Our Grant Scheme awarded over $9,000!

The NZ Mountain Film Festival Charitable Trust’s Grant Scheme awarded over $9,000 to 9 applicants this year. The initiative was funded by a silent auction held during the 2019 festival and proceeds from the festival’s National Tour. Sponsors and local businesses donated items for the silent auction, raising $5,718. The National Tour charges a fee to provide a selection of films hosted around the country by local venues, clubs and community groups that support adventure films.

The Grant Scheme provides funding to support youth in adventure film-making courses and/or adventure skills training; environmental projects such as river clean-ups and native tree re-planting; and provides grants to people with disabilities to help them buy specialist sporting equipment. Aspiring adventurers submit an application under one of these criteria. Nineteen applications were received in 2019.

Three youth groups received funding. Alexandra Air Training Corps were awarded a grant of $750 to fund cadets to attend Operation Sparrowhawk at the Burnham Military Camp. The Air Training Corps programme fosters the spirit of adventure and teamwork, and develops those qualities of mind and body essential for good citizens and leaders. Kahu Youth received $750 to support the Youth Vs Wild outdoor survival programme. The six-week programme activities range from from fire making and ‘hobo cookery’ through to raft building, navigation, survival first aid, fishing and shelter building. The Queenstown Climbing Club received $1,000 to help fund the ‘Journey to Taniwha’ expedition, taking 8 students from Wakatipu High school (age range 13-17) on an aspiring climbing development.

Environmental groups that received grants included the Makaroa Trapping Club; they manage an active group of volunteers who service 423 traps in the Makarora Valley. The Trust’s $1,590 contribution enabled the group to purchase traps and equipment to support their mission. The Wanaka Multisport Trapping Group received $1,000 towards purchasing traps and safety systems for their volunteers. This group of athletes combines multi-sport training with conservation by managing trap lines on Daniel’s Spur, West Wanaka. Protect Our Winters (POW) is a non-profit organisation of passionate volunteers who represent outdoors people with a major concern for the wellbeing of our natural environment and the global movement to combat climate change. POW received $500 towards its tree planting initiative.

Craig Sutherland is rehabilitating from a congenital disease; the Trust contributed $750 towards an e-Bike to help him with day-to-day transport. Jason Conway will also receive $750 to go towards an e-Bike. He is recovering from debilitating surgery and specialist equipment will help him in accessing the community. $1,000 will go to
Joel Suddaby to support his whitewater kayak training trip to Canada. The three-week camp will focus on water safety, paddle skill development and freestyle kayaking manoeuvres.

Applications will open for the 2020 Grant Scheme following the festival. The 2020 NZ Mountain Film and Book Festival is on in Wanaka June 26 to July 1, Queenstown July 2 to 4 and Cromwell July 5.