Search or browse below to see past Field of Interest grants. You may search by recipient organization name, project name, or city. Additionally, in the sidebar you may filter the grants displayed by year, interest or grant amount.

Arts in Action Society

Groundswell Grow

Currently, we are working with our alumni and community partners to plan and design Groundswell Grow. We will launch Groundswell Grow with a weekly marketplace on Granville Island in summer 2017. It will provide living inspiration for how to do business that benefits community, and give young ventures access to market, real estate, and an extended community support network. Advanced programs will include mentoring and market stand training, and support services for the early stage social venture community with the help of our community partners. As successful young entrepreneurs “graduate” out of the marketplace incubator stage they will populate the city with social businesses that work for communities and become mentors for new Groundswell Grow participants. The ecosystem will expand to include other local, young, social ventures who get access to the marketplace and a supportive network of training, mentoring and venture services. The marketplace setting will increase opportunities for public outreach and education around community based ventures and social entrepreneurship. This model will change the flow of resources through the business system: more small scale, unlikely entrepreneurs will have the knowledge and access to financial and social support to be able to create successful social ventures that provide them with meaningful employment. And, more businesses will exist that add social and environmental value to communities, not just monetary value.

Decoda Literacy Foundation

Micro-credentials for adult literacy learners

Decoda Literacy Solutions is adopting the Mozilla Open Badge concept to provide a literacy and essential skills credential system for adults who participate in community-based literacy programs. These programs are generally outside of formal education systems and do not have transcripts and certificates to identify learning. The use of a micro-credential system will assist in improving program completion rates for adult learners, as well as increased support as they move to further education and employment. Literacy practitioners across the province have agreed that this would be an important step forward. Together with volunteer literacy tutors and adult learners, they have provided input about how the credential system should look and work in general. Digital micro-credentials, such as open badges, are a new way to capture and communicate what an individual knows and can demonstrate. They can represent more granular specific skills or achievements than most credentials issued in formal education systems. A set of open digital badges for adult literacy program participants has been developed based on current commonly used competency benchmarks. This project will test the use of that set of badges as well as the development of further relevant badges by adult literacy learners. It will also provide a basis for introducing the badges to employers, employment agencies and other education providers to test the value of the credentials where adults will use them.

Frontier College

Community Literacy Catalyst in Pacheedaht First Nation

Frontier College’s CLC program builds local capacity and provides innovative, year-round literacy support that is 1) responsive to local needs, and 2) integrated within existing programs and services. Frontier College hires a local community member (the CLC) to work closely with an existing Frontier College staff member, who provides training and mentorship. Together, staff conduct an initial needs assessment among community stakeholders to determine priorities and opportunities strengthened literacy skills. The CLC then works with community members to design and run a series of pilot activities that respond to local culture, heritage, and community conditions. Gradually, Frontier College shifts from on-site training and mentorship to remote support and advice, as the community takes ownership of programming. Frontier College works in collaboration with host communities – we go where we are needed, and where we are invited. The CLC program represents a new approach to a social and educational system in which Indigenous rights, knowledge, language, and culture are at the centre of community-driven education initiatives. Furthermore, the CLC program significantly enhances a host community’s resource capacity.

Neil Squire Society

Communities Creating Accessible Technology

Our vision is to develop a new model that gets assistive technology out to communities and people that need it at a fraction of the cost. Similar to how open source software has enabled access to many computing solutions, we want to leverage the growing open source hardware movement to allow communities and people with disabilities gain affordable access to assistive technologies. We will develop a regionally based, just-in-time delivery model for assistive technology that engages local disability support, skilled volunteers, post-secondary institutions, makers and hacker communities. We feel there is an untapped potential in the maker and education space to create solutions that can positively impact the lives of people with disabilities. We will guide these groups to become leaders, volunteers and creators of change in providing low cost access technology. Assistive Technologies are often marked up 300% to cover profitability of both the manufacture and distributor. By leveraging open designs created on demand at the local level, it can eliminate costs associated with current distribution models. We have found that engineers who create custom solutions for an individual develop a strong lasting relationship that connects people across social economic boundaries and creates more caring communities. Democratization of assistive technology production is a social innovation that can transform inclusion, and increase connections within a community.

Pathways to Education Canada

Pathways to Education Vancouver: A Graduation Strategy Partner

In the last year, several organizations from the health, education and social services sectors launched The Graduation Strategy, a plan to provide the supports and services children need to graduate from high school. The strategy arose after community reports identified that inner city children are failing to graduate from high school and make successful transitions from elementary to secondary and post-secondary school. Community organizations identified the urgent need to complement current services with a comprehensive, place-based program focused on high school students. PCRS was invited to deliver the Pathways to Education program as a critical piece of the Strategy. The population that we intend to serve is high-school aged youth living in the V6A postal code. We anticipate that approx. 80 students will be eligible for enrollment in the first Pathways cohort. After five years, 400 youth will be eligible for the program. Through community partnerships, Pathways will provide students with a comprehensive set of academic, financial and social supports to help them graduate.

Potluck Cafe Society


Our aim is to create a diversity of income-generating opportunities that fit the diverse needs of residents of the DTES. We want to build an innovative framework that recognizes employment-related skills and qualities that residents of the DTES have gained through unconventional paths that don’t usually get highlighted on a typical resume. We hope to assist individuals who want to move along the employment continuum and meet them where they’re at. For the next phase, we want to test our badging framework with external agencies and build capacity within the system to facilitate greater mobility for individuals who are advancing along the income generation continuum. Through our initial testing, we saw that recognizing individuals with badges for their earned achievements often empowers them with greater self-efficacy and inspires them to aim higher. We’ve also seen that smaller, task-based work opportunities get them more acquainted with employer-employee relationships and increases their confidence in their own ability to re-enter the workforce. At the core of this social innovation is a desire to realign resource flow around knowledge (training) and money (income). We see a ripple effect for basic routines, policies and beliefs that are preventing the widespread adoption of Social Hiring. Our goal is to recognize and champion the strengths and abilities of our program participants, and support the creation of a more inclusive, accessible and resilient local economy.

Richmond Society for Community Living

Grade 13 Transition Project

The Grade 13 Transition Project will build its foundation from the current work of the Grade 13 Transitions Committee. RSCL, in partnership with the district’s EXPLORE program, is actively working with 3 students from different schools in the district, one of whom regularly attends RSCL youth programs. The goal is to offer specific supports which will fall in line with proposed new curriculum, assess outcomes and use the information to begin to develop a broader curriculum. With funding from Vancouver Foundation, the Grade 13 Transition Project will develop over a three year period. The project will combine best practices from the RSCL Youth Employment and Outreach programs and the newly launched district EXPLORE program, with support from committee partners. The project will begin with curriculum development in one or two schools with whom RSCL has existing relationships. In the second year of the project, the curriculum will be assessed, refined and will be introduced in additional schools. The final year of the project will include further refinements of the information, expansion of program delivery to include all schools in Richmond, and the opportunity to share information with community living agencies and school districts across the province. By standardizing the curriculum across the district, teachers and district staff will have the same knowledge, resulting in improved learning outcomes for students in Richmond.

School District #39 - Vancouver

Cultivating the School Food System

Cultivating the School Food System is about empowering teachers and students in learning, growing and serving healthy food. When students have access to healthy, local, and delicious food, it is believed that that academic confidence will increase and discipline and behavioural issues decrease. , , Students learn better when they eat healthy food. We connect this work to the “Good Food” movement in Canada and the United States which focuses on food that is: healthy, green, fair, and affordable. , CSFS is a multifaceted, collaborative approach to enhance student learning, support teacher and staff innovation in teaching, and eating healthy, delicious, local food. It aims to shift attitudes and behaviours of students and support teachers and food providers to make systemic change in teaching practice and food provision. Programs support students across the VBE, focusing on vulnerable youth in E. and S. Vancouver, in Renfrew Collingwood, and Victoria-Fraserview, regions where youth food insecurity and poverty are prominent. CSFS addresses: Food Literacy: CSFS is transformative on-site learning for students. Creating opportunities for experiential and inquiry-based learning, it hosts training for educators; year-round field to fork programming for students, prepares youth with employment skills. Access: CSFS provides healthy, schoolyard farm grown food for the school community. It supports healthy school meal programs by facilitating an expert working group comprised of VBE staff, community partners, and FR to recommend and implement strategies for increasing food access. School Food System (SFS): CSFS inspires and supports schools to make large-scale shifts in purchasing, food service operations and student meal choices through a bundle of programs under the working title “BC Wednesdays.” This grant will support the teachers that want to do more. Already three schools have self-identified as wanting to participate in BC Wednesdays.

School District #67 - Okanagan Skaha

Through a Different Lens

The focus of this project is on the regular classroom: making learning more engaging and relevant for all students – rather than removing students to other programs. We are attempting to remove some of the barriers to success that many of our vulnerable students face (eg., over reliance on reading and writing); create strength-based classrooms where students can use their strengths to learn in alternative ways (technology, filming, creating, building, comics, interviews); and provide rich, relevant and meaningful learning opportunities. We began with in-class innovations in teaching and learning and are now supporting cross curricular and “outside” the classroom experiences – in the environment, on the reserve, and in intergenerational settings. Our application for a grow grant is to reach more classrooms and go deeper in those that have already been involved. Our school district has consistently achieved an 80-85% Six Year Completion Rate. The 10-15% of students that do not graduate consist of students of Aboriginal ancestry, students with a behavioural designation, students who have had difficulty with literacy through their school careers, and issues such as anxiety, drugs, alcohol. The two biggest groups are students of Aboriginal ancestry and those with behavioural designations. We have students as young as grade 9 leaving school. The school district has some alternative schools, career education, and other support systems, which support many students.

Vancouver Community College Foundation

Job Readiness Program

Pervading education and employment challenges faced by Deaf and Hard of Hearing Canadians have been exasperated by government funding cuts and fragmentation towards DHH services over the last decade. By expanding the Job Readiness Program for DHH students at Vancouver Community College (the only of its kind in Canada offered at a post secondary), DHH students will have the opportunity to enrol into Red Seal trade certificate programs. The skilled training would open up new careers streams with higher earning and career development potential. Success in the program will address systemic under-education, under-employment and unemployment of thousands of Canadians with hearing loss.