The group attempting to renovate the Strand Theatre is working on another application for federal government grant money.
The group attempting to renovate the Strand Theatre has yet to reapply for federal government grants that were initially rejected in March.
"We’re still working on it," Brandon Folk, Music and Art Society artistic director Shandra MacNeill said Monday.
MacNeill said the new application will take into account a request by Canadian Heritage to reduce the BFMAS grant request to $1.2 million, from the original request for $1.8 million.
She was not certain how large the provincial government request would be, or how much the BFMAS was going to request of the public sector.
"The feds asked us to adjust our budget for the project to work with the $1.2 million they had in mind," MacNeill said.
When asked how much public money the BFMAS was going to be asking for, MacNeill replied, "we are still looking at it."
It was not known how private fundraising efforts for the project are progressing.
MacNeill said she was not on that committee but provided information to that committee whenever requested.
After a May 31 meeting, Mayor Shari Decter Hirst said she would offer expertise on fundraising, relying on her previous career as a fundraiser.
In a text message to the Sun on Monday, Decter Hirst wrote she was "not involved in the Strand project in any way."
MacNeill said there were a number of prospective user groups that had come forward in May, and that the new application will include a list of potential programming that will use the facility.
"We are just digging a little bit deeper because so many people have come forward and we want to put forward the best application we possibly can. We are taking a little more time to make sure we have done that and respond to the new needs that have emerged in the community."
Jeanne Millis, a partner at BDO Canada’s Brandon office specializing in auditing and accounting, said she had met with Brandon East NDP MLA Drew Caldwell with regards to the grant application.
"I met with Drew to go over where things are at this point and correspondence I haven’t seen," Millis said. "I haven’t gotten that (correspondence) yet."
Millis said she was awaiting more information and has not decided whether she would be take part in developing the revised grant proposal.
While there is no deadline for BFMAS to submit the federal grant proposal, an early December deadline is in place as far as Renaissance Brandon’s funding is concerned. Braden Pilling of Renaissance Brandon said that deadline could be moved at the discretion of the board, but said that wasn’t likely unless there was significant progress in the federal and provincial government grant requests.
"The contingency (for Renaissance Brandon funding) is for federal and provincial funding for our to kick in," Pilling said. "They would need both."
A 2009 Renaissance Brandon report showed a conditional grant of $474,000 was approved by the downtown agency, to be paid out over two years.
One of the conditions was approval of federal and provincial grant money.
"If (federal funding is) approved, the provincial government has verbally indicated they will contribute the remaining, approximately $1 million," the report read.
The original federal deadline for completion of the project was the spring of 2011.
MacNeill said a new application would be submitted "as soon as it’s done."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 19, 2012