads? What would benefit you more? Remember this when it's time to vote in 2022.
At the February 12th meeting the majority of Council (Councillors Perrelli, DiPaola, Muench and Beros) voted to cancel the 2020 Community & Culture Grants.
The purpose of the $65,000 annual grant program was to provide project funding to community and cultural organizations and individual artists whose projects support a more vibrant Richmond Hill through the delivery of programs, services or activities.
The following organizations had been recommended by Staff for the grants:
Alzheimer Society of York Region
Art in Migration
Bridge to Artists
Burr House Spinners and Weavers
High Note Avante Productions Inc.
Home on the Hill Supportive Housing
Iranian Canadian Teens Club
Kindred Spirits Orchestra
Richmond Hill Concert Band
Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra
Richmond Hill United Church
Shadowpath Theatre Productions
York Region Indian Seniors Club
About the Program: In February 2015, Council approved the new Community and Cultural Grant Program with an annual funding allocation of $65,000. For more information click Community and Cultural Grant Program