Manitobans in lockdown during the holidays will soon have the option to watch government-sponsored content after the province announced the $3 million “Safe at Home Manitoba” grant on Monday. 

The Safe at Home Manitoba grant will give funding to organizations to produce free “creative cultural, artistic, and fitness activities” for residents.

“We are excited to invite organizations from across the province to create programs that bring Manitobans together while we are physically apart,” said Culture Minister Cathy Cox. 

“Manitoba is home to so many diverse artists, cultural organizations and festivals, and I look forward to enjoying all the creative ways they can bring safe at home ideas into our own homes.”

Organizations, municipalities and individuals can receive up to $50,000 to put on programming that is family-friendly and accessible to those stuck at home.

In mid-November, the Manitoba government moved the entire province into Level Red, shutting down or limiting most businesses and forcing residents to stay at home.

Last week, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister aggressively defended his decision to lock things up, calling those who question full lockdown measures “idiots.”

With Pallister effectively cancelling Christmas for many in Manitoba, the government hopes that a campaign of family-friendly activities will make the public feel connected over the holidays.

“We recognize that staying home this holiday season as we fight the pandemic, and not being able to see our friends and family will be difficult,” said Municipal Relations Minister Rochelle Squires Monday.

“This gives us an additional reason to stay home with our family, enjoy these home-grown Manitoba activities together and help make this time easier for us all.”

Among content already approved include a pre-filmed variety show of Manitoban musicians and  gingerbread house making exercise.

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