Grants to community groups in Langley City are up this year, with the municipality projecting a $6.4 million windfall from Cascades Casino.

Community grants up in City, thanks to boost in casino proceeds

City expects to take in $6.4 million in funding from Cascades Casino this year

A better year at the Cascades Casino in Langley City will mean more money for community groups.

City council has approved $136,000 for 51 organizations during its first round of approvals this year, up from the $110,000 distributed to 48 groups at the same point in the grant process last year.

The money comes from the City’s share of profits from the Cascades Casino at 20393 Fraser Hwy, which is projected to be $6.4 million this year, up $400,000 from the previous year.

The top three beneficiaries are: $19,650 for the Langley Senior Resources Society, which operates the facility at 20605 51B Ave.; $13,000 for the Langley Good Times Cruise-In, the all-volunteer group that organizes the annual classic-car charity fundraiser; and $11,700 for Bard in the Valley, the annual Shakespeare festival that features performances each summer in Douglas Park.

Those three were the top grant recipients last year, too.

For 2017, the City has put aside $168,000 of casino proceeds to be distributed over two rounds of grant approvals.

The second round will take place at the end of June, with $32,000 available to be distributed.

Langley City also funds six $600 scholarships for graduating students who live in the City, plus $600 for two high school students to participate in the Youth Parliament in Victoria during the Christmas break, a $5,000 program with the Township of Langley to promote sport tourism, a $150 Langley 4H Centennial Trophy and about $2,000 to the Langley Royal Canadian Legion to help with the Remembrance Day ceremony.

Since the City revenue sharing agreement with the Cascades Casino Resort started in 2006, the program has distributed more than $1.5 million to non-profit and community groups in Langley City.

The City estimates the casino contribution has kept taxes 2.5 per cent lower than they would have been without the gaming revenue.

The 2017 Langley Cruise-In will be held on Saturday Sept. 9 and the swap meet and car corral will be Sunday Sept. 10.

Bard in the Valley will present “Much Ado About Nothing” on the Spirit Square Stage in Douglas Park in Langley City on the weekends of July 20-23 and July 27 to 30.