Funding goes to Vernon's Okanagan Science Centre

Provincial downloading has hit taxpayers again.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee will give a one time $32,500 to the Okanagan Science Centre to make up for an anticipated shortfall in the provincial gaming grant.

“The more downloading that happens, the more we fill the gap,” said director Catherine Lord referring to other groups who have also sought GVAC’s help.

The centre’s gaming grant could be chopped by 50 per cent — a $32,500 loss.

“It will help a great deal,” said Bob Clarke, OSC vice-president, of GVAC’s contribution.

“We can use what ever money we can get.”

The centre has experienced financial challenges  with demands from the public for programs, staffing levels and maintaining their heritage building in Polson Park.

“We’re at a pace where we can’t sustain things,” said Sandi Dixon, OSC executive director.

Revenue sources currently consist of fundraising, admissions and membership fees.

“We can’t rely on user-pay. It just doesn’t work,” said Dixon of expenditures facing the non-profit.

If OSC’s provincial gaming grant  exceeds what has been budgeted, that excess amount will be returned to GVAC.

In terms of long-term stability, the centre has asked for annual core operating funds, something GVAC already provides to groups like the museum, public art gallery, Teen Junction and the arts centre.

“We don’t have any core funding,” said Dixon of the current situation.

Core funding of $150,000 was requested for 2012 but no decision was made because GVAC is reviewing cultural services.

“This could be considered as a potential partner in this function,” said director Bob Spiers.

Lord believes the $32,500 one-time grant will help what she considers to be a worthwhile community organization.

“We can’t do the $150,000 this year but they are pretty tight,” she said.


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