Gwaii Trust travel program changes

  • Mar. 6, 2013 2:00 p.m.

The Gwaii Trust has made a few changes to its very popular travel assistance program. Executive director Errol Winter said grants will now be available to cover transportation costs only, not costs for accommodation, food and other expenses while off-island. Eligible travel cost are ferry, plane, train and bus fares. The Trust has also clarified exactly what kind of trips are eligible for funding. The program will allow residents to travel off island for educational purposes, for group cultural gatherings and special events, and to participate in sports events. The program can also be used to help pay travel costs to bring people to Haida Gwaii for educational purposes, or to lead group events involving the arts, culture, sports, seniors or special needs. As before, adult residents are eligible for up to two trips a year, while youth can apply for an unlimited number. There has been a slight change to the youth travel program, Mr. Winter said, that should see young people getting more involved in their communities. Under the new rules, youth groups applying for the travel grant will have to demonstrate that they have done some community work, such as chopping firewood for elders or cleaning up garbage. There’s also been a change to the submission deadline, which was previously two weeks before the travel date. Now, in certain cases, the trust will approve funding for travel with a one-week deadline. Mr. Winter said the travel assistance program is very popular, with grants provided for about 500 trips last year. The program provides matching funds of up to $250 for individual travel off-island, and up to $2,000 for group travel. Full details about the program are available at gwaiitrust.com