The Riverview Community Centre has received a $9,975 grant to help encourage winter activities.

Dennis Cunningham, president of the community centre, read about the Winnipeg Wellness Grant in the newspaper. That gave him the idea for Project WARMIR, a series of contests that would encourage people to participate in outdoor winter activities.

As part of the project, the community centre is hosting a weekly contest featuring three $20 gift cards to South Osborne businesses. To participate, Riverview residents share a photo participating in the current theme to social media using #warmir, and tag the community centre. Every other week, the contest’s theme changes to feature a new activity.

The grant will pay for new equipment to support winter activities. Thanks to the grant, the community centre has replaced the old snow-mobile used to groom the ski trails with a used quad and tracks. The quad will also be usable for spring and summer field maintenance. Additionally, a volunteer is rebuilding some of the grooming equipment for the trails. Dennis hopes the new equipment will be more reliable and cheaper to operate.

Dennis’s work at Assiniboine Credit Union has involved similar projects like the Jack Frost Challenge. He says he’s seen this kind of incentive help build community; if someone is hesitant to try something, it makes it a bit easier when they see their friends out doing it.

He also wants the WARMIR contests to help stand-in for the activities that the community has been missing out on this year, like those associated with the Riverview Winter Classic. The contests have also been supporting activities that are still happening, like the Frostbite River Run, which was included in the themes.

The project is a way for the community centre to support the neighbourhood, even when its physical building is closed. Posters promoting the contests will be going up along the ski trails to remind people to get active and enter to win.

Dennis has never seen the ski trails so busy. He hopes that the community centre can secure funding in the future to keep running contests like this for years to come.