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.

UBC - The Collaborating Centre for Prison Health

Growing Great Kids Out of Homelessness

Children experiencing homelessness have poorer outcomes when compared to other children, their mothers often struggle with social isolation, and there is a strong link to entering the child welfare system. Growing Great Kids Out of Homelessness will address this issue and seek to influence system change by creating a collaborative, multi-sectoral, peer-led participatory research project. Through the opportunity to experience themselves as co-creators of safe, supportive environments, homeless women and children can restore their health and well-being in an environment of dignity that offers women increased agency and engagement with others, while keeping families intact.

Trauma at the Root: Exploring Paths to Healing with Formerly Incarcerated Men

The majority of incarcerated men have experienced trauma in their lives. These trauma experiences are often at the root of substance use, mental illness, and/or violence that lead to involvement in the criminal justice system and can also negatively impact men’s ability to reintegrate into the community. However, there has been little done to explore how to support men in healing from trauma. This project will engage formerly incarcerated men in participatory health research to explore ways to improve trauma supports for both currently and formerly incarcerated men. The findings can be used develop trauma-informed approaches and influence policies and programming from the ground up.

UBC Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP)

Community partnerships to foster wellbeing of children and families in the Kootenay Columbia Region

The early years are optimal for investing in the future of our society, as early experiences are critical for brain development, lifelong learning, and wellbeing. BC data show that 1-in-3 children are vulnerable at school entry. To change this, we need to enhance our capacities to locally identify families’ and children’s needs and provide supports to families with young children early. This partnership project implements a universal early child development data platform in the Kootenay Columbia Region, to connect families to existing support systems, and to inform community-level decision making, strategic planning, and resource allocation in the local early years sector.

Early Years Community Development Institute (EYCDI)

This project is designed to connect and strengthen professionals working in Early Years Community Development (EYCD) across British Columbia and Alberta. It will enhance the infrastructure towards a stronger, more sustainable and community-driven early child development system in our province. Seed funding has allowed for the development of a web-based platform for the Institute, which has markedly increased interest among EYCD professionals, and has grown the volunteer provincial advisory group that is providing leadership to the Institute. The website ( was successfully launched last fall, a series of training webinars have been held, a province-wide contact database has been created, and a twice monthly newsletter is circulated. This proposed project will maintain and grow this work to further embed the EYCDI at the local level. A part-time coordinator will be hired to manage the core operations of the Institute. Work will also be completed on a module-based certification program for EYCD professionals and pilot training sessions will be held.

Early Years Community Developers (EYCD) Institute

The overall aim of the Early Years Community Development (EYCD) Institute will be to build a better, more sustainable and community driven system for the early years in B.C. by creating mechanisms to strengthen the practice of EYCD professionals. The ultimate impact and evidence of a stronger early childhood system will be reflected in improved measures of child development outcomes and community capacity. This is the initial phase of the project. This phase is designed to build the capacity and competency of EYCD Professionals through: •Linking existing EYCD professionals in B.C. through a variety of opportunities for learning, resource sharing, practice-based research and peer mentorship. •Developing and then implementing a program of professional development to include on line as well as face to face sessions. This program will focus on identifying the core competencies of EYCD and establishing flexible approaches for content delivery. . Developing and maintaining a website to host EYCD professional development and networking opportunities.

Ucluelet Aquarium Society

Harm reduction as a pathway to wildlife health action in a complex and changing world

We are leading efforts to create a fish and wildlife health system able to find opportunities for people, organizations and government to act collectively to create circumstance that will help wild animals withstand the unprecedented social and environmental changes challenging their survival. Our current signals to action are often too late to help wildlife recovery from threats to their health. The Develop process will help us chart a course forward to inspire a new collaborative societal response that allows us to act today to protect wild animal health despite unknowns and disagreements on who should act.

Umbrella Multicultural Health Co-op

Making It Stick - Community Health Centres

We are aiming to disrupt the siloed, medicalized delivery of primary care in BC by creating a robust Community Heath Centre sector where individuals, families and communities can access clinic services that are integrated with social determinants of health services. Providing health services through a holistic approach to wellness will improve the quality of life and well-being of British Columbians and improve the efficacy of our current health system. By deepening our current response in targeted areas, we will aim to influence critical decisions on how to operationalize a CHC sector, as well as mobilize communities to become CHC advocates, both which will support a lasting system change.

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.

Umoja Operation Compassion Society of BC

Reaching out to African Immigrant and Refugee Families and Youth

Umoja's Literacy and Life-Skills program that has been running successfully for three years. The program has been designed to address the specific needs of immigrants and refugees from war-torn countries. Our most recent survey indicates that 100% of the participants are satisfied with the program and have reported that the program has met their literacy and life skills needs and has helped them adapt to their new country. So far more than 100 immigrants have participated in the program. Our intention is to continue to offer this vital program and also extend it to the youth. The project has two components to it: (A) The Literacy: English reading, writing, conversation and numeracy. For the youth, we will add the homework assistance component. Participants will attend Literacy/homework program 3 times a week from 4:30-6:30pm. (B) Life Skills: Once a week 6-8pm the project will build Canadian life and leadership skills to integrate successfully into the society through workshops, speakers and out trips.

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.

A Plan for Artist-Run Culture in Vulnerable Communities

We wish to address artists' and cultural workers' complicity in the artwashing and culturewashing of urban development which causes or precipitates harm to the low-income communities whose presence we have benefited from for decades. We wish to develop an alternative plan for artist-run culture, especially addressing Chinatown and the DTES, and use the development of this plan to forge stronger community bonds, creating webs of support between artist-run culture and community self-advocacy. This represents a shift in our thinking, as a type of organization which has valued artistic autonomy above all else, to one which wants to construct a strong social praxis for art.

I Will Survive

I Will Survive is the working title for a series of five works commissioned from emerging artists, including three works commissioned from emerging First Nations artists, to be presented in the fall of 2012 and early 2013. Patterned after our previous commissioning project, Ill Repute, it will be jointly curated by UNIT/PITT director Keith Higgins and artist, curator and community organizer Cease Wyss. Where the previous project drew on the history of the communities of practice, political and social phenomena, and subcultures which intersected with the Helen Pitt Gallery during its 36-year history, the proposed project explores the future of these communities and practices. By envisioning a future, emerging artists and their emerging discourses will take a role in how that future is shaped.

United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society (S.U.C.C.E.S.S.)

Understanding barriers to employment: Intersectionality of immigration status, gender and disability

Obtaining employment within the formal labour market has become a pervasive challenge with implications for individuals, communities and societies. The exclusion of refugees with disabilities from the labour market restricts the potential contributions that this population could make to economic prosperity and social cohesion. Collaborating with female refugees who have disabilities, their caregivers, and front-line service providers from employment, disability, and settlement service sectors will enable us to better understand and address aspects of neoliberal activation and austerity measures that shape the experiences of those seeking and supporting labour market participation.

Unlocking political potential: addressing the root causes of participation and apathy in immigrant communities

Immigrants participate in politics at lower rates than those born in Canada. To ensure the future health of Canada’s social and democratic foundations, under-participation must be addressed. While community organizations have mobilized to extend voting rights to permanent residents, electoral opportunities alone will not solve participatory gaps unless immigrants also feel that they belong in the political community, can make an impact on it, and are invited to participate. This project will develop a plan for systems-level interventions to make politics interesting, relevant and engaging in the everyday lives of immigrants and to help community leaders mobilize participatory potential.

Stories of Our Ancestors: Intergenerational Trauma Among Chinese-Canadian Families

The traumatic narratives of Chinese immigration to Canada and its impact on future generations are mostly unknown. The silence of these migration experiences may be related to surviving collective trauma. Understanding the stigma, shame and fear of Chinese-Canadians who migrated to escape persecution, imprisonment and torture will assist Canadian health care providers to develop strategies to understand and treat pre- and post-migration trauma. Intergenerational trauma is an important construct for understanding the mental health of survivors and their families. We know that individuals and families who have suffered through significant collective traumas are unlikely to obtain professional support. Likewise, Chinese-Canadians underutilize mental health services and there is significant shame and stigma with regards to mental illness in this population. As intergenerational trauma among Chinese people is unexplored in the literature, the social innovation idea is to create a dialogue between older generations and younger generations to work across the divide of silence to bring understanding to family members by breaking the silence of the past. Once the social implications are understood we will be able to devise health care strategies to reduce the stigma and shame of seeking mental health care within this population. As intergenerational trauma is considered to be a broad social determinant of health, it has implications for education, employment, and general well-being.

United Players of Vancouver

Side-drape replacement project

The original drapery & tracks in the theatre (Jericho Arts Centre) were acquired second-hand, prior to 2000. Age has caused a decline in the flame retardant capability of these drapes so they no longer meet the requirements in the British Columbia Fire Code and present a safety risk. Many years of use has also resulted in stains, tears and a general shabby appearance. The old tracks are also damaged and need replacement. The fabric has deteriorated beyond the point that it can be cleaned & re-treated with flame retardants. We raised money and replaced the Main Traveller, Legs, Valance and Lobby drapes in 2008, but had insufficient funds to replace all drapes. If the requested funds are granted, we would be able to complete the project by replacing all the drapes on both sides of the theatre and at the exit doors. New drapes will make the theatre safer by bringing us into compliance with the British Columbia Fire Code flame retardant standards. They will also give a more professional appearance to the theatre.

United Way of Central & South Okanagan/ Similkameen

Roadmap to a Central Okanagan Poverty Reduction Strategy (Phase 2)

Poverty is a key social issue in the Okanagan, with 40,000 people living below the poverty line. Despite this, we lack clear local evidence to drive change. This project will build a comprehensive snapshot of poverty in each Central Okanagan community, and identify systemic regional issues. It will broaden engagement with lived experience, and build the diverse community network required to affect change. It will provide tangible evidence of the systems holding poverty in place, and recommend priorities for action. It will provide a solid foundation for the development of a Poverty Reduction Strategy, driving innovative solutions to transform the interrelated systems surrounding poverty.

Toward a Child and Family Poverty Reduction Strategy for the Central Okanagan

We seek to reduce stigma and empower families experiencing poverty, by creating connections and awareness of child and family poverty and its effects. There are many ways poverty is known to raise the risk of lifelong ill effects on health and reduce opportunities for children and youth to realize their full potential. Reducing the impact of family stress and linking families to services makes a difference, only if families feel safe and comfortable accessing those services. Reducing the stigma associated with reaching out for needed services is the first step in making long-lasting systemic change for families in the Central Okanagan.

United Way of Northern British Columbia

Financial Literacy

This project will enable rent banks throughout BC to meet annually to exchange information and jointly review their products and processes, produce annual housing stability reports, and seek stable funding from the provincial government.

Northern Rockies Social Planning Council (NRSPC)

This project will pay for a coordinator to facilitate and sustain the activities needed to achieve its mission and vision, and to examine the social impact from present and future growth resulting from the Horn River Basin and Cordova shale gas discoveries. The project will facilitate strategic planning and establish a model to identify critical and emerging issues; facilitate inception of the Fort Nelson branch of the Northeast Community Foundation; research funding opportunities and facilitate meetings and disseminate information to the public.

United Way of the Fraser Valley

Abbotsford Fresh Food Box and Bulk Buying Club

Consistent access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food is essential for people to live healthy, active lives. However, food bank usage in BC has risen 23% since 2008, with Abbotsford's food bank now serving 3000 people monthly (including 1200 children). In 2009, Abbotsford service providers aimed to build up a food co-op, but it did not come to term. Due to increased need, Vibrant Abbotsford is committed to establishing a Fresh Food Box program and Bulk Buying Club to leverage low-income residents' buying power. The program will purchase household items, non-perishable food and produce at wholesale cost and pass along the savings to participants. It fills a gap by serving people "in-between" emergency food users and those able to afford retail prices, particularly those un-reached by food supports. Food gleaning days, community kitchens and trainings will be integrated to build life skills. The project will establish a sustainable model that can be easily expanded to provide an affordable, accessible and dignified option assisting families to transition out of food insecurity.

University of British Columbia

Understanding of Pregnancy Experiences of First Nations Women with Gestational Diabetes in the Nuu-Chah-Nulth communities

Our proposed project aligns with the goals of the Convene Grants. The overall objective of the proposed project is to improve maternal health status, especially women with gestational diabetes living in the NTC communities. By understanding the gestational diabetes issue, we can generate recommendations to support and improve patient experiences and clinical outcomes and increase access to diabetes education and training. The results from the planning and focus group study phase will be used to apply for a multi-year large intervention grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

We Deserve to Work! Self Advocates Transforming Attitudes About and Experiences with Employment

Individuals with IDD face barriers to employment. Negative societal attitudes and stigma result in views of people with IDD as unable to work resulting in the unemployment and underemployment of this skilled labor pool. As such, education and awareness is needed to promote the value of paid employment and the contributions that individuals with IDD make in communities through work. Within a participatory frame, we will engage with self-advocates and allies to co-develop and implement participatory theatre aimed at challenging the barriers and stigma self-advocates face, thus increasing awareness about this viable untapped group of potential employees who are ready and able to work.

Community-led Options for Access to Substitution Therapies (COAST) Project

Our team is working to understand the impacts of community cannabis programs (CCPs) on the lives of people who use drugs (PWUD) amidst dual public health crises—the opioid crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Many PWUD are using cannabis from CCPs to reduce other substance use, withdrawal symptoms, and cravings, which in turn helps to reduce harms. The Convene Grant will bring together leading researchers on substance use, people with lived experience, CCP coordinators, and policy makers, to co-develop a research plan to study the impacts of CCPs on PWUD, which will help create well-informed policies and practices and empower community-led organizations to support their communities.

Healing from Trauma and Wet'suwet'en Wellness

Our project is an investigation of how the root causes of trauma impact Wet'suwet'en wellness and how Indigenous Focusing Oriented Therapy (IFOT) supports their healing. Healing from trauma, resulting from the ongoing impacts of colonialism, is critical because of its far-reaching impacts on multiple levels of individual and community life. This research will inform the wellness strategy of the Office of the Wet'suwet'en, generate awareness and action plans to address trauma through the Wet'suwet'en membership, and foster education and dialogue regarding the Wet'suwet'en context of healing to influence systems change within the local health service provider community.