Canadian Red Cross and Community Partners Recommending Recovery Initiatives After Alberta Wildfires

FORT McMURRAY, ALTA – Groups seeking funds to help communities recover from the Alberta wildfires will have their grant applications reviewed by a newly-created Community Partnerships Table co-chaired by the Canadian Red Cross and United Way of Fort McMurray. 

The Community Partnerships Table will include a range of community members who will meet regularly to review and recommend funding applications of $100,000 or more submitted to either the Red Cross for the Community Organization Partnerships Program or the United Way’s Fire Recovery Fund. 

There are five scheduled application periods for grants under the Community Organization Partnerships Program. Two application periods are scheduled this fall to ensure that immediate community needs are being addressed. 

The Community Organization Partnerships Program is providing funds to community recovery initiatives as they are identified by local groups, municipalities, registered charities and other organizations working in the Wood Buffalo region. 

The Canadian Red Cross has already committed $50 million, including $14 million in matching donations from the Government of Alberta, to support community initiatives. In addition, United Way of Fort McMurray is also contributing $3 million from its Fire Recovery Fund. 

“The Canadian Red Cross is pleased to be participating in an initiative that will address the recovery needs of affected communities,” said Melanie Soler, co-chair of the Community Partnerships Table, and associate vice-president for Red Cross disaster management in Alberta. “Through our collaborative efforts, we will be able to identify and fund projects that will help support and revive the spirit of communities.” 

The Community Partnerships Table will include representation from Indigenous leadership, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) administration, the Alberta government, the Industry Recovery Working Group, Social Recovery Task Force, and Community Wellness and Resilience Committee. As well as reviewing and providing recommendations on funding applications, table representatives will identify any trends, gaps, vulnerabilities and needs in communities as they recover from the wildfires in May. 

“We are excited to work with our partners at the Canadian Red Cross and the community to make the best investment recommendations possible,” said John Evans, vice-president, Board of Directors for United Way and co-chair of the Community Partnerships Table. “We have collectively created a framework that maximizes responsiveness, while maintaining our commitment for accountability and transparency.” 

“This devastating wildfire has impacted every person in Wood Buffalo in one way or another,” said Danielle Larivee, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “By supporting community groups who are developing programs specifically made to help the RMWB, we are ensuring the community has the tools it needs to help residents along the difficult road to recovery.” 

More information on the application process for the Community Organization Partnerships Program is available here.