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MTS provides grants to help kids

Manitobans voted for winning organizations

Joey Bernard (from left), Michael Duggan, Bradey Brown, Ila Wilson, Desiree Klassen and Carissa McKernan make a music video with Paul James of Just TV.


Joey Bernard (from left), Michael Duggan, Bradey Brown, Ila Wilson, Desiree Klassen and Carissa McKernan make a music video with Paul James of Just TV.

MTS Allstream has rewarded 10 youth-oriented organizations with financial grants to further their programming.

The Winnipeg-based telco will officially announce the recipients of its MTS Future First grants today, which also happens to be Manitoba Day. (The Manitoba Act received royal assent on May 12, 1870, making the province 144 years old.)

Applications were received from more than 100 youth-oriented organizations hoping to receive the $10,000 grant.


  • What does it do? A not-for-profit community arts centre dedicated to providing high-quality arts programming for free.
  • Project name: Circle of Courage
  • Location: West Broadway
  • Quote: "Art City was the first place I learned I could make stuff like that." -- Christina, who is moving to Toronto to study fashion design


  • What does it do? A division of Canada's leading child and youth mentoring charity, it facilitates life-changing relationships that inspire and empower children and youth to reach their potential, both as individuals and citizens.
  • Project name: Go Girls: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds
  • Location: Portage la Prairie
  • Quote: "I actually have more confidence in this group because it really helps us girls feel better about ourselves." -- Anna, a Go Girls participant


  • What does it do? This non-profit organization is committed to providing highest-quality recreational, social, health, educational and employment training programs and services.
  • Project name: Just TV
  • Location: West Broadway
  • Quote: "Just TV is a great environment to creatively express yourself. The program allows me to expand my horizons." -- Renae Monkman


  • What does it do? The CJP encourages youth between the ages of 14 and 25 to be proud of their francophonie heritage, to live in French in Manitoba and develop their competencies in areas such as politics, education, culture, economy, sports, health, citizenship, leisure and communications.
  • Project name: Annual Youth Assembly
  • Location: southeast Manitoba francophone communities


  • What does it do? A non-profit organization dedicated to exploring and meeting the residential, day-program, respite and foster-care needs of youth and adults.
  • Project name: The Scrap Came Back
  • Location: Winnipeg


What does it do? Gives students the time to learn and explore a topic they are truly interested in. Their plan involves developing questions they want to explore, resources they're going to use to find the answers and determining an appropriate way of sharing what they've learned with the class.

Project name: Genius Hour

Location: The Pas

Quote: " I like Genius Hour because we get to do our own things. It's fun discovering new things by myself." -- Tatiana Bear, Grade 3


  • What does it do? A provider of programming, natural settings and facilities for environmental education, outdoor recreation and social enterprise.
  • Project name: Fort Whyte Farms
  • Location: downtown Winnipeg


  • What does it do? It's a student-run organization providing affordable and accessible one-on-one swimming instruction to children with special needs.
  • Project name: Making Waves Winnipeg Summer Camp
  • Location: Winnipeg


  • What does it do? It's an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization that promotes educational equity and social justice by collaborating with public secondary schools to build their capacity to improve student learning and engagement.
  • Project name: The Peaceful Village
  • Location: Winnipeg


  • What does it do? It contributes to the total development of physically disabled persons by presenting them with opportunities to participate in a variety of recreational activities and wheelchair-sport programs.
  • Project name: Mini-Paralympic Camp
  • Location: southern Manitoba, including Winnipeg
  • Quote: "I can go a lot faster in my wheelchair. I love the sailing the most." -- Téo Roy, 8.

"We recognize that we're the home team in Manitoba, and we have an obligation to step up and support our community," said Paul Beauregard, MTS's chief corporate officer. "The grants (are designed) to help youth overcome barriers."

The successful ones are Art City, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Portage la Prairie, the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, Conseil jeunesse provincial, DASCH Inc., Ecole Opasquia School, FortWhyte Alive, Making Waves Winnipeg, Manitoba School Improvement Program and the Manitoba Wheelchair Sport Association.

"The number of people in this province who volunteer their time and passions to supporting Manitoba youth is quite humbling," Beauregard said.

While most Manitobans are doing very well, Beauregard said not everybody is so fortunate. For example, the province's child-poverty rates are among the highest in the country.

As well, some young people don't have the access to education they should, some are victims of bullying while others aren't able to develop much-needed life skills.

There are no strings attached to the grants -- applicants didn't need to be MTS customers to apply -- and Beauregard said he's not looking to see an uptick in any of its business lines as a result.

"It's hoped we're going to make Manitoba stronger. MTS and its employees and retired employees have been active in this community for 100 years. This is about MTS's commitment to the future of the province and supporting our youth," he said.

MTS donates more than one per cent of its pre-tax profits to a wide variety of causes throughout the province.

Twenty of the organizations were shortlisted and MTS asked Manitobans to select the top 15. Nearly 50,000 people voted and then a panel of business people selected the successful 10.


Updated on Monday, May 12, 2014 at 6:21 AM CDT:
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