PRINCE GEORGE – Music, culture and sport organizations have received more than $100,000 in combined funding from the B.C. government, Prince George MLAs Shirley Bond and Mike Morris announced today.

The Prince George Symphony Orchestra received $56,000 for concert and education programs.

“These funds will go toward employing our outstanding professional musicians for our 44th season’s main stage concert series,” PGSO general manager Jeremy Stewart said. “In addition, we will use part of the funds for Sistema Prince George, a music education program designed to increase access to music education opportunities for children and youth.”

The Bel Canto Choirs Association received $10,000 to help fund the 2014/2015 season.

“The funds will help the choir acquire new music for our library including a musical that the children’s choir will share with other schools in the district this fall,” Bel Canto artistic director Melanie Nicol said. “Our collection of Canadian repertoire will expand also, as the Youth Choir and Northern voices will perform a concert featuring Canadian composers and songwriters.”

The Prince George Mardi Gras of Winter Society received $16,080.

“The Mardi Gras of Winter Society puts on the Mardi Gras Snow Daze Winter Festival every year, and since people are stuck inside during the long winter months, the festival offers lots of fun activities for people to enjoy,” Mardi Gras treasurer and past president Aileen Snow said.

The Prince George Youth Volleyball Club received $25,000 for its operations and offsetting travel and gym costs.

“Volleyball BC events are generally held eight or more hours away, making travel and accommodation extremely expensive for our teams. PGYVC uses some of the funding to help keep travel costs down,” Prince George Volleyball Club president Dan Drezet said. “The majority of the grant money is used to pay for gym time, the club’s biggest cost. This results in lower registration fees for all athletes, including the younger members and recreational members that do not travel, but rather compete locally.”

“We are blessed with amazing sport, music and cultural organizations in Prince George. Their efforts enhance and improve the community and region we live in,” Bond said. “The grants these organizations are receiving make a difference and support the staff and hardworking volunteers in the work they do.”

“Not only do these organizations provide opportunities for people to participate in sports, music and cultural events, but through games, concerts, and activities, these organizations also help bring our community together,” Morris said.

The funding provided through the Community Gaming Grant Program, allows non-profit organizations to apply for provincial gaming revenues. In the last fiscal year, the provincial government distributed $135 million worth of grants to some 5,000 local organizations. Organizations interested in applying for Community Gaming Grants can find application information and guidelines at gaming.gov.bc.ca/grants.