Ontario Trillium Foundation 2007 Great Grants Award winners: Muskoka, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Timiskaming

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    NORTH BAY, ON, Nov. 5 /CNW/ - Five remarkable Ontario not-for-profit
organizations will be honoured for the difference they have made in their
communities at the Ontario Trillium Foundation's 25th Anniversary celebration
in North Bay, November 6, 2007. The evening will be hosted by Dr. Rod Johnston
of North Bay.
    "The Great Grants Awards recognize the vision, commitment and energy of
Ontario's volunteers and community organizations," said Christina Golding,
Grant Review Team Chair for Muskoka, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Timiskaming.
"This is our 25th year of strengthening communities and we're celebrating by
holding 16 award events across the province. We look forward to meeting
community members in the Muskoka, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Timiskaming region
who help make Ontario a great place to live."
    The Foundation presents the Great Grants Awards every two years. The
award winners were selected by volunteers who serve on the local Grant Review
Team. In the Muskoka, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Timiskaming region, five
organizations were chosen for their outstanding achievements in the Arts and
Culture, Sports and Recreation, Environment and Human and Social Services

    2007 Great Grants Award Winners: Muskoka, Nipissing, Parry Sound,

    -   Arts and Culture: Muskoka Lakes Music Festival. In 2004, an OTF two
        year grant of $73,800 helped the festival deliver Kaleidoscope in the
        Schools (KITS), an arts education program for children in the Muskoka
        area. There were 21 artists and 40 involved in reaching 2,000
        elementary students through this innovative program.

    -   Sports and Recreation: Municipality of West Nipissing. In 2004, the
        Municipality of West Nipissing received $16,300 from OTF to buy a
        portable skateboard park for area youth. The skateboard park has
        decreased loitering in the downtown area and reduced the number of
        skateboard-related injuries. West Nipissing now holds skateboarding
        tournaments which, according to trusted sources, are "wicked."

    -   Environment: Muskoka Inventory Collaborative. In 2005, the Muskoka
        Inventory Collaborative, a group comprised of the Muskoka Heritage
        Foundation, Muskoka Watershed Council, the District of Muskoka and
        Ministry of Natural Resources Bracebridge, received an OTF grant of
        $49,000 over 18 months to do a comprehensive inventory and analysis
        of the ecologically significant Muskoka River Watershed land systems.
        This initiative will ensure the public learns about the action needed
        to protect their rich natural heritage.

    -   Human and Social Services: Amelia Rising Sexual Assault Centre. The
        organization joined forces with the North Bay Crisis Centre and, with
        the help of a two year OTF grant in 2003 of $80,800, developed and
        implemented a support service for men. A total of 60 men participated
        in support group sessions for three months. For most of the
        survivors, their silence was broken for the first time. The support
        groups became a powerful means of transformation.

    -   Grant Review Team Chair's Award - for exemplary volunteerism: City of
        Temiskaming Shores' New Liskeard Library. In 2005, OTF granted the
        library $6,700 to buy new resource materials and set up a website.
        Making the library more accessible to rural areas was one of the
        grantee's major goals, and a successful outreach library was
        established in the Township of Hudson. Volunteers were trained in
        basic cataloguing and, within three weeks, a "Friends of the Library
        Group" was formed. Housed in the Hudson Town Hall, the tiny library
        continues to operate, all thanks to community volunteers.

    The 2007 Great Grants Awards will be held Tuesday, November 6, from 5:00
p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Clarion Resort Pinewood Park, 201 Pinewood Park
Avenue, North Bay. The award presentation begins at 5:30 p.m. The Ontario
Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario. To learn more
about OTF, visit www.trilliumfoundation.org.

For further information:

For further information: Carolyn Bennett, Writer, Communications
Officer, 1-800-263-2887 ext. 293, cbennett@trilliumfoundation.org; Muskoka
Lakes Music Festival, Gayle Dempsey, (705) 765-1048; Municipality of West
Nipissing, Marc Gagnon, (705) 753-2250; Muskoka Heritage Foundation, Judi
Brouse, (705) 645-7393; Amelia Rising Sexual Assault Centre, Brenda Simpson,
(705) 840-2403; City of Temiskaming Shores' New Liskeard Library, Rebecca
Hunt, (705) 672-3707; Chris Gallagher, (705) 647-2415

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