By Robert Hawkes
The City of Victoria recently announced availability again this year of the My Great Neighbourhood grant program. The idea of the program is to support ideas that “…help create an inviting vibrant place for people to connect.”
There are two levels of grants, up to $5000 for placemaking projects and up to $1000 for activities. While matching funds are required, factors such as value of volunteer time can count toward matching funds. Although individuals as well as organizations can apply, applications from individuals need to have a sponsoring organization.
The amount available for the program this year is $120,000. Last year $56,300 was provided to 21 applicants in the spring competition, and an additional $63,700 for 22 projects in the fall competition. Since the program began in 2016 awards have totaled $325,000.
Some of the past award recipients have been from right here in James Bay. For example the James Bay Community Project received funding for their Little Gardeners and Playground Project that created a children’s educational garden. The James Bay Good Neighbour Festival was a joint submission from the James Bay New Horizons Centre and the James Bay Neighbourhood Association. The Pilot Street Community Tool Shed, in association with B.C. Healthy Communities, was another recipient of funding.
The deadline for applications is April 15, and more information on the program is available at www.victoria.ca/neighbourhoodgrants. All projects need to complete within one year, and pilot projects are allowed. The projects are intended to help bring people together and build pride and a sense of community.