Grant writer bolsters community

September 1, 2021

The welcome sign to Bralorne, one of the communities in the Bridge River Valley.

Since 2014, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) has been receiving funding from Northern Development’s Grant Writing Support program for a part-time grant writing position with the Bridge River Valley Community Association (BRVCA) to benefit SLRD Areas A and B. In six years, more than $1 million in grant funding has been awarded because of the grant writer’s work, benefitting numerous community organizations and local governments.

“One of the best parts of my position is knowing that I’m helping communities invest in and complete crucial projects that improve quality of life by accessing external funds that reduce the financial impact on local taxpayers,” said Laurie Reimer, grant writer, BRVCA. “Grant writing is a very rewarding experience. I’m grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with so many amazing communities, groups and committees as they work to achieve goals that enhance community life.”

Reimer has been the grant writer for BRVCA since 2016 and prior to joining the community association she worked as a grant writer in Burns Lake, where her position was also partially funded by the Trust’s Grant Writing Support program.

“One highlight is when my grant applications for the East Lillooet Internment Memorial Garden project were successful, resulting in the entire project being funded through grants and in-kind contributions,” shared Reimer. “Located along Highway 12 near the junction to Lillooet, this project is a legacy that provides a heritage and historical connection, as well as encouraging learning, recreation and relaxation and is accessible to residents, visitors and tourists.”

The positive influence of having a dedicated and experienced grant writer is evident within the area, with many community priority projects being completed with the assistance of outside funding. This leads to quality facilities and services without burdening the small tax base.

Laurie truly understands how to develop a successful funding proposal using excellent research and writing skills,” said Pat Dahle, president, BRVCA. “From a successful grant application for $148,762 to upgrade the HVAC Control System at the Lillooet REC Centre in 2020 to numerous successful Canada Summer Jobs grant applications, the impacts of her hard work are far reaching. The Canada Summer Jobs grant directly benefits youth in our area which has a ripple effect in the community.”

May be an image of outdoors
Work being done on the Bralorne Church and Hall in 2019.
Photo: BRVCA

Funding for Laurie’s position, and 53 other grant writing positions throughout the north, comes from Northern Development’s Grant Writing Support program. Up to $8,000 to a maximum of 76 percent of eligible grant writer wages is available through the program annually. Grant writers support communities by preparing funding applications to agencies, foundations and government programs to support economic development projects for their communities.