Representatives from the Martensville Information & Visitor Centre attended the January 9th Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss the funding partnership they have had in previous years with the City of Martensville. Since 2015, the City of Martensville has provided a total of $30,000 to help with the operating costs to run the Centre. In addition, the City of Martensville provides space within the Civic Centre for the MIVC to operate within.
Lori Morphy, the MIVC President, spoke passionately about the various programs and services that the MIVC provides for the community. Originally known as the Martensville Community Access Centre, the MIVC has re-branded themselves to become the ‘hub’ of the community, providing a wide range of information, resources, programming and services as well as organizing Canada Day each year.
Following the presentation, Kristee Lynn Adrian, the Information & Visitor Centre Coordinator, discussed the difficulties the MIVC has each year finding funding to continue to be operational. “Funding is not easy with the type of non-profit that we run and operating costs aren’t usually covered under grants. Funding is never a simple solution and each year we either re-invent ourselves, let some of our programming go, or add more to our plate, but never increase our capacity at the same time. It’s a huge balancing act just to ensure the funding is in place to keep the Information Centre in the community,” Adrian said. When approaching Council, Adrian said each year, they ensure they can offer something in return and if there is something that is needed in the community, they will do what they can to help ensure that it can be provided. “We want to be able to provide as many resources and services to the community as possible and we want to be able to extend our hours to do that, but again, in order to extend hours, we either need volunteers or funding in place in which to do that,” Adrian added. The MIVC does offer some evening hours, and for summer months they work to find a grant that will allow them to bring in a summer student, which helps them keep the office open later.
Between Adrian, Morphy and the board, the passion for the MIVC is evident. Although it is a small group, the amount of time and effort put into ensuring the community has an Information & Visitor Centre and that they can provide additional services regularly is incredible. “It’s a tough task sometimes trying to make sure the doors stay open. We want to maintain what we offer and be able to help the people that come in here looking for information,” said Adrian. Adrian also added that it is nice to be able to offer that “in-person” support for people. “Some people like talking to people in person and I think that is missing in our society right now. Often there isn’t someone there that can help, or it’s not their job role. That’s what we are here for and that is the passion behind everything that keeps the Centre going.”
This year will mark the 10th year that the MIVC has organized the Canada Day event in Martensville. In order to run this event, the MIVC looks for grants and sponsorship to be able to provide a free family event for local residents. Currently, the Canada Day Committee meets once a month and is always looking for more people to come out and lend a hand organizing the event. “Those involved don’t even have to be here on Canada Day. We are looking for support leading up to it. We want to be able to increase Canada Day, but we are at a standstill. We just don’t have the support in place to make the bigger things happen.” The next meeting takes place Monday, January 29th from 7pm-8pm.
Plans for 2018 are to be able to extend services, hours and resources currently being offered and to continue working with the City of Martensville as well as Tourism Saskatoon and Tourism Saskatchewan. Since the inception of the Martensville Chamber of Commerce, now Prairie Sky Chamber of Commerce, the MIVC has offered their time and services with helping assist where they can. Plans to continue two of their popular services “1 on 1 Computers” and “Ah-Ha Homework Club” are in place, as both programs have become quite popular within the community. An upcoming opportunity will once again be the free income tax program, which is in place to help those with modest income and a simple tax situation. Those wishing to utilize this service can contact the MIVC to book a time slot.
For more information, or if you are interested in contributing your time to one of the services provided by the MIVC, or even joining the board, contact the Centre at www.martensvilleinfo.ca or call (306) 242-0362.