The Red Deer & District Community Foundation (RDDCF) has distributed $55,300 to eleven local agencies for the Fall Cycle of the Community Grants program.

“We are always impressed with the caliber of applications that we see each year,” Erin Peden, Executive Director of RDDCF said. “As a 360 degree funder, we are able to grant across such a range of areas. This year we are granting to charities that impact youth all the way to seniors, in areas such as food insecurity, education, mental health, physical health, social connection, accessibility, and the environment.”

“Our adjudication committee awards these grants based on our mission to strengthen the quality of life in Central Alberta,” Peden said. “There are so many incredible agencies doing worthwhile work to make sure our communities are places where everyone belongs. We are thrilled to help facilitate this work.”

Recipients of the fall grants are as follows:

  • Best Buddies Canada Friendship Program – $4,000
  • Book Clubs for Inmates Building Bridges Through Books – $2,900
  • Bridges Community Living Health To You Fitness Project – $5,900
  • Ellis Bird Farm Studying Parental Behaviour of Cavity Nesting Birds – $6,000
  • Leftovers Canada Rescue Food YQF 2023 – $10,000
  • MADD Red Deer & District 2022/2023 School Program – $2,550
  • Red Deer Action Group Subsidy Ride Program – $2,000
  • Schizophrenia Society of Alberta Ramp Resurfacing – $3,500
  • Stettler Hospice Society Capacity Building – $10,000
  • Sylvan Lake Seniors Association Program Subsidies for Seniors – $5,000
  • Young Alberta Book Society Seeds of Stories – $3,450

“As the Community Foundation, we have a number of ways to support charities to reach their financial needs ,” Peden said. “We provide grants, but we also work with agencies on other sustainable funding options.”

The Red Deer & District Community Foundation distributes Community Grants twice annually, in the spring and the fall. Applications for the Spring cycle of the Community Grants program will open early in January.

Community Grants are available to any qualified donee in Central Alberta, with no limitations as to areas of focus. In 2022, RDDCF has granted over $142,00 to local charities through the Community Grants program.

With the addition of another scholarship in 2022, the Red Deer & District Community Foundation gave away a record number of scholarships to local students this year. Over $100,000 was awarded to students from Red Deer, Penhold, and surrounding areas.

“These scholarships make such an impact in the lives of students who are facing huge financial barriers as expenses associated with post-secondary education continue to grow,” said Erin Peden, Executive Director of the Red Deer & District Community Foundation. “We are so proud to help facilitate financial awards that ease the burden of tuition costs and open the door of opportunity for students continuing on their educational journey.”

Scholarships administered by the Community Foundation include the newly formed William Arthur Bower Memorial Scholarship, made possible by a $1M donation by William Bower’s nieces, Ruth and Dorothy Bower. This scholarship awarded $5,000 to five students from Red Deer High Schools in 2022, as did the Ford Family Scholarship which awarded $5,000 to five students from Penhold Crossing School.

Other scholarships with the Community Foundation include the Rex Turple Memorial Scholarship, the Murray Family Scholarship, the Trey Purdie Memorial Scholarship, the Dr. Don Church Scholarship, the A. Bernard & Mary B. Dixon Scholarship, and the Rotary Career Opportunity Awards.

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In Spring of 2018, Bethany Care Foundation received a $1500 grant through the Red Deer & District Community Foundation’s Smart and Caring Communities Fund. This grant was used to help them purchase sensory therapy materials which has allowed them to rejuvenate their sensory therapy programming. These sensory materials had several objectives:

a. To provide seniors and adults with disabilities more way to communicate with their friends, family members and caregivers;

b. To proved the with opportunities to feel in control and successful;

c. To provide them with more diverse opportunities for social interaction;

d. To provide an opportunity to foster understanding, empathy, and friendship between residents in care and individuals outside of the care community; and

e. To provide more opportunities for community engagement between Bethany Collegeside and the greater Red Deer Community.


The success of the Sensory Therapy program at Bethany Collegeside has now encouraged other Bethany Care locations to adopt the same therapies. Since beginning this in other locations, residents and therapists have found it engaging and beneficial in increasing movement, engagements and a sense of meaningful activity.