The deadline approaches for Agri-Spirit Fund applications.

The deadline approaches for Agri-Spirit Fund applications.

Deadline approaches for Agri-Spirit fund

2017 is a big year for the FCC Agri-Spirit fund with Canada's big 150th this year.

This might just be the year for capital projects looking for funding.

Wanting to help celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation, Farm Credit Canada has increased its Agri-Spirit Fund by 50 per cent for 2017 for a total of $1.5 million for eligible projects.

“Normally the fund is set at $1 million, but it was increased specifically for this year to play our part in the country’s big celebration,” said Susan Cameron, community investment consultant with Farm Credit Canada.

“We usually have between 1,000 and 1,300 submissions, and with all of the extra money available, I think it would be smart to get in an application since virtually any project from outside a major urban centre will be looked at and evaluated.”

The Agri-Spirit Fund was started back in 2004 to enhance rural communities by supplying funds to capital projects such as emergency service equipment, playgrounds and care homes with donations from $5,000 to $25,000.

Applications close on April 17 with groups such as registered charities, municipalities with less than 150,000 population and non-profit organizations that can partner with a municipality that has agreed to also contribute to the project eligible to apply. Since the inception of Agri-Spirit fund, more than $10.5 million has been handed out with this year’s winners to be announced in late August.

However, only groups that have not received funds in the last four years can apply, the project must be completed within two years and be for capital building or equipment.

“I think it will be quite popular this year since, with about two weeks left, we’ve seen a number of applications and we know we get a large number at the end,” said Cameron.

“When people call for details, it’s so much fun listening to them talk about their project. They are so passionate, so excited, and with so many great projects, I don’t how the final decisions can be made, its so tough.”

Funding will be distributed around the country through the FCC’s 20 districts, with the top 10 applications in each district evaluated and prioritized by FCC employees in that district as to funding amounts. Preference may be given to projects/organizations that focus on agriculture.

For more information about the program, eligibility and other requirements or to fill out on online application, go to

2016 Alberta recipients

Barrhead and District Agrena Society, $25,000, construct an aquatic centre

La Glace & District Agricultural Society, $25,000, replace the community recreational centre

Crossfield Fire Department, $19,500, purchase emergency services communication radios

Penhold Volunteer Fire department, $15,500, purchase a fire truck

Fort Macleod Kids First Family Centre, $15,000, construct a new children and family centre

Stettler Health Services Foundation, $10,000, upgrade delivery services and emergency room

Lloydminster Search and Rescue Inc., $10,000, purchase rescue air and water drones

Vilna & District Agricultural Society, $10,000, replace the arena roof

Bonnyville Health Foundation/Bonnyville Health Centre, $10,000, purchase operating room equipment

Kinuso and District Fire Department, $10,000, purchase a fire and rescue ATV and trailer

Girouxville Enhancement Committee, $10,000, upgrade the outdoor ice rink into a year-round facility

Friends of Coalhurst Elementary School Society, $10,000, purchase accessible playground equipment

Sunnyside School, $10,000, construct a new playground

Calmar and District Ag Society, $7,500, upgrade the facility’s lighting, heating and plumbing

Hazel Bluff Community Agricultural Society, $7,500, construct perimeter safety fencing