Shuniah Soil Mates used their 2019 funding to purchase a new rototiller

Tbaytel Seeks Fall Applications for Community Fund Money

By Matt Prokopchuk

Tbaytel has opened the submission process for organizations to apply to its twice-annual community fund, and officials with the locally owned telecom say they’re expecting that the ongoing pandemic will reflect the type of proposed projects that come forward for funding.

“We know that…organizations are going to start opening back up, schools are getting back on their feet, and we know that a lot of these programs might need a little bit more help than in the past,” says Jamie Smith, the communications coordinator for Tbaytel. “I’m assuming that we’re going to see a lot of ideas around supplies that may not have been needed a year ago.” Many organizations now have to ensure that they’re well stocked with things like hand sanitizer and have access to other materials to allow for separation and physical distancing.

The Tbaytel for Good Community Fund provides funding in specific amounts to schools, community groups, not-for-profit organizations, and charities for projects that aim to make a community a better place. Projects in communities across Northwestern Ontario are eligible to apply and Smith says that since 2013, the fund has contributed over $230,000 to nearly 90 such projects. Past winners have included things like community gardens, initiatives that provide food and other essentials to those in need, community patrols, a program that aims to increase opportunities for young people to learn about coding and robotics, and schools and other educational initiatives. The company says that the money can be used for anything from equipment and supplies to developing new programming.

StandUp4CleanUp received 2019 funding to expand its work beautifying Thunder Bay

“It’s pretty wide open,” Smith says. “It’s just one of the ways in which Tbaytel tries to give back to the communities that we serve.” He adds that, with organizations likely feeling the pinch due to COVID-19, the money will be distributed a bit differently this time. Typically, the fund would give out money in $500, $1,500 and $5,000 denominations; now, he says, organizations will be eligible for $2,000 and $5,000 amounts. Two grants of each amount will be distributed.

“It’s one of those things where this little bit of help can make such a big impact,” Smith says. “The successes that we’ve seen are so many and so varied, which is kind of the whole point of the Tbaytel for Good Community Fund, in general…these people, they know their communities and they know their needs much better than we do.”

Tbaytel is accepting funding applications until October 23 at 4 p.m. For more information, including on past winners, and to apply for this fall’s round of funding, visit