Proposed fund increase for O'Keefe Ranch voted through by Vernon council

Grant increase for O'Keefe

After a lengthy discussion, Vernon city council elected to increase the grant funding for O'Keefe Ranch.

Coun. Scott Anderson brought forward a notice of motion in the last council meeting, asking for the ranch's grant to increase from $50,000 to $125,000. O'Keefe Ranch has been struggling since the pandemic began – they have had to reduce programs, cancel events and eliminate gate fees.

This $75,000 increase will be for 2021 only, as Coun. Brian Quiring noted the extra funding that the ranch needs is directly tied to the pandemic.

"I am of the opinion that the ranch is turning things around, but they were just taken out at the knees from COVID," he said. "We can't talk about where the ranch has been in the past when the need for this funding increase is because of COVID."

The motion barely passed through council by a one vote margin – councillors Kari Gares, Akbal Mund and Kelly Fehr were all opposed. They argued that returns on these grants are minimal when they are funnelled into places like museums and historic sites.

"Museums and heritage sites typically don't support themselves, they usually operate at a quite significant operational deficit and are supported by taxpayers," said Gares. "O'Keefe has done an enormous amount of work to find solutions to fill that gap, and places like the ranch are very important to the community, but this needs to be a discussion with other partners before we make a decision."

But councillors Scott Anderson, Dalvir Nahal and Brian Quiring, along with Mayor Victor Cumming, voted the increase through, so it looks like O'Keefe Ranch will have a bit more money at their disposal next year.

More Vernon News

Recent Trending



Send us your News Tips!


Vernon SPCA Featured Pet

Buddy Vernon SPCA >


Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada