A photo of PRIMORG's first event. it shows people gathered in an events room, looking at a speaker at the podium. Next to the speaker there is a poster that reads: The Afro-Canadian Community.

Increasing support and access to funding: New funding program supports emerging group

June, 2023

Not all organizations are incorporated or have the capacity to apply for big grants. In order to kick-start dialogue among representatives of the Black community in Regina, the PRIMORG Foundation, a newly formed cultural group, turned to SaskCulture’s new, flexible grant program for support.

SaskCulture created the Small Grant Accessibility Program (SGAP) to provide new and emerging cultural groups with great program ideas, such as PRIMORG Foundation, with an easy, less restrictive funding source. The SGAP aims to provide support to new and innovative cultural initiatives by creating access for first-time or underserved applicants. PRIMORG was able to hold their first event thanks to funding from SGAP.

“We were happy when we discovered we could receive support through SaskCulture. The funding made the event possible,” says Augustine Okhiria, executive director, PRIMORG Foundation. “The participants were excited to contribute their knowledge and experiences during the dialogue. And, there was an increased understanding by participants of how racism affects the Black community.”

Formed in 2021, the PRIMORG Foundation promotes peaceful co-existence between and amongst Canadians by hosting events and creating initiatives that create awareness about racism and racial tension.

Wanting to host its first event to increase awareness of its efforts and encourage conversation, the organization received funding support to make this a reality. The Speaker Series event, “Mobilizing Regina's Black Community to Promote Peaceful Coexistence,” brought together representatives from the Black community in the province, along with legislators, government, and stakeholders to discuss the challenges the Black community faces and the need to promote a deeper understanding within and outside the community.

“We got new ideas from participants on increasing the Black community's quantitative participation and improving on building relationships in the province,” Okhiria says. “The participants were happy to work together and collaborate to promote greater understanding and harmony across different communities in the province.”

He adds that, PRIMORG has laid the foundation for future engagements with other communities thanks to this first event. “We are following up on all the ideas that were brought up at the event. That plan is in the works for another Speaker Series event.”

Since its launch in 2021, SGAP has supported over 30 initiatives with long-lasting impacts on culture and cultural activity in the province.