The Athabasca Centennial Committee will be collecting a $32,200 grant from the Government of Canada to be used for the town’s 100th anniversary celebrations.
“We’re very grateful for what we received,” said Paula Evans, who, in addition to being a town councillor, is head of the centennial committee.
The announcement was made last Friday by Brian Jean, Member of Parliament (Fort McMurray-Athabasca), on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.
“The Government of Canada is proud to support activities that increase citizens’ participation in their communities,” explained Jean. “Athabasca’s 100th anniversary will celebrate our history and promote increased public exposure for local artists and performers.”
Centennial celebrations will commence April 1 and will span a nine-months period, wrapping up on the final day of 2011. The festivities will include musicians, artists, dancers, actors and tours and exhibits that will highlight the community’s milestones and achievements.
Originally, Athabasca was an important trade hub for the Hudson’s Bay Company and a staging post for the Canadian water route to the Klondike, and was officially incorporated in 1911.
“The Town of Athabasca extends its most sincere thanks to the Government of Canada for its support in celebrating our 100th anniversary,” said Mayor Roger Morrill. “Our community has flourished over the last century due to our citizens’ vision and spirit.”
The grant is provided through the government’s Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program, and will go a long way in helping the Centennial Committee reach its goals.
“We probably don’t have to go fundraising now,” Evans said.
Applying for the grant last September, Evans stated that the committee has been “very sparing with (their) money so far.” Out of last year’s $50,000 budget, approximately $45,000 can be rolled over and used this centenary year.
The centennial’s homecoming weekend and celebration will take place from July 29-31. A calendar of events can be found at www.athabasca2011.ca.