Vancouver Foundation and Family Services of Greater Vancouver are working together to expand a popular community-building program into New Westminster.
June 4 , 2012 — Vancouver Foundation and Family Services of Greater Vancouver are working together to expand a popular community-building program into New Westminster.
Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) is a unique program that helps residents connect and engage in their community by encouraging them to create ways to strengthen their neighbourhood. The program harnesses the existing skills of residents by providing small grants of $50 to $500 for projects initiated and undertaken by local residents.
Since it began in 1999, NSG has supported hundreds of unique projects including: neighbourhood gardens; block parties; movie nights; workshops on canning, cooking, knitting, origami, model-building, and meditation; intergenerational storytelling, and a book exchange — the list of possible projects is limited only by people’s imagination.
The philosophy underlying the program is that communities know what is best for their area, so decisions are made locally. Resident Advisory Committees — made up of people living in the neighbourhood — review the ideas submitted by residents and decide which projects to fund.
NSG is also based on the premise that “small is beautiful” — a small amount of money can make a big difference. Neighbourhood Small Grants help stimulate creativity, encourage local solutions, build connections between neighbours, and engage people from all backgrounds and circumstances in the life of their community.
Last year, the NSG program expanded to include two more neighbourhoods in Vancouver and neighbourhoods in Surrey and North Vancouver. This year, organizers are bringing the small is beautiful message to New Westminster.
“The Royal City is a perfect candidate for NSG,” says Faye Wightman, President and CEO of Vancouver Foundation. “New Westminster is growing by leaps and bounds. With dramatic changes at the Quay, new hi-rises downtown, and all the expansion activity around the SkyTrain station, the number of residents is growing. Programs like NSG can help increase their participation in the community.”
For more information on the NSG program, go to our website http://neighbourhoodsmallgrants.ca
With more than 1,400 funds, and assets of almost $750 million Vancouver Foundation is Canada’s largest community foundation. Since it was founded in 1943, Vancouver Foundation, in partnership with its donors, has distributed more than $830 million to thousands of community projects and programs.