The East Hants Sportsplex in Lantz (Healey photo)

LANTZ/ENFIELD: Four recreation facilities in the East Hants region are among a group of 56 across N.S. approved by the province for emergency funding aimed at helping the non-profit organizations that operate them adjust to the impact left by COVID-19.

“Recreation facilities are the cornerstone of healthy, strong and thriving communities, so it was important that they received support to work through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage Minister Pat Dunn. “Nova Scotians depend on these facilities to get active and connect with their community.”

The East Hants Sportsplex in Lantz received $40,000; Todd Hill Farm in Enfield, HRM was given $30,000; Milford Recreation Association $20,000; and the Hardwood Lands Girl Guide camp received $15,000.

Due to COVID-19 public health restrictions, many recreation facilities were closed for various lengths of time, resulting in significant revenue loss. They faced lost rentals and cancelled events, increased cleaning and maintenance expenses, staff layoffs and limited ability to fundraise.

Grant recipients include the Ivor MacDonald Memorial Arena in Thorburn, Pictou County, which received $40,000 to help the facility cover operational expenses and ensure that the arena could continue to operate.

The $1 million emergency support fund was announced in July as a one-time, application-based program based on proven need.

“Recreational facilities often serve as the heart of our communities. They not only provide us opportunities to be active and improve our mental health, but they are where we go to connect with each other. It is important that we support their operations so that they can continue to deliver these services to Nova Scotians.”
     – Brian Comer, Minister of Addictions and Mental Health

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on everyone, especially our rural communities and community facilities. The Recreation Facilities Association of Nova Scotia is very pleased that the Province listened to our concerns and was able to provide this one-time funding program which will mean the difference between reopening, staying open and closing for good, for many of our facilities.”
     – Jennie Greencorn, Executive Director, Recreation Facilities Association of Nova Scotia

“The Ivor MacDonald Memorial Arena is very grateful to receive this funding. As a not-for-profit organization, the last 18 months have been difficult and challenging. COVID-19 changed the way we had to operate and resulted in loss of revenue and additional expenses. This money will help offset some of those losses and allow us to continue to serve the communities of Pictou East.”
     – Randy Palmer, Director, Ivor MacDonald Memorial Arena

Quick Facts:
— Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage contributed $800,000 to the emergency fund while the Office of Addictions and Mental Health contributed $200,000
— facilities that were eligible for this funding included arenas, rinks, pools, curling clubs, multiplexes, community recreation centres and other multi-purpose facilities

Additional Resources:
A list of the facilities that received funding is available at: