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.

BC Association of Community Response Networks

Forming Community Response Networks to address adult abuse and neglect

As our population ages, there is more abuse, neglect and self-neglect among vulnerable adults. Financial abuse is the most common form of senior abuse. Community Response Networks (CRNs) are a proven vehicle for service providers and community members to develop a coordinated response in the detectection, intervention and prevention of abuse. Currently, there are no CRNs in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland (except on the North Shore). This project is designed to work with local communities within the city and surrounding municipalities over a three-year period to form up to 10 CRNs.

BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support

Elder Abuse Prevention Workshops

BCCEAS has an excellent education took kit that it has used to train staff and volunteers of senior serving agencies in British Columbia, with great success. With funding from the Vancouver Foundation, we can extend the program to train many more senior volunteers within the Metro Vancouver area. The project involves training five older adult volunteers and staff at ten agencies, who would then facilitate 50 workshops about preventing elder abuse. BCCEAS will provide ongoing support even after the project term is over, so that the initiative is sustained.

BC Multicultural Health Services Society

Umbrella Mobile Health Clinic

Approximately 4,000 temporary foreign agricultural workers (TFWs) come from Mexico to the Lower Mainland each year. Although they have mandatory, self-paid, private health insurance many of these workers face language, cultural and logistical barriers to accessing health services. The Umbrella Mobile Clinic provides culturally-appropriate health services via a van that has been converted into a medical clinic. This mobile clinic is staffed by a site coordinator, a BC-licensed physician, a cross cultural health broker and volunteers. This year, the project will also incorporate health promotion workshops (as requested by the patients), and expand ongoing relationships with farm owners and extend outreach to local pharmacies, laboratories and hospitals.

Umbrella Mobile Clinic Pilot Project

About 4,000 temporary farm workers come to BC each year. Despite having mandatory, self-paid, private health insurance, these workers are rarely able to access health services. This project will pilot a mobile clinic, specially targeted to the needs of farm workers. The clinic will consist of a recreational vehicle, converted into a medical clinic, capable of seeing patients at the farms where they work, and offering primary, preventative health care. The clinic will be staffed by a physician, office assistant and cross-cultural health worker.

Better Environmentally Sound Transportation Association

Capacity Building in Community Based Seniors Transportation

Access to transportation has become more difficult for frail and elderly seniors (especially those in rural BC). This project will provide hands-on training in feasibility analysis, business planning, and operations management for local agency transport services to eight senior-serving agencies per year for three years. It will also provide a quantitative and qualitative analysis of accessible transportation needs in rural BC.

Boys' and Girls' Clubs of Central Vancouver Island

Building the Lake Trail Neighbourhood Connections

Lake Trail is a low-income neighbourhood in Courtenay, BC. It has the highest crime rate in the Comox Valley. This project will coordinate a Lake Trail inter-agency committee to support project activities and meet neighbourhood needs; facilitate partnership development between Lake Trail School, service agencies and residents; and establish community-building activities at Lake Trail School (such as after-school and weekend programs for youth, families, and seniors; community meetings to address issues, social activities and a school/community garden).

BrainTrust Canada

Improving Social Connections for Persons with Brain Injury

Brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability under the age of 44. People with acquired brain injury are often marginalized and do not have many social connections that are unpaid. BrainTrust Canada is often their only support system, primarily operating during daytime, weekday hours. However, much of active and healthy community life occurs outside of agency hours. Persons with brain injury experience many barriers to accessing their community after business hours when most social contact occurs for people. Cognitive impairments such as memory difficulties, issues with initiating, organizing and/or planning a task or activity, and challenges navigating their community and public transportation often lead to isolation and loneliness. In addition, transportation options are limited in the Central Okanagan on evenings and weekends for people with a disability. This program would allow greater mobility and community access during these times of day to help build natural connections and increase their overall level of independence and quality of life.

Britannia Community Services Centre Society

Britannia Community Carving Pavilion

Our social innovation is to test an integrated recreation, education, cultural and social service programming model that builds resilience and empowerment in areas that affect lives in this culturally relevant facility. The objective is to create community driven types of activities that follow values established by the community to guide the stewardship of this important and unique facility. Objectives which focus on 3 core themes: Adhering to specific cultural protocols: 1. Consult and involve Aboriginal Elders 2. Showcase the history of First Peoples 3. Promote cross-cultural sharing and learning Creating standards of practice that are in keeping with the community’s desired values: 4. Build effective governance 5. Make the Carving Pavilion a gathering place 6. Practice inclusivity & embed low-barrier protocols Designing a wide range of programs that promote Aboriginal arts and culture, and provide opportunities for intercultural and intergenerational learning and sharing: 7. Create a community carving project 8. Create for-credit opportunities 9. Showcase Aboriginal art 10. Offer programs beyond carving This is innovative because this model requires formal institutions such as the City of Vancouver, Vancouver School Board, Vancouver Public Library and Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation to endorse, adopt and participate in non-Western governance and decision making in the delivery of services.

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association

BCCLA Rural Education & Outreach Project

To develop and implement a model for low-overhead, membership-driven, community-based civil liberties and human rights advocacy and education groups that provide aboriginal and rural community members with legal information and peer casework advocacy support. This model would also offers opportunities for civil libertiesrelated education and interactive workshops by local and long-distance lawyers, advocates and experts, and build relationships between rural communities and urban service providers, lawyers and advocates on civil liberties and human rights issues.

British Columbia Law Institute

Older Womens Dialogue Project Development Grant (Ms. Krista James/Ms. Kasari Govender)

In 2012 the CCEL received funding from the United Way Lower Mainland for the Older Women’s Dialogue Project, a 1-year project identifying the pressing law and social policy issues impacting older women. We started this work because while there has been much focus on seniors’ issues, there has been little consideration of how these issues may differently or disproportionately affect older women. After meeting with over 350 women we appreciate that some women are very marginalized and hard to reach, and that women want to do more than identify problems; they want to do something about them. The CCEL and West Coast LEAF are developing a project concept and further collaborations to continue this work involving older women. The project will involve: (1) Further community-engaged research—focus groups, interviews—aimed at reaching marginalized older women (e.g. Aboriginal women, women with disabilities) 100-200 women; (2) Compilation, analysis of findings—including plain language summary of work in multiple languages; (3) Community-engaged resource development, involving 2-4 different communities of older women (50-200 women).During the development phase we will identify strategies for connecting with especially marginalized older women, identify appropriate knowledge-sharing and dissemination strategies that respond to community-identified priorities, and work with 2-4 communities to develop project plans focused on the pressing law and policy issues they want to work on.

Older Womens Dialogue Project

In 2012 the CCEL began the Older Women's Dialogue Project, a 1-year project on the pressing legal and social policy issues impacting older women. Working with West Coast LEAF, we met with over 300 women and heard about their concerns and calls to action on issues. We also realized that some groups of women are particularly hard to reach, and require a different approach to consultation. The next phase of work involves: (1) Community-engaged research with older women who are particularly marginalized, isolated or vulnerable (focus groups and/or interviews) 150-225 women (2014); (2) Compilation, analysis of findings—including in plain language (2015); (3) Community-engaged legal tool development, involving 4 communities of older women, 60-100 women (current-December 2016), including: 1) Older women of the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre (Power of Women to Women group) (2) Richmond Women's Resource Centre's (Chinese grandmothers' group) (3) South Granville Senior's Centre (women with Spanish program) (4) A 4th group to be identified through consultations with marginalized women

Burnaby Community Connections Society Burnaby Community Services

System Navigation for Burnaby’s Working Poor

10% of Burnaby residents are working but still living in poverty. They are struggling with low wages, under-employment and a high cost of living. The patchwork of available programs are hard to access and aren’t enough to help them break the cycle of poverty. To empower people with low incomes to change their lives, this project will test a supportive self-advocacy approach, including training on navigating the system, coaching on employment and housing, a community of practice, peer-to-peer mentoring, transportation assistance and temporary housing if needed. To promote system change, a Steering Committee composed of system representatives will share and act on the learnings.

Homes for All: Building Communities, Building Homes

This project will mobilize community support for a continuum of housing and associated services, bringing together groups including the City of Burnaby, the provincial and federal governments and the Burnaby Board of Trade to collaborate on addressing affordable housing and homelessness. A full-time coordinator will build community support and the relationships needed to achieve a common vision and commitment to address this urgent social issue.

Burnaby Seniors Outreach Services Society


The ManTalk project aims to reduce social isolation and expand a faltering support network for the most vulnerable of the oldest-old population in our community, men who are not able to independently change their own situations. Facilitated group activities which include education, discussion and emotional support will be established in community and residential venues designed to foster new social connections and encourage meaningful activity.

Campbell River Beacon Club

Computer Training

The project for which the Campbell River Beacon Club is asking funding is to offer weekly computer classes in house to the membership at no cost to the participants. Members will learn how to access the Internet and the services it offers, including on line mental health peer communities and mental health related websites (e.g. Mood Disorders Association of BC, Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Schizophrenia Society), job search sites and educational opportunities. Weekly sessions will include training for Windows and related Microsoft Office programs (e.g. Word, Excel, Access, Power Point and Publisher). They will learn how to use email, from setting up an account, to attaching documents to using proper etiquette. As more businesses are using social media to promote themselves, the project will also include sessions about Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. They will also learn how to safely navigate the Web, being made aware of predators and scams.

Canadian Centre For Policy Alternatives

Getting it right: structuring, implementing & evaluating an effective poverty-reduction plan for BC

Thousands of British Columbians experience poverty and struggle to care for their children, participate in their communities and fulfill their aspirations. Our 2008 report, A Poverty Reduction Plan for BC, identified the key elements of an effective public policy strategy to significantly reduce and eventually eliminate poverty. We seek to build on this work and meaningfully engage with BC’s new government as they launch a basic income pilot and develop a poverty reduction plan. A well-designed, transparent and accountable strategy that targets the root causes of poverty has the potential to be game-changing and greatly improve the health and well-being of communities across the province.

Canadian Mental Health Association - BC Division

Living Life to the Full: increasing connection and resiliency among BC youth

Adolescence is a high-risk time for mental health problems like depression and anxiety and a key time to boost coping skills. Living Life to the Full (LLTTF) is an evidence-based course designed to teach youth skills for dealing with life's challenges. In 8 fun group sessions the course examines worry, low mood, isolation, healthy thinking, problem-solving, confidence, and anger. Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division (CMHA BC) and its Blue Wave Youth Team (aged 13-18) have adapted the course for BC youth. Older youth facilitators delivered pilot courses in three BC communities in summer 2014, and a Fall evaluation is being used to improve the materials. The course will be delivered to 28 communities in urban and rural communities in 2015-2016. It will equip 560 youth with coping skills that promote resilience, reduce the risk of mental illness and risky behaviours, and encourage connection and engagement with peers and community. Investments in training will build community capacity to reach hundreds more youth BC-wide annually after 2016.

Developing Socially Inclusive Strategies: Policy Implications of Innovative Community Programming - A Knowledge Exchange Event


Canadian Mental Health Association - Vancouver-Fraser Branch

Spiritual communities collaborate to engage mental health recovery

Spiritual communities offer support, meaningful values and practices to help with everyday life. Individuals with mental illness may, before anything else, seek help from their spiritual community. But their cry for help is not always met with understanding. Focus groups alerted Sanctuary that individuals with mental illness may be excluded from their spiritual communities' support network. While education on mental health is welcomed, the difficult task lies in leading communities through a process of action toward attitudinal change. In this project we aim to address barriers for inclusion and build support for individuals with mental illness in spiritual communities. We will coach action groups (peers, careers and leaders) within spiritual communities to bring issues into the open and garner support for individuals with mental illness. In order to engage a wider range of spiritual communities, we will partner with an interfaith network. Individuals from diverse spiritual backgrounds will be trained to work within their communities to build support for mental health recovery.

Canadian National Institute for the Blind

Ensuring Accessibility for British Columbians with Vision Loss

Canada is a prosperous and technologically advanced society yet many Canadians with vision loss are excluded from social and economic opportunities. The lack of skills training and support results in 65% unemployment of working age adults with vision loss and 50% earning less than $20,000 annually. The harsh reality is only 45% of blind or partially sighted Canadian children graduate high school compared to 90% of sighted kids. To tackle these challenges, CNIB Specialists train those with vision loss to access information using assistive devices. These devices coupled with the skills taught by CNIB Specialists increases self-reliance, personal capacity and the ability to be productive, contributing community members. Our project, Ensuring Accessibility for British Columbians with Vision Loss, ensures no one in our province with vision loss is denied the fundamental right to access information. With your support we will expand our stock of assistive devices to eliminate our wait list and meet the increasing demand for vision rehabilitation services and equipment in British Columbia.

Canadian Nurses Foundation

BC Indigenous Community Based Mentorship Program Supporting Indigenous Nurses for Success

Indigenous Peoples are committed to advancing the health and wellness of communities. Given the current health care crisis, the numbers and retention of Indigenous nurses must increase to provide needed culturally safe care. A BC Indigenous community based mentorship program proposes strategies to ensure success of Indigenous nursing students and retention of employed Indigenous nurses. Partnerships with Indigenous community leaders and organizations, and BC schools of nursing will build on a community needs based framework. Ensuring Indigenous peoples are fully represented in healthcare roles, has far-reaching implications for the health of Indigenous individuals and communities.

Canucks Autism Network Society

Adapted Sports and Rec Expansion in Kamloops and Nanaimo for Children Living with Autism

With 1 in 68 children identified as being on the autism spectrum, the need for adapted sports and recreation programs is growing. This project aims to increase our program reach throughout the province by expanding into new, under-served communities where we do not currently have programs (Nanaimo and Kamloops). Additionally this project strives to increase community capacity through the delivery of autism specific sport and recreation training for our partners, by including their staff in our programs so they can gain hands on autism specific sport delivery experience, and developing a train the trainer model so our partners have the skills and tools to support individuals with autism in their existing community programs. Through this three year approach, we will move from hands on program delivery of adapted sports and recreation programs, to community centre staff being trained to deliver recreation programs for people living with autism through partnered program delivery to finally overseeing integrated sports and recreation programs that take place within the community.

Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy Society

Thrive Williams Lake

This project brings together community stakeholders, existing networks, and people with lived experience to implement a community poverty reduction strategy. With an industry based economy, we have an economic environment with a lot of variability. We are also a regional centre providing government, health, education and other services to a large rural region. Poverty here is high, as is the cost of living in comparison with other communities our size. We have low levels of education and a gap between skills availability and economic opportunities. We will work together to identify opportunities to reduce the number of people who live in poverty, and the depth of poverty in our community.

Carnegie Community Centre Association

Social Innovation Cohort: Our Community Vision for Mental Health

A grant to participate in a development process to explore ideas around utilizing the experiential knowledge of participants and includes two key components: community participatory research and a grassroots visioning process. Through the participatory research portion of the project we are seeking to contribute to a broadened understanding of the societal and social determinants of mental health, especially the issues and barriers specifically faced by low-income DTES resident with mental illness. This first phase has already started and we have been having regular weekly meetings to plan the research process. Building on research findings emerging from the first phase, our second objective is to co-create a shared community vision of mental health in the DTES. By engaging in practical community research and knowledge production, participants not only learn new skills but see themselves in a position of competence, as experts of their own health and wellbeing, while also obtaining valuable knowledge and information about the structures surrounding them. This approach will combine participation and knowledge to foster DTES residents confidence and leadership abilities to meaningfully participate in decision-making forums and processes, sustain broader community involvement, and work with related community groups to build consensus, strength and new relationships towards improving their own mental health as well as the wider health of their families and community.

Our Community Vision for Mental Health

The project is based on the recognition that housing is a primary and fundamental social determinant of mental health. It seeks to give low-income Downtown Eastside residents living with mental illness, trauma, and disability the power to contribute to—and seek knowledge about—their health by developing a new “residents first” approach to supportive housing provision and management. Their influence is integral to bettering social housing. We will facilitate spaces to draft and establish best practices and guidelines for meeting and decision-making. We observe an urgent need to work well in coalition, in good communication with other organizations, groups, networks, and services and we can contribute to their longevity. Part of our work will be to strengthen our community member's capacity to participate in decision-making structures. Through visual description, creative form, mapping, media we will address language barriers related to literacy and translation. We can influence the representation of our community. This work will advance our knowledge of supportive housing provision. Amplifying residents' voices and experience informed and grounded in the experience and needs of existing and future social housing residents. As a peer-led project, this plan will have at its core the fundamental belief that people living with mental illness, addictions, and poverty should be able to make basic decisions concerning the day-to-day activities in their lives and homes.