The City of Winnipeg has budgeted $1.5 million this year, or about $100,000 per city councillor, for its community incentive program.
Grants are doled out at councillor's respective community committees -- Assiniboia, City Centre East Kildonan-Transcona, Lord Selkirk-West Kildonan and Riel -- which meet monthly at city hall.
The program began in March 1985 as a way to help fund non-proft sport and recreation groups taking on capital projects, like community centres and arenas, at a time when the city couldn't afford to do so, according to official minutes. The program started with a $600,000 budget, and councillors could approve one-time grants to organizations to cover up to 25% of the project's total cost, to a maximum of $100,000.
In May 1994, councillors voted to amend funding rules to cover up to 50% of a project’s cost, to a maximum of $250,000.
In July 2003, councillors voted to amend eligibility criteria from strictly sport and recreation groups to include any "non-profit organization that contributes to the health and well-being of the community through development of a sport or recreation capital project." In a review, city administrators noted the importance of keeping the intent of the program intact to fund community sport and rec facilities.
In July 2012, councillors vote to further amend eligibility criteria to any non-profit organization contributing to the "health and well-being of the community," removing emphasis on sport facilities. The vote also expands the list of eligible projects to include capital assets such as tractors or snowblowers.
The change follows a somewhat controversial move by St. Norbert Coun. Justin Swandel to use $10,000 of CIG funds to move a piece of artwork from the old airport terminal to the University of Manitoba. That funding was ultimately approved by city council.
The following map offers a glimpse at where councillors are spending their budgets. Councillors can spend the money wherever they please, though a majority does go to projects in their respective wards. Clicking on the project title and funding amounts will lead to monthly minutes where the grants were approved or denied.
Green markers = sport/recreation and playground projects approved for funding
Yellow markers = Cultural/religious/other projects approved for funding
Red markers = Applications approved for funding but received none