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by Greta Yeoman

Several South Canterbury events have received financial backing in the latest round of funding by the Community Trust of Mid and South Canterbury.

Waimate’s Christmas in the Square is set to be back for another year after the Waimate Community Church, which runs the annual December celebration, received a $2000 grant towards event costs.

Christmas in the Square committee chairman John Begg expressed his gratitude for the funding.

“Financial backing like this enables Waimate Christmas in the Square to continue to provide a free evening of high-standard performance and activities for the whole family and district.”

Further north, the annual Diwali celebration run by the South Canterbury Indian Cultural Society in Timaru is also set to reappear this November after the society received $2500 for the cultural event.

Timaru is also set to host the Ideas Festival for year 7 and 8 pupils on September 28.

The day-long event of activities around science, technology, engineering, art and maths subjects will make its South Canterbury debut later this year.

The community trust gave $5000 towards the pilot of the festival, which has previously run in Nelson through the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, and has now been picked up by Ara Institute of Canterbury for schools in towns and rural areas across Mid and South Canterbury.

Youth volunteers from across the region will be offered coaching and training to support the festival as both assistants and session leaders, to provide guidance for younger school pupils.

Other groups to have received funding through the latest round of funding include Centrecare Counselling Waimate, which received $9560 for new computers, hardware and counselling staff, and Aoraki Rugby League Ltd, which received $5000 to run the BackYard League development programme in schools across the district.