The Calgary Community Association and other groups suffer from casino fundraising evenings canceled due to COVID-19 closings. LIVEWIRE CALGARY FILE PHOTO
Calgary’s parishes are suffering a financial hit because the Albertans couldn’t … play.
COVID-19 had ceased operations across the city, including local casinos.
Community associations rely heavily on the money they get from participating in fundraisers and events at city casinos.
These community associations provide volunteers for staff events at local casinos. In return, the associations receive an excerpt from the night’s house assignment. This could mean a loss of up to $ 70,000 per event.
These casino events are scheduled up to two years in advance. Missing them can make it difficult for some of these associations to keep the lights on.
Community associations could go under
This is the case with the Crossroads Community Association.
COVID-19 forced their casino night to be canceled in April. This has caused Treasurer Ricardo Cosentino to worry about their future.
“It was difficult, we don’t have a lot of money. I think we’re in the worst position for that because we were due for our casino in April, ”he said.
“The payout for our casino would be in August and that won’t happen. So we have to stretch and move on. And we don’t know when that will come back. “
As COVID-19’s health restrictions relax and allow the Calgarians to come back to the table, Cosentino said it wouldn’t be the same payout even if the association participated.
“We hope to get a casino soon and then get paid by the end of the year. But of course we have to budget, ”he said.
“There’s also going to be less money because fewer people are going to the casinos, so it was a challenge on that front.”
The financial cavalry is on its way
There is hope of financial support for some community organizations. On May 11, the City of Calgary approved $ 6 million in aid to support community associations and social recovery groups.
The money was intended to support non-negotiable operating costs such as renting, supplying and maintaining buildings. In addition, on June 29, the Alberta government introduced its Small and Medium Business Relaunch Grant.
This $ 200 million provincial grant is helping businesses, cooperatives, and nonprofits that have closed down. You can get up to 15 percent of your pre-COVID-19 sales back, up to a maximum of $ 5,000.
The future is uncertain for Calgary Community Associations
Community associations could have hope of a casino payout in the province after the June 30 update of the Alberta relaunch strategy.
In Alberta’s Stage 2, casinos and bingo halls could be opened, but without table games. There is also no limit to the number of people in casinos as long as health measures are in place.
For Leslie Evans, Executive Director of the Federation of Calgary Communities, this update is a step in the right direction.
Still, she said some of her churches might fail by past spring next year.
“I think optimistically, I think my groups can weather the storm until spring. I think people are finding ways to be creative and in good shape by taking advantage of the grants we’ve been given, ”she said.
Even so, Evans said finances will be meager at best until casino operations return to normal and CAs are able to tap into full charity.
“Community associations are social meeting places as long as people distance themselves physically or we do things virtually. Those with buildings will be vacant and the cost of running the buildings will be higher than what they can ask for rent, ”she said.
“Well, in the worst case, I’ll be worried. No organization or company could exist for 24 months without adequate revenue for lost revenue. “