Government funding will help Camp Kildare re-open

Eric McCarthy
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Representatives of four West Prince organizations that received government funding Friday pose with Fisheries and Oceans Canada minister Gail Shea, third left, and P.E.I. Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development, Ron MacKinley. From left are Michael Gaudette, Sports and Recreation Association of Tignish; Audrey Callaghan, Western Community Curling Club, Myrna Millar, Ellerslie Legion, and Sharon Gallant, Alberton and Area Community Development Corporation.

ALBERTON - Camp Kildare is getting a new lease on life.

Sharon Gallant, chairwoman of the Alberton and Area Community Development Corporation, said the camp will be ready to greet guests by next spring.

Work on renovating the property will start within the next two weeks.

One end of the existing 100 by 24 foot camp house will be torn down and the remaining 52 by 24 foot structure will be completely renovated.

As with the old structure, the renovated building will have bunkhouses at either end and a common area in the middle.

The development corporation was one of four community groups awarded taxpayer funding Friday during an announcement at the Western Community Curling Club.

Besides the $157,600 for the Camp Kildare project, funding totaling $113,151, shared by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Island’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund, was announced for three other projects.

Egmont MP Gail Shea and Ron MacKinley, P.E.I. Rural Development minister, were in attendance for the presentations

The development corporation is receiving $87,600 from Ottawa and $70,000 from the province to upgrade the facility.

Gallant said the project will cost approximately $192,000 and the development corporation is already engaged in fundraising activities to come up with its share of the costs.

“We are so excited today for this funding. We’ve been working on this for over two years and we’re getting a lot of positive feedback,” Gallant stated.

The camp first opened in 1973 and was operated by the West Prince Camp Association.

Scouts Canada took over the facility in 1981 and operated it until 2009, but, by then, it was falling into disrepair.

Gallant said the development corporation is eager to rejuvenate the property and attract church groups, camps, family reunions and other group functions, and private rentals.

The objective, she said, is to turn Camp Kildare into a fully functional intergenerational camp.

They recently received their first booking request from a church group for next June.

Gallant gave assurances the facility will be ready for operation by early spring.

The development corporation, Gallant said, hopes the camp can also help address the shortage of activities in the area for seniors.

“We have our work cut out for us,” she said.

“Community-based facilities are the heart of many of our rural Island communities,” Shea commented. “They make significant contributions to the quality of life for many Atlantic Canadians and these investments will improve the quality of facilities enjoyed by residents while supporting job creation in communities and in our region.”

Ottawa is also contributing $31,151 to the Ellerslie Legion for exterior renovations including a new parking lot.

The federal government is investing $11,340 and the provincial government $8,910 to the Western Community Curling Club to make it more energy efficient and more accessible.

The project includes new lighting for the ice surface and the construction of a second washroom on the main level.

The Sports and Recreation Association of Tignish receives $34,605 from the federal government and $27,144 from the province to carry out improvements to the ball fields and the arena.

Organizations: Western Community Curling Club, Area Community Development, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund West Prince Camp Association Scouts Canada Sports and Recreation Association of Tignish

Geographic location: Iceland, Ottawa

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