Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies Takes Part in new Healthy Communities Initiative

$1.5 million in funding available in the BC-Southern region to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19

Kootenay-Boundary Region, BC (Feb. 9, 2021) – The Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies (CFKR) is honoured to help promote and deliver the Healthy Communities Initiative in the BC-Southern region, which stretches from Vancouver to the BC Rockies. In BC-Southern, the Healthy Communities Initiative has allocated $1.5 million to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19. The Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies will be connecting with key stakeholders in Kootenay-Boundary communities about this new program.

This funding is part of the Government of Canada’s new $31 million Healthy Communities Initiative. This investment by the federal government will support community-led organizations in developing local, small-scale infrastructure projects that respond to the immediate needs arising from COVID-19, while building towards a more pandemic-resilient future. 

Starting today, organizations are invited to apply for funding between $5,000 and $250,000 to lead projects that help create safe and vibrant public spaces, improve mobility options, and provide digital solutions to help their communities navigate the pandemic and look to build back better in the COVID-19 recovery.

The application period for the first round of funding closes on March 9, 2021 at 5:00PM PST. A second application period for funding will take place starting in May 2021. 

Potential projects could include adapting crosswalks and access to public transport to allow for safe physical distancing, creating community gardens and public art installations, or providing free wifi in targeted public spaces. A variety of community-led organizations are eligible to apply, including local governments, charities, Indigenous communities, and registered non-profit organizations. 

The Community Foundation of the Rockies and several other community foundations in the Okanagan and Lower Mainland are working alongside Community Foundations of Canada, the Canadian Urban Institute, and other partners to serve communities across Canada, including equity-seeking groups interested in applying. 

“Public spaces create a feeling of belonging and of social cohesion in our communities. They are a big part of what makes communities safe, vibrant, and connected” said Lynnette Wray, CFKR Executive Director. “As the BC-Southern region faces increased isolation due to COVID-19, the Healthy Communities Initiative will help our communities to connect safely and will support the mental and physical well-being of our residents.”

According to Andrea Dicks, President, Community Foundations of Canada, “Organizations across our country have shown creativity and resourcefulness in improvising temporary and longer-lasting solutions that enable people to connect and access public spaces safely. The Healthy Communities Initiative is supporting organizations in the BC-Southern region to bring people together in our communities, both in person and digitally, while respecting public health measures.”