Any initiatives to help reduce the physical, mental, and emotional distress caused by the pandemic can now apply for funds from The Winnipeg Wellness Fund.

"Have an idea that will put a smile on your neighbours’ faces this winter and financial support would be appreciated? This fund is for you," says Councillor John Orlikow, Winnipeg's Deputy Mayor.

As of December 21, 2020, the online application process from the city's website has begun. 

"COVID-19 restrictions have sadly changed how we are able to spend time with our family and friends and take part in community events. We can all use a bit more happiness this winter," says Orlikow.

According to the press release, businesses, business organizations, schools, community centres, and not-for-profit community entities, groups, or associations are encouraged to apply. This includes faith-based organizations such as churches or youth groups. 

The Fund will support community-led initiatives that address community mental health and allow residents to participate in fun, safe activities during the winter months.

The Winnipeg Wellness Fund is offering $600,000 and they will provide up to $40,000 per approved applicant. The area Councillor in which the application is received will decide which ones to grant.

Funds are being provided on a first-come, first-served basis and groups have until February 28, 2021, to apply and must use the funds by April 30, 2021. 

Businesses and organizations must comply with social distance guidelines and other restrictions put in place by the Manitoba government. If funding is awarded for an activity that becomes restricted due to new provincial public health orders, the group can adjust the activity first in order to comply and still receive funds.