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2010_mascot-640x480A number of mid-Island groups and organizations have received 2010 Olympic Torch Relay community grants, totalling $76,000. They include $40,000 to the City of Nanaimo to have the torch arrive on zipline carried by Paralympian Michelle Stillwell. The funding will help cover the costs of multicultural entertainment, fireworks and street performers during the event. Another $7,000 has been designated to the Snuneymuxw First Nation for a blessing ceremony, a Coast Salish feast and a performance by school children from Qwam Qwum Stalicut and Snuneymuxw drummers and singers. The rest of the funding will go to Nanaimo's surrounding communities for similar events, which are all set to occur on Oct. 31. Provincial funding through the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay community grants program is intended to be used to support approved cultural celebrations and performances featuring local and regional talent. "The City of Nanaimo is pleased and honoured to be one of the chosen celebration communities on Vancouver Island and appreciates the continued support from the government of B.C. as demonstrated by this funding," said Nanaimo mayor John Ruttan.