Grant Requests Well Over Budget

A few years ago, the Town of Cobourg formalized the process for applying for grants for community projects – typically cultural or charitable. The first step now is to make an application with a deadline of October 31; then applicants may make their case to Council and that opportunity happened on Monday November 25. Twenty-four applicants did just that and their total request came to $142.733.70 although the budget is $50,000 so many will be disappointed.  Not all the applicants were Cobourg based and some were new – that is, they had not previously applied for a grant from the Town.  And some presentations were more impressive with more financial detail, evidence of success in raising money from other sources and generally doing a better job of selling their case – because that’s what the session was about: selling their project to Council.

Suzanne Seguin
Suzanne Seguin

The amount that each applicant asked was indicated in their applications but many did not repeat that number in their presentation and the detail was not provided by the Town.  Each presenter was given a strict limit of 7 minutes; for example, Joan Chalovich ran out of time and was not able to show the slides for the Cobourg Museum Foundation (Sifton-Cook Museum).  Suzanne Séguin chaired the meeting in her capacity as Council’s budget chief and was able to keep the meeting moving along and it finished inside the three hours allocated.  Some applicants got a hint of Council’s likely decision – for example, Mayor John Henderson asked Rick Miller of the Marie Dressler Foundation “What would be the minimum Municipal contribution (to show support) that would satisfy the requirements of others providing grants?”

Here is a list of those presenting – I understand there are other applicants who chose not to participate in this opportunity.

Applicant for 2020 grant Area covered 2019 request & status
Therapeutic Paws of Canada Cobourg, Port Hope $215 requested
$243 approved
Northumberland Community Counselling Centre County – Cobourg based No 2019 request
Transition House Coalition of Northumberland County – Cobourg based No 2019 request
Northumberland Learning Connection Cobourg, Port Hope No 2019 request
Sounds of the Next Generation (SONG) County $2,500 requested
$2,000 approved
La Jeunesse Choirs Cobourg $2,000 requested
$1,864.50 approved
OSGA 55+ District 12 Senior Games Multiple counties, Cobourg Based Request filed too late
Marie Dressler Foundation Cobourg, Port Hope $1000 requested
$1000 approved
Cobourg Museum Foundation Cobourg $8,500 requested
$8,500 approved
The Help Centre County – Cobourg based No 2019 request
Fern Blodgett Sunde Commemoration Cobourg $5,000 requested – deferred
Horizons of Friendship Central America, Cobourg Based No 2019 request
Cobourg Lawn Bowling Cobourg $5,438.12 parking passes
requested and approved
Victoria Hall Volunteers Cobourg $4,500 requested
$4,520 approved
Northumberland Orchestra Society Cobourg $4,000 requested
$2,000 approved
Les AMIS Cobourg $6,000 requested
$2,000 approved
Northumberland 89.7 FM Cobourg, Port Hope – Cobourg based $1,581.95 requested and approved
The Children’s Foundation Multiple counties No 2019 request
Oriana Singers Cobourg, Port Hope $3,000 requested
$2,000 approved
Green Wood Coalition Port Hope, Cobourg No 2019 request
Ecology Garden Cobourg $2,575 requested
$2,000 approved
Community Care Northumberland Cobourg branch $2,000 requested and approved
Cobourg and District Historical Society Cobourg $1,487 requested
$988.75 approved
Northumberland Hispanic Cultural Club County – Cobourg based No 2019 request


  • Some amounts are in kind and some in cash and some a mix.
  • The Santa Parade committee did not make a presentation. They got $10K in 2019.
  • Highland Games did not make a presentation. They got $3K in 2019.
  • VOS did not make a presentation. They got $1.8K in 2019.

The results of this process will happen at the January 9 Budget meeting when Adam Bureau presents a list of proposed grants for approval in the total 2020 budget.


Community Grants approved – for 2019 – 14 March 2019

Some groups used visual presentations and they are posted on the Town’s Portal (no longer available).  A few others also had visual presentations but they were not made public.

Some requests were follow ups from earlier presentations to Council and were reported at these links:


Additional Info – 29 Nov 2019

The full list of applicants together with their amounts was posted online AFTER the meeting.

Download here:

Grant Requests for 2020 – Full list

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Small town lover
4 years ago

Just wondering, why did Community Care ask for less money than the Ecology Garden or the Cobourg Museum? My personal opinion is that Community Care is more important so I’m hoping there is a good reason . Does anyone know why?

Walter Luedtke
4 years ago

First a big Thank You to the hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteers in our cultural and charitable groups.
Their unpaid contributions make a huge difference in Cobourg’s quality of life.
What these groups are requesting is usually token financial support and much appreciated recognition from the taxpayer, representing the community as a whole.
It is sad that some folks use this opportunity to air their alt-right, Trumpian climate-change denial shtick and others their bean-counter approach to the public good.
Yay volunteers!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Walter Luedtke
4 years ago

Climate change policy now has the top priority. That is not an alt-right denial schtick. That is now the official policy of the Town of Cobourg. I strongly support this policy now that it has been made and I will vigorously lobby for it. For heaven’s sake, Walter, you demonstrated ubiquitously for such a policy, and now that I call for the Town to implement it, you go on a typical pseudo-political rant against it. Tsk tsk. Want it both ways, do ya? There is only one way, and that is to acknowledge the climate emergency and stop making excuses here and there that serves no purpose other than to dilute that policy of top priority. Either climate change is the top priority or it is not. Everybody has to make sacrifices, not excuses, Walter. For example, regardless of my age, I ride a trike around town, not a fossil-fueled vehicle. Walk your talk. The money would be better spent on climate emergency policies, you know, the top priority.

It is interesting to note that the local climate change activists drive fossil-fuel vehicles, for all their lives, contaminating the air I breathe, while I am condemned by climate activists for spending my life riding a bike and now trike. Walk your talk climate hypocrites.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Walter Luedtke
4 years ago

“Yay volunteers!”

Why thank you Walter. I’ve volunteered since the 60s in various venues, long before you came to Cobourg. I even volunteered for the Ecology Garden for several years, was its Chair for a bit. Now that I think of it, I have volunteered a lot in different venues. Community engagement. Yep, I’m a right-wing fascist phobe of something or other.

“alt-right, Trumpian climate-change denial shtick”

Stereotypically unimaginative political cant, the kind of stuff that Orwell condemned in Politics and the English Language. You should read that.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Wally Keeler
4 years ago

Stereotypically unimaginative political cant, the kind of stuff that Orwell condemned in Politics and the English Language.

Thanks for the reminder! You can read Mr. Orwell’s 1946 essay at:
or as a scanned copy of the original publication:

Wally Keeler
4 years ago

Well, given that Town Council has declared a “climate emergency” and concurs with SCCAC that issues pertaining to climate change be given Cobourg’s “top priority”. Until the climate emergency is mitigated then It behooves Town Council to cut the budgets of all of the above in half or totally so that more taxpayer funds can be devoted to mitigating climate change. Saving us from mass extinction is more important than all of those other smaller issues of importance. Town Council signed on to this policy and needs to have their feet face the fire to solve this self-declared existential threat. The future is going to be interesting.

Fixing the east pier will have to revisited in light of climate change issues. How much CO2 emissions to make the concrete and steel rebar. The pier will have to be delayed to let the new hired climate change consultant make an assessment. Money slated for the east pier might have to be transferred to climate change issues; SCCAC proudly pointed out that Kingston deferred $54 million.

Climate change is Cobourg’s “top priority” for the foreseeable future; everything else is secondary or less to that.

Honest Question
4 years ago

Why do some organizations get more money than requested?

Honest Question
Reply to  John Draper
4 years ago

Thank you.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  John Draper
4 years ago

These were in kind grants and they did not accurately calculate the value.

It is confusing that many of the grant requests were for in-kind contributions rather than actual tax dollars but this is not clearly identified. For example, more than 65% of the request from the Historical Society is for the rental of a meeting room in Victoria Hall (no cost to the town) and the remainder of the requested amount is for a security guard in the lobby during meetings.

Also, some requests misrepresent their in-kind component. For example, the Blodgett request lists $5000 “in-kind” when that amount is actually tax dollars required for the cost of constructing a base for the planned statue and associated landscaping.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  John Draper
4 years ago

Precisely my point; I’m not complaining about your reporting!
It is impossible for Councillors to make rational decisions on requests without knowing which impact expenditures and which do not.