Awarded Grants

Search or browse below to see past awarded 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: Grassroots Economic Alternatives

Groundswell is an eight-month training school for people under the age 35 to develop the skills to build sustainable enterprises, including but not limited to co-ops, self-employment, social businesses, collectives, non-profits and other grassroots economic configurations. We actively target low-moderate income and immigrant youth, primarily from the Eastside of Vancouver and suburban areas, particularly Surrey. We will expand over the next 3-5 years to serve 70 participants annually, which given the very significant interest seems entirely reasonable. Critically, our vision for Groundswell is to work with all graduates on a long-term basis to establish a lasting supportive network of community enterprises. This vision is not possible on our own, and thus we have been expending a huge amount of effort to collaborate with local community groups and other organizations working towards a new economy. We were met with an overwhelming response when we first opened for applications in Spring 2013 and already have a huge amount of interest with a swiftly-growing applicant list for 2014.

Aunt Leah's Independent Lifeskills Society

The Friendly Landlord Network

Aunt Leah’s is asking Vancouver Foundation to fund the next 3 years of The Friendly Landlord Network (FLN). FLN is a Metro Vancouver-wide network of landlords who are interested in renting to youth from care, plus a network of youth-serving organizations who are interested in giving supports to youth from care in order to help them attain/maintain their tenure. The main connection point is to be a searchable online database resource ( for Metro Vancouver youth from care, foster families, social workers and youth-serving organizations. FLN creates a platform for landlords to exclusively direct their rental properties to youth from care in need of quality housing. Twenty-five youth-serving organizations from across the Lower Mainland have committed to supporting their youth who use FLN. This coalition of youth-serving organizations works to mitigates landlord concerns regarding issues such as lack of references, immaturity, low-incomes, or credit history. These organizations are geographically dispersed across the Lower Mainland and sign-up to the network on the condition that they'll give basic outreach and support to the their youth. In addition, this project will partially fund the work of Link Support Workers who help maintain the tenure of Aunt Leah's youth using FLN through regular youth check-ins, landlord relationship-building, procurement of stable income sources for rent payments, and long-term goal-setting/planning with youth.

Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion

Contributing to British Columbia’s Largest Social Policy Shift in Generations: Centre for Excellence: Inclusive Early Childhood Education

The Centre for Excellence addresses the need for accessible, affordable high quality child care and addresses fragmentation within multiple systems. Our goal is to create a positive life trajectory for all children in their early years. We believe there are few more meaningful endeavours than this. We have the will and collaborative relationships to create a Centre for Excellence that offers inclusive child care grounded in social, emotional and behavioural competence. We are committed to excellence and innovation. We aim to demonstrate how inclusive, universal practices can be a reality for all children and families in BC, and influence systems change by demonstrating research in practice.

Canadian Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC)

Leverage Lab COLLABORATIVE Phase 2

Apparel waste is the fastest growing waste contributor to landfills in North America. 20,000 tonnes of textiles waste currently ends up in the landfill each year in GVA, yet 95% of it is reusable or recyclable. Worse, no one in the system is working together on a solution. Leverage Lab aims to shift B.C’s apparel system away from a linear take-make-waste model towards circular borrow-use-return approach. By bringing government, industry representatives and academics together to pilot and prototype solutions we can create collaborative end-market solutions that will result in a decrease of apparel waste catalyzing a case for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) regulation.

Foundations for Social Change

Scaling cash transfers for poverty reduction

To date Canada’s primary response to a homelessness crisis has been to manage through the provision of income assistance, and emergency services, such as shelters, day programs and meal programs. This response costs, on average $55,000 per person per year. Our emerging evidence base shows that direct cash transfers help people achieve successful outcomes with dignity, while reducing demands on the shelter system and saving money. To scale, we will disburse more cash transfers, grow our evidence base, and use this data to influence the provincial government to rethink welfare rates, income distribution and the systems through which we support people experiencing homelessness and poverty.

Grunt Gallery

Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen

Gentrification has serious and lasting effects on our neighborhoods. While this project cannot stop the culture of land speculation that exists it the city it can mitigate some of the alienating effects within the community. The Mount Pleasant Community Art Screen will develop interactive programming from the community and addressing community issues in new and exciting ways. Our strategy is to work with the community to mitigate the alienating effects of gentrification and create space for community creation and integration. Our goal is for the community to see themselves mirrored in the screen showing its history, inhabitants and the changing face of the Mount Pleasant Community.


Hearing Aid Lending Program for Vulnerable Adults and Seniors

IDHHC will establish a “Lend an Ear” program designed to provide refurbished hearing aids to vulnerable and at risk adult populations and expand aural rehab and speech-reading programs to provide comprehensive services for this demographic. Given there are no free, low cost or subsidies available for hearing aids or assistive devices in BC, low income and vulnerable adults fall between the cracks for service and become increasingly isolated and vulnerable. The first year we will establish the program and begin dispensing refurbished aids using an income based formula. Year two we will expand marketing of the program, evaluate the effectiveness and outcomes of year 1 and look at ways to address the issues of waitlist (which we strongly anticipate). Selling of low cost aids may become an option and fee for service scales may be developed to offset the cost of free hearing aids in the loaner program and to reduce waitlists. Ongoing we will gather data and outcomes and show that the provision of hearing aids along with personal communication supports can and does address social determinants of health. Hearing loss combined with low income does not have to mean isolation and loss of quality of life. Having all of our partners engaged is a critical base to create a community model that aims to: bring hearing health issues to the forefront, and to create the conversation and movement that will move this agenda forward with political leaders and decision-makers.

Journey Home Community Association

Meanwhile Spaces . . . Using Metro Vancouver’s empty buildings to provide transitional housing for refugee claimants facing homelessness

Throughout Metro Vancouver, there are hundreds of empty buildings of all sizes waiting development or demolition. When refugees arrive in Metro Vancouver, many face homelessness or end up taking up space in shelters not designed for them. We can do something about this. Through the use of these empty buildings, we can create Meanwhile Spaces and provide temporary housing for refugees. Refugees will then have a place for them and their families to start to settle into our communities, with the support of refugee serving agencies.

Pacific Opera Victoria Association

Presentations of a new First Nations children’s opera by Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Young people have few opportunities to engage with quality performances that explore issues of contemporary cultural importance. Pacific Opera Victoria and Vancouver Opera will commission and present a new First Nations children’s opera that explores environmental stewardship and individual empowerment. Adapted by renowned Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas from his book Flight of the Hummingbird: A Parable for the Environment, this new production model invites youth to participate in the creation process by providing feedback at workshops. The completed opera will be presented in schools and Indigenous communities throughout British Columbia.

Salal Foundation

Upper Skeena Regenerative Agriculture Project

Food security, environmental stewardship and community economic development are part of an interconnected web at the very core of a healthy, wealthy, and sustainable region. Our current systems are failing us in this regard. We need new systems that integrate these vital elements by design, and we must be able to scale up as need and demand dictate. The Upper Skeena Regenerative Agriculture Project will not only demonstrate and test one such system, it will also actively create new opportunities to build and participate in a deeply local economy. Many systemic behaviours are actually survival instincts - redirected, those drives for sustenance and security can be powerful agents of change.

Sierra Club of British Columbia Foundation

Branching Out: Shifting Beliefs to Empower Community Forest Stewardship

Vancouver Island endangered old-growth forests are being logged at a shocking rate of two soccer fields per hour, presenting health, safety and economic risks to communities. Forest conservation for community resilience requires shifting belief systems by altering flows of information. Sierra Club BC will scale our response by focusing in resource-based Island communities about the role intact forests play in community safety and resilience. With valley-by-valley ground inspections of old-growth logging, supporting diverse voices through engagement organizing, facilitating spaces for dialogue and producing compelling communications we will generate political will for lasting gains.

Simon Fraser University

The Democracy Demonstration Project: Strengthening Canadians’ Commitment to and Participation in Democracy

There has been a notable decline in Canadians’ commitment to democracy. In fact, 35% of Canadians believe that “democracy doesn't matter” or are open to authoritarian governments in some circumstances. We know that residents are less involved with their communities now than in 2012. The Democracy Demonstration Project—a priority initiative of SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue—will pilot methods to strengthen residents’ commitment to democratic principles and participation in democratic activities. By collaborating with community partners, we will implement innovative programming, determine which approaches work best, and spread good practices to make Canadian democracy more resilient.

The Only Animal Theatre Society

The Artist Brigade

The U.N. declared the 2020s The Decade of Action: ten years to transform to a carbon-neutral future. But, people are trapped in a consumerist Culture of Greed. The Only Animal are culture makers, and aim to replace the Culture of Greed with a Culture of Care. Our project, the Artist Brigade brings artists to collaborations with environmentalists, scientists, and activists to create solutionary outcomes for the climate crisis. Art gives us access to our emotions, to our empathy, our care for one another as we work towards climate solutions. It takes advantage of this moment of COVID pause to strive for a green and just recovery from the pandemic for people and planet.

The Polis Foundation

ReFRESH Water Lab - Exploring the Future of the Columbia River Treaty

The reFRESH Water Lab, seeks to address transboundary watershed governance challenges.  The Lab will provide an opportunity to tackle the complex challenges of watershed governance in the context of a modernized Columbia River Treaty. Transboundary watershed governance is multijurisdictional with complex legislation, policy and institutional architecture that can challenge collaboration. The Lab will provide a structured yet creative process for deep collaboration among multi-disciplinary teams of diverse rights and stakeholders to work together on an interconnected challenge– How might ecosystem values be incorporated into Columbia River Treaty Governance?

Umbrella Multicultural Health Co-op

Patient Driven Health Care

Using UMHCs cooperative community health centre (CCHC) model to address the health gaps faced by vulnerable populations (in this case immigrants and refugees) is an innovation that will create scalable change at many levels of the system. Institutional: Approach the MoH as partners working towards the same goal of delivery of quality, cost effective healthcare. After building relationships, our communications will be in alignment with MoH interests; mirroring their language, indicators and metrics, we will adapt how we collect and present data to reflect MoH priorities. With MoH input, we will demonstrate the efficacy of the CCHC with the objective to influence allocation of resources to this type of community led initiative. Organizational: We will work with Health Authorities in building similar relationships and common goals as they implement MoH funding decisions. Network: We will engage co-op and CHC organizing bodies in flipping the routine us vs. them style of advocacy plaguing the relationship between the BC health system and community led health initiatives. Individual: As a young organization, our approach will involve building our capacity in member engagement and public relations, leaving a lasting impact at an individual level as skills developed and systems implemented will be ongoing. With so many barriers to system access, we look forward to a change in ambition as this vulnerable population engages in decision making around their health care.

UNIT/PITT Projects


ReIssue is a web-based publishing platform that supports and nurtures critical art writing in Western Canada, and empowers artists with the language to articulate their practices within society. This project will reinvigorate cross-disciplinary collaboration through workshops and peer-to-peer mentorship, while developing systems of documentation and preservation that are living, reactive, and responsive—contextualizing current art and social movements within existing archives. ReIssue will build off the collective knowledge and experiences of artists, writers and publishers, and create new partnerships to find innovative and sustainable solutions for disseminating art discourse.

United Way British Columbia

A New Way Forward: Evolving the Non-Profit Sector for Success

We are addressing the pressing issue of non-profit organizations’ lack of capacity to address critical social issues at a systemic level. Non-profit organizations are relied upon to solve a broad-sweeping number of challenges, but those same invaluable organizations currently lack the capacity to do so effectively. We have developed a platform that serves as a mechanism to connect, learn, collaborate and catalyze change in foundational sector beliefs, knowledge and behaviours. The work is inclusive of all sectors & community, uses evidence- based sector strengthening strategies and challenges paradigms to promote mutual understanding in an effort to create greater collective impact for all.

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Medicine

A Participatory Approach to Developing Preventative Health Tools for BC Individuals with Lived Incarceration Experience (Dr. Ruth Martin)

Women and men who have been incarcerated suffer a high prevalence of illness, including chronic disease, cancer, infectious disease, mental illness and substance use. They tend to suffer perpetual social exclusion and are disproportionally affected by the socio-economic determinants for poor health, such as poverty, low health literacy and unstable housing. In 2005-7, women engaging in participatory health research inside a BC prison identified nine health goals as necessary for their successful re-integration into society. A follow-up study to determine barriers to the nine goals, experienced by women during their first 12 months following release from prison, suggests that incarcerated people have limited access to preventive health programs. International research with male prison leavers demonstrated similar results. In this community-based participatory research project, researchers from the UBC Collaborating Centre of Prison Health and Education (CCPHE) will partner with Women in2 Healing and Long Term Inmates Now in the Community to use participatory approaches to design and pilot preventive health tools/programs, and methods to evaluate them, with women and men with past incarceration experience who live in BC communities. It is hoped that BC health organisations and provincial and federal correctional institutions across Canada will adopt recommendations from this project, leading to sustainable improvements in preventive health for incarcerated men and women.

University of Victoria

Community Voices on ‘Tapping into Tech’: Fostering Equity for Children with Disabilities/Medical Complexity in Northern and Rural British Columbia

In rural and northern BC young disabled/medically complex children’s inequitable access to early child development (ECD) has negative impacts on children, families and communities. How can community voices inform the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to address ECD inequities for this vulnerable child population? Tailoring ICT to the diverse contexts and lived realities of this population and ECD agencies and providers is central to this participatory project. The co-designed research and action by a Community Council will ensure that this project informs the implementation of supportive practices and policies and sustainable system change to reducing ECD inequities.

Vancouver Island University

Expanding and sustaining Inside-Out, VIU’s prison exchange program

Inside-Out is a prison-based program that brings together incarcerated and traditional university students who study together as peers with the recognition that each has innate worth and a story to tell. The experience is impactful and profound, and an opportunity both for self-discovery and improved mutual understanding. The program helps inside students to re-integrate with the community and encourages aspirations for further education, while putting a human face on justice issues for outside students, making them more compassionate, informed and effective professionals in their chosen fields. Both groups are empowered to become agents of positive change for themselves and the community.