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‘Streams’ finishes behind the line, but ahead in hearts




By Marni Walsh

On November 1st, Streams Community Hub finished just behind the line it needed to cross to place in the top five in the race for a $100,000 development grant. The final numbers for the Aviva Insurance Grants Competition may not have been in their favour, but the folks in Shelburne were – with an estimated 1300 residents taking the time to cast their votes for Streams non-profit organization.

Each Streams voter had 18 votes to cast for a total of more than 23,500 votes for the small town idea. The Royal Ontario Museum with its influence and following, finished in one of the top spots with around 24,000 votes - a testament to how tight the race was and the tremendous support that Streams Hub has in the community.

Executive Director, Andrew James says Streams Community Hub was created to help Shelburne youth to “discover passion, potential and purpose.” Summer Camps in their inaugural season focused on providing programs such as film, art, and theatre that enriched the lives of youth in the community by providing activities at little or no charge whenever possible. New camps, including “Circus Week” are already in the planning stages for next summer.

Mr. James and his wife Juli-Anne are part of a four member board of directors who actively fundraised to subsidize Streams campers. “Equality of accessibility is one of the core values.” The funding his group was seeking from Aviva would have been used to acquire and outfit a physical location for summer camps and year round family programs. Currently, Streams operates administratively from the James' household, and the camp, and tutoring programs need a place willing to rent or donate space.

In a press release November 1st, the group admitted, “It's a disappointing result, especially given how much we know our community rallied around our project. We'll try again next year, using all that we have learned from this experience.”

In an interview, Mr. James said they learned through the process that “people definitely want this – the need is recognized in the community and people are willing to get behind someone who is willing to take the initiative.” Even in their loss, social media was lighting up with support for the group.

“We want to express our thanks to everyone who voted and tirelessly campaigned for us,” said Andrew and Juli-Anne. “A huge thank you to John van Teunenbroek and No Frills Shelburne; the Town of Shelburne; Dale Lundy and Alison Port of LP Stage Productions; Tristan Barrocks; Rev. Candice Bist and Trinity United Church; Lesa Peat and The Royal Canadian Legion Shelburne; Jason and Deb Wagstaff; The Dufferin Board of Trade; Michele Harris and Headwaters Tourism and the many others who came alongside to rally for us.”

Going forward Andrew James says the faith the community put in them has given them a new sense of responsibility to make sure the programs happen. Streams is applying for charitable status, which they expect to come through in mid 2018. This will open up the possibility of further sponsorship as Streams becomes more appealing to corporate donors.

In the meantime, they have applied to Shelburne Council for support in their 2018 budget, as well as applying for a $10,000 Ontario Arts Council grant. The Executive Director says the new census information supports the need for programs like Streams Hub in Shelburne and will be useful as they apply for funding.

“Between now and the next opportunity, we will continue to work and to build,” say Andrew and Juli-Anne. To stay connected to Streams Community Hub “like” them on Face Book and join #teamstreams by signing up for the mailing list at streamshub.org.” Volunteers and financial support continue to be needed - if you would like to become involved visit the website or phone 289-203-8202.

 

 


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