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.

Simon Fraser University Faculty of Education

Metro Region Environmental Learning Dissemination Project

In 2010, members of the Institute for Environmental Learning began working to disseminate the BC Ministry of Education's Environmental Learning and Experience guide across British Columbia and Yukon through a series of Professional Development seminars, conferences and workshops funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). These on-going activities have been focused on dissemination in under-served regional districts outside Metro Vancouver, however, we are requesting that the Vancouver Foundation's Education Committee support a sustained effort to disseminate the Environmental Learning and Experience guide within the Metro Vancouver region from 2011-2013. Through professional development sessions, conferences and networking events, and new efforts to revise learning resources in the non-formal sector in collaboration with institutions like Science World and Vancouver Aquarium, this project is focused in the heart of the province's urban and suburban population base, where sustainable development and place-based education are much needed and highly relevant.

Smithers Community Services Association

Youth Media Literacy

Fifteen First Nations youth from the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) centres (Smithers, Hazelton, Moricetown and Houston) will create Digital Stories that will be developed from recorded interviews conducted by the youth with First Nations elders in the community. The project engages a number of community groups including the Bulkley Valley Museum, the Smithers Public Library, School District #54, First Nations groups, and CICK 93.9FM Youth Outreach Workers from the YEP centres have identified that many First Nations youth they serve suffer from a lack of cultural esteem that affects educational success and that perpetuates a cycle of marginalization. Provincial statistics demonstrate that only 51% of First Nations students are completing highschool graduation. Youth participants will have the opportunity to engage in inter-generational learning, learn about critical analysis of media, develop interview coaching skills, and create digital stories, gain critical thinking skills and will be eligible to obtain credit for Applied Skills Grade 11.

Snuneymuxw First Nations

Snuneymuxw First Nation's House of Learning (in the Snuneymuxw community)

In September 2006, this Vancouver Island First Nation had 56 per cent unemployment. They conducted a community literacy survey and discovered that 64 per cent of their adult members were reading at a Grade 7 level or below. They created the House of Learning to address this issue. Vancouver Island University instructors teach day (literacy up to Grade 10) and evening classes (Grades 11 and 12) to approximately 25 adult students over three semesters. This creates a bridge for higher education, and an environment that is respectful and supportive.

Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology

SCWIST – MS infinity Program (M+S = Math and Science, an infinity of choices)

Scaling the MS infinity program has the potential to change girls’ attitudes toward science, and their beliefs that there is a place for women in STEM fields. The scaling of this social innovation will start with our core programs (Program Component I). Our core programs are expanding to rural/remote communities and Aboriginal populations and therefore more girls can be reached. For Program Component II, partnered with Science World, SCWIST hosts the popular annual “Wonder Women” networking event where university age participants hear what led the Wonder Women to their STEM careers. SCWIST will hold focus groups with the MS infinity cohort to assess their needs and interests. Based on those results, the Wonder Women event will be adapted for high school. We foresee that the demand will be on access to educational/training programs; scholarships; volunteering, work experience; and resume development – resources that girls desperately need to be successful in STEM education and careers. Finally, through mentorship with women in STEM, these attitudes will be reinforced. SCWIST’s new MakePossible Mentorship Network is an on-line software platform designed to create a community that supports women in STEM. As young women emerge from high school and transition into higher education, a support network will be essential. We will grow the MakePossible network so that connections with the whole pool of MakePossible mentors will become available (Program Component III).

Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC)

The School Gardens Project Outreach and Expansion

Experienced SPEC facilitators assist teachers in the implementation and maintenance of an organic vegetable garden on school grounds. They facilitate lessons both outdoors and in the classroom which train teachers in an innovative, project-based method of meeting curriculum expectations in science, health and many other areas. This solutions-focused project engages students in an enjoyable and memorable experience which fosters citizenship and volunteerism in partnership with the community. In 2009 the Vancouver Foundation supported the piloting of this project in 2 Vancouver schools. SPEC has supported its expansion to 5 additional schools including locations with high cultural diversity and socioeconomic barriers. In 2012-2013 SPEC seeks to conduct outreach throughout Vancouver to support schools seeking to begin similar projects through the finalizing of SPEC's manual, school-based assistance and Pro-D opportunities. It also seeks to expand upon the current waste reduction element of the project and connect students and the project increasingly with the surrounding community.

SPARC BC Society

Professional Development for Teachers on Teaching about Homelessness

Learning about Homelessness in BC: A Guide for Senior High-School Teachers by Jennifer Hales (2010) is a new resource that provides lesson plans and materials for high school teachers interested in teaching about homelessness. This pilot project will support the dissemination of this guide through a series of workshops in up to ten (10) school districts across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. An Advisory Committee will be established to provide guidance in the design, delivery and evaluation of the teacher training workshops.

Spo7ez Cultural Centre and Community Society

Aboriginal Youth Ambassador - 2010 Curriculum Formalization Project

Aboriginal youth ages 17 to 30 will have the opportunity to receive industry-recognized training, exposure to the post-secondary education environment, and meaningful work experience at high-traffic tourism venues. This proven model is designed to create opportunities for high-risk Aboriginal youth, who primarily live on reservations and face poverty and low literacy. It strengthens cultural connections by working with elders and indigenous cultural experts from the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations and assists in developing successful work and education patterns. This highly successful model, designed to create opportunities for high risk aboriginal youth, who primarily live on reservations and face multiple barriers (e.g. poverty, low literacy levels), strengthens cultural connections by working with elders and other indigenous cultural experts from a range of Squamish and Lil'wat Nation aboriginal communities and assists in developing successful work and education patterns. Funding provided by the Vancouver Foundation for this project will enable the formalization of the program and provide for 3.0 credit. This credit will create a bridge to further education and increase opportunities for participants.

Steps Forward - Inclusive Post-Secondary Education Society

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) Lower Mainland Campus-IPSE

The purpose of this project is to establish an inclusive post-secondary initiative at the NVIT-Burnaby Campus, as an extension of the existing one at NVIT-Merritt, to support marginalized urban Aboriginal youth with developmental disabilities in the Lower Mainland who wish to pursue post-secondary education and employment. Staff will be working in close collaboration with NVIT staff from Merritt and in the Lower Mainland. During this initial phase staff will build relationships with local stakeholders, employers, and community partners in order to embed the initiative at the campus and will partner with local Aboriginal organizations and CLBC to identify potential applicants. The final leg of the project will involve the hiring and training of a full time inclusion facilitator to support students, faculty, and campus staff to ensure a successful experience for all stakeholders. A collaborative peer review evaluation of the initiative will be completed at the end of project and the report will be disseminated to stakeholders.

Sunshine Coast Community Services

Improving socio-economic outcomes for adults living with mental illness

This project will bring together the Food Bank and Arrowhead Club House to test a volunteer and employment training initiative for adults living with mental illness. A key component will be the implementation of organizational change in the structure of the Food Bank to incorporate a capacity building training component for ADLMI that could lead to employment in the community and will incorporate long term sustainable employment in the food bank for adults living with mental illness. The results of this pilot will provide ongoing support to potential employers building our communities capacity to support this population and shift the communities perception of the abilities and positive contributions ADLMI can make to the health and well being of the community. Participants will have an increased sense of self worth, increased income, references for other employment and will have the skills and support to seek employment. Local employers, support services and adults living with mental illness will be engaged in workshops and dialogues to discuss the barriers and benefits of employing this population. These activities will shift their perception of ADLMI and increase their ability to support this population. In addition the new volunteers and employees will increase the Food Banks capacity to serve the community and to better serve users of the Food Bank who have Mental illness.

Take A Hike, Youth at Risk Foundation


In 2005, Take a Hike was enabled to double its program and hire a part-time Executive Director to increase its impact on youth. Five years later, we're reaching out to the Vancouver Foundation to support our second growth phase; offering the program in additional communities throughout BC. One of our Foundation's five objectives in its 2010/2011 strategic plan is to increase impact and reach through program expansion. We will empower communities to adopt (and adapt) the Take a Hike program to suit their specific needs so more youth can experience the life-changing benefits that Take a Hike has to offer. The Take a Hike Foundation has identified 4 key steps to move the growth initiative forward, and IN CAPS, I've identified our progress: 1) Identify a suitable growth model (governance, fundraising, reporting, etc.) COMPLETE 2) Develop a community capacity assessment tool (market scorecard). COMPLETE 3) Build relationships with new communities. IN PROGRESS 4) Create a Resource Kit (a Take a Hike manual for other communities) and Training Program TO COMMENCE IN MAY 2011

Terra Nova Schoolyard Society

East Richmond Schoolyard Program

Building on the success of programming at the Terra Nova, we would like to expand the programming to work with areas that are underserved with a higher proportion of low-income and recent immigrant youth. As well, we would like to start an intergenerational program of having seniors with gardening/farming experience mentor students. Project Goals 1. Work with 2 elementary schools in East Richmond (Mitchell and McNeely) 2. Have 250-300 students participate in programming 3. Recruit 20-30 seniors (gardeners/farmers) to work with students 4. Recruit 2-3 farmers to act as program mentors 5. To continue to grow the program within Richmond. Begin succession planning: In order to continue to offer expanded training, the Richmond Schoolyard Society will need to begin training other trainers for the program. This could involve one individual on a full time basis or a number of potential trainers on a part time basis. Regardless, the RSS will begin a process of transitioning some of the programming to these new trainers.


Integrated Media Literacy Project

In-class professional development sessions will engage Lower Mainland teachers in integrating media literacy techniques and free, user-friendly online technologies into the classroom. Media literacy is about understanding and learning about the media, as well as how to use various types of media and technology. Moving away from the usual approaches to media programming (one-off video projects and one-time guest presentations), this project aims to create long-term, self-sustaining, custom-fit programming that will empower teachers.

The Prince George Activators Society

GroundWork PG Education and Employment Program (aka GWPG)

With the goal of affecting the routines, resources and beliefs on a micro and macro level, GWPG will be divided into 3 interwoven, successive components. Participants will begin with a 120 day Aboriginal Wellness and employment education program at Aghelh Nebun – a remotely located Aboriginal focused facility. Within the education component, participants will take a variety of courses which will help them overcome employment barriers. Courses that pertain to the housing industry (carpentry, drywall, painting) will be combined with life skill courses (First Aid, Financial Literacy and Conflict Resolution). Simultaneously, participants will work with Lheidli T'enneh Elder Marcel Gagnon in the Soaring with Eagles program which promotes healing through developing increased knowledge, discipline and self-awareness. The courses will be structured towards Aboriginal learners and a Cultural Education Assistant will work with the Elder and participants in a reciprocal learning environment - providing assistance and support as needed. After completing the 120 days, participants will begin the first of two paid work experience segments at Aghelh Nebun. While earning a wage, participants will utilize the skills they have acquired during the courses in a controlled work environment (2-8 months). When the participants are ready they will transfer into Prince George and further their employment experience working with various community organizations on the GWPG community crew (3-12 months).

The Virtual Stage Arts Society o/a The Virtual Stage

2014 Community Outreach Program

The purpose of the Community Outreach Program is to engage youth and young people with special needs in innovative theatre and film projects alongside professional artists. The program provides participants with invaluable work experience, guidance, and life skills support within a professional artistic environment in a publicly presented play or film. The purpose of this grant application is to support The Virtual Stage’s 2014 Community Outreach Program, which will integrate program participants as writers, actors, designers and crew on the company’s next installment of its incredibly successful site-specific, interactive, smartphone-enabled, zombie-themed roving show “On Death’s Door: Curse of The Zombie Syndrome”. The project originated in 2012, alongside the inaugural production of “The Zombie Syndrome”. It was created in response to the needs of youth eager for mentorship and opportunities to develop skills in preparation for the responsibilities of adulthood and a possible future career in theatre.

Thompson Rivers University Foundation

Meeting the Needs of First-Generation, Aboriginal Students

The proposed project would provide support for Aboriginal student at two critical points in their academic decision-making and transition: high school and the first year of university studies. Both programs are premised on the importance of providing role models and mentorship from senior Aboriginal students. The first component of the project is a week-long, residential summer camp that will encourage Aboriginal high school students to plan for success in post-secondary education and will promote their interest in careers in science and health sciences. This camp will be open to Aboriginal youth in grades 8-12 and will be staffed by TRU Aboriginal student mentors/staff. The second is a mentoring program that will provide first-year Aboriginal students with support and connections to university services and resources. Upper-year, Aboriginal students will be selected and trained as mentors to work with incoming students. The regular meetings between mentors and mentees will be focused on topics such as time management, goal setting and study habit development.

Meeting the Needs of First-Generation and Aboriginal Students

The proposed project would provide support for first-generation and aboriginal students at two crucial points in their academic decision-making and transition: high school and the first year of university studies. Both programs are premised on the importance of providing role models and mentorship from older students. The first component is a set of summer camp workshops that will encourage Aboriginal high school students to plan for success in post-secondary education and promote their interest in potential careers in science and health sciences. Workshops include two one-week, on-campus programs for Aboriginal youth in Grades 8-9 and 10-12. The second is a mentoring program that will provide first-generation students (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal) with support and comprehensive knowledge of university services and resources. Upper-year, first-generation students will be selected and trained as mentors to work with incoming students. The regular meetings between mentors and mentees will be focused on topics such as time management, goal setting, and study habit development.

Assessing First Nations Language Proficiency in an Immersion Setting

Based in the Chief Atahm Immersion School, this project aims to develop and test Secwepemctsin language speaking proficiency for Kindergarten and Grade 1 students. This will involve the development of specific testing protocols, and appropriate graphics depicting typical scenes to elicit descriptive responses. The process will be followed by a series of trials to determine the effectiveness of this method of assessing fluency in Secwepemctsin. This project will add a significant assessment component to the existing immersion curriculum.

Tidal Elements Whole School Society

Returning to Place: Reintegrating Land-based Learning and Healing into Haida Gwaii Youth Programming

Land-based programming has been identified as a priority on Haida Gwaii by education, mental health, health care, and justice organizations, and most importantly, by youth themselves. Despite this, participation in on-the-land programming is declining and there is no sustainable funding for existing programs. A diverse group of organizations and community members across Haida Gwaii are invested in working collaboratively with youth to investigate the barriers to participation and rethink how we can effectively embed land-based programming into the way we educate and provide services to youth on Haida Gwaii, nurturing a life long, resilient relationship to land and place.

Tides Canada Initiatives Society


Only 50% of First Nations and Aboriginal youth in BC graduate high school. This project will produce a multi-part journalism series that aims to promote academic success among First Nations and Aboriginal youth by identifying new and innovative policies, practices and achievable solutions for improving educational outcomes. Interviews with 'trailblazers' - First Nations and Aboriginal individuals with advanced degrees – will shed light on the hurdles which almost thwarted their achievements, providing a gateway for identifying policies that can help ensure these obstacles are not insurmountable for future generations. Trailblazer profiles will serve as a starting point for further discussion with educators and administrators to explore, analyze and identify potential new policies and approaches that can promote educational success. The project will not only serve policy makers and educators, but will provide Aboriginal and First Nations youth with inspirational success stories to encourage higher education aspirations and promote self-appreciation of their culture and identity.

The People, Land & Ocean

The project builds language and leadership skills amongst young people on Haida Gwaii by developing a training program that uses music for Haida and other youth to learn and celebrate their traditions and language. The nexus consists of two Haida-English songs, one for pre-school/primary children, the second for intermediate/high school students. Stage 1: ART works with teachers at Tahayghen and Chief Matthews schools to develop activities in language arts, science, social studies and other subjects that are linked to the song lyrics and fulfill prescribed learning outcomes. Stage 2: teachers use the songs in the classroom to help students learn lyrics, and enliven cross-curricular learning. Stage 3: An Artist In Residence program trains students to perform the Haida-English songs, as well as other songs with eco-themes, and develop spoken introductions. Stage 4: Students perform in a professional concert that shares program results with the public, and builds self esteem and pride by sharing and celebrating their learning with the community.

The Writers' Exchange "Who Am I?" project

During the "Who Am I?" project, the Writers' Exchange will work in schools, with teachers and community partners, to run a year-long project that will culminate in twelve classes producing publications of student writing on the topic of "Who Am I?". The project originated when inner-city teachers and administrators expressed to the Writers' Exchange the need for creative literacy programming and one-on-one attention for their students in their classrooms to help increase literacy levels. o During the project, students will write and create with one-on-one help from volunteer tutors. o Each student will play a part in producing a class publication. From rough drafts to cover art, the students will create a professionally printed and bound publication that they will be able to take home, take pride in and share with their caregivers. o The Writers' Exchange will work with each teacher to tailor the "Who Am I?" project to the classroom's needs, the Ministry of Education's curriculum goals and the grade's prescribed learning outcomes.

Pacific Wild/Coastal Connections-Virtual Rainforest Initiative

Coastal Connections- Virtual Rainforest Initiative (CC-VRI) is an educational program focused on utilizing new technology, experiential learning and locally-relevant resources connect youth in place-based communities to with the lands and waters of their traditional territories. Piloted in the coastal First Nations communities of Bella Bella and Hartley Bay, the program uses interactive white boards, remote wildlife webcams, and outdoor natural history training to bring ecology and conservation to life and to cultivate a new generation of stewards and natural resource managers in the Great Bear Rainforest. This collaborative effort between Pacific Wild, local community groups such as QQS Projects and the Gitga'at Land and Resources Stewardship Society, the Bella Bella and Hartley Bay community schools, along with the American Museum of Natural History and the Nature Conservancy, strives to develop an educational model that will provide youth with the passion and skills needed to pursue education and employment opportunities in science and conservation for years to come.

Striving for an "A" in Aboriginal Education

Tides Canada Initiatives, in collaboration with Tyee Solutions Society (TSS), proposes to explore a variety of experiments in Aboriginal-led education in B.C. through an innovative journalism project, published in multiple media outlets. TSS will tell the nuanced stories of these new experiments in culturally-responsive education: the challenges, but mostly the promising early successes. We propose to focus on five B.C. communities; to listen, learn, and build relationships, and to formally interview, report and photograph. Stories will be intended for the general public but will also be in-depth enough to be a useful resource for people working on the ground to affect change, aboriginal and non-aboriginal. This project builds on recent education reporting by Katie Hyslop, and on her masters’ thesis for the UBC School of Journalism on child poverty in Hazelton, which involved traveling to the community and interviewing politicians, Aboriginal families, a representative of the Gitxsan treaty office, and others. You can find her recent education reporting here:

Tsawout SNEPENEKS Cultural Society

Building Community through Digital Story (BCDS)

Building on a successful pilot project - where participants worked through the composition of story, collected photo & video to support their stories, & explored creative ways to enhance story using technology & multi-media equipment and software– this new Building Community through Digital Story (BCDS) project puts the development & power of storytelling in the hands of our community and youth, and offers educational and professional-level training. Upon completion participants will receive a certificate of completion. Through a partnership with Royal Roads University and with in-kind support from additional partners, Tsawout's Snepeneks Cultural Society is building opportunities in education by offering this multidisciplinary course that will provide: 1) Opportunities for youth and elders to work together in the preservation of language and culture, 2) opportunities for an exchange of skills and knowledge, youth using media, and elders and traditional knowledge, and 3) Opportunities to re-engage youth in education, , cultural practices, community events, and training.

UBC - Department of Political Science

Summer Institute for Future Legislators (SIFL)

This project will support the ongoing development of an education program for people who are interested in participating in elected civic roles at all levels of government.