When most people think of the legacy of the Canada Winter Games for Prince George and the region, they probably think of the improvements to athletic facilities which were brought about to host the Games.
Things like the new biathlon range at Otway Nordic Centre, or the improved lighting at the Coliseum.
There are other legacies of the Games, however, and more than 40 of them were celebrated Jan. 26 at the University Hospital of Northern B.C. Northern Health announced the Imagine grants, which cover communities across the north, in conjunction with the Games.
“This was a first-time partnership in the history of the Games,” Mike Davis, director of marketing and communications for the Games, said. “We are giving lessons to future Games on the importance of building partnerships in your community.”
Imagine is an acronym explaining the purposes the grants can be used for: Investing upstream and for the long haul; Multiple, strength-based strategies; Addressing the determinants of health; Grassroots engagement; Intersectoral collaboration; Nurturing healthy public policy; Evidence-based decision making.
Anna Chisholm, Northern Health’s health service administrator, said one of the messages they were trying to get out to people is a simple one.
“Community is where health happens.”
She read out a list of the groups receiving grants, asking if there was anyone present at the conference. After she read about the third grant to a school group with no one present, she paused.
“I bet all the schools are in school right now, so they’re not here.”
Chief medical health officer Dr. Sandra Allison said the grants looked at physical activity and chronic disease prevention.
“Being active is important for maintaining good health. All the projects receiving grants will give more people a chance to become more active.”
It doesn’t take much, she reminded those in attendance.
“Walking for 20 minutes a day is all that most people need.”
The Prince George Cycling Club was one of the groups which received an Imagine Grant, and Peter Stevenson said their application matched what the grants were designed for.
“An active lifestyle is important for a healthy community, but a major concern among bike riders is riding in traffic.
“We will use the grant to bring a nationally certified safety program to Prince George. The program will train people here, and allow them to pass that information along to other groups. We will be partnering with the YMCA of Northern B.C. to continue the program.”
While the Imagine Grant program is finished for this year, interested groups are asked to monitor the Northern Health website (www.northernhealth.ca) for future grant opportunities.