Summerside youth centre gets $200,000 from ACOA

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Santa came a little early to the Boys and Girls Club of Summerside on Thursday. He came bearing gifts for the kids, and even brought $200,000 in funding, with help from the federal government, for the Youth Engagement Centre. 

SUMMERSIDE - The Boys and Girls Club of Summerside is getting an infusion of cash from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

It was announced last week that the facility will receive $200,000 from the Innovative Communities Fund.

The money will be used to help pay down the loan the club took out to renovate a home across the street from the main clubhouse into a Youth Engagement Centre.

Adam Binkley, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, said the federal government’s contribution will help spare the organization years of interest payments and have money to spend on its members.

“I’m not sure where we’d be without it,” said Binkley.

The club’s loan for the Youth Engagement Facility was for $750,000.

It has raised $400,000, including the announcement money, towards repaying the debt.

RELATED: New centre for teens to open at Summerside Boys and Girls Club

The club launched a capital campaign during its Christmas Party last week to help pay down the rest of the loan.

Construction of the Youth Engagement Centre started last year and is now complete; however, the interior remains mostly unfurnished.

Binkley said he hopes to start holding programming in the facility by February.

The centre will focus on programming for older kids and will complement the services offered at the current Boys and Girls Club.

Some of that programming will include music lessons and even an in-house recording studio.

The Boys and Girls Club has partnered with Sandcastle Recording Studios to install the gear necessary for members to record and mix its own music.

It was announced Thursday night that the studio will be known as the Trinity Bradshaw Music Studio.

Bradshaw currently lives and works in Alberta but grew up in Summerside just down the road from the Boys and Girls Club and was a member throughout her childhood.

The singer/songwriter has enjoyed a string of successes in her budding career, including opening for Shania Twain in Charlottetown in 2014.

Bradshaw, who is home for Christmas, said she’s honoured by the gesture.

“It definitely sets the bar higher — in 10 years I want people to know who Trinity Bradshaw is, so hopefully the name stands and I do my job to keep it there. But what an honour, I spent my whole life here,” she said.

Organizations: Boys and Girls Club of Summerside, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Innovative Communities Fund Christmas Party Sandcastle Recording Studios Trinity Bradshaw Music Studio

Geographic location: Summerside, Alberta, Charlottetown

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