This year, 253 rural communities are using their share of $450,000 in provincial Hometown Manitoba grants to launch a variety of outdoor renovation projects that will improve and enhance their local public areas and main streets, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) Minister Stan Struthers announced today.  

The Honourable Stan Struthers

The Honourable Stan Struthers

“Main street renovations demonstrate the pride and confidence residents and business owners have in the future of their communities and I applaud and support their enthusiasm,” said Struthers. “Through Hometown Manitoba grants, we can partner with rural community leaders and volunteers to help turn their ambitions for more inviting, appealing and attractive main streets and community centres into reality.”  

The Hometown Manitoba program provides annual funding in three categories:  Meeting Places, Main Street Enhancements and Tree Planting to help communities promote the unique identities and themes that define the vibrancy of their community life. 

Projects this year include storefront, community clubhouse and skating rink improvements, outdoor murals, a picnic shelter, a main street park, a seniors’ walkway and park, boulevard trees and plants, and monument signage.  The complete list of approved projects for 2010 can be found at www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/ri/community/ria01s04.html

The Hometown Manitoba program was launched in 2004.  To date, more than 1,725 projects have been approved with over 1,300 grants paid out for a total of approximately $1.9 million, generating more than $27 million in business and community investments. 

“The economic future of any community depends on the long-term commitment of the current residents and the ability to attract and keep new citizens and the business opportunities they bring,” said Struthers.  “Local townspeople are aware of the most outstanding assets of their community and how to best improve the visual appeal that defines it as a good place to visit, live, work, raise a family and start a business.” 

Information about the Hometown Manitoba program and how to apply for funding for next year is available at www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/ri/community/ria01s04.html. Applications are available and can be completed online or printed, faxed or mailed to local MAFRI GO Team offices.