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Neighbourhood small grants of up to $500 up for grabs

A group organized a spoon-carving workshop at the Hearth Carnival in East Vancouver.

 A group organized a spoon-carving workshop at the Hearth Carnival in East Vancouver. Photo Courtesy of Vancouver FoundationA group organized a spoon-carving workshop at the Hearth Carnival in East Vancouver. Photo Courtesy of Vancouver Foundation

What could you do with $500? Come up with a good pitch and you might be awarded up to that amount to host a community activity thanks to the Neighbourhood Small Grants program.

Applications are now open for the grants, which can range from $50 to $500. They're provided through a partnership between Vancouver Foundation and local neighbourhood houses. Qualifying projects are meant to help build a sense of community and the grants are based on the idea that everyone is a valuable member of the community and that everyone has something to share.

Proposals by local residents should aim to strengthen their community by bringing people together, sharing skills and knowledge, celebrating diversity and increasing people’s sense of belonging.

Last year, projects ranged from potlucks and clothing swaps to neighbourhood walking tours and multicultural cooking classes. Other ideas include harvest festivals, music groups and art workshops.

This year, the program seeks to prioritize projects that connect Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members, and projects led by young people age 18 to 24.

Each Neighbourhood Small Grant will be awarded by Vancouver residents themselves. Local volunteers will review submitted ideas and decide which ones to fund.

Applications are open until April 9.

Vancouver Foundation created the Neighbourhood Small Grants program in 1999, and is growing through partnerships with other community organizations to reach more communities across B.C.

“We provide the spark that empowers people with ideas to put their local knowledge and talent to work for their community,” Meseret Taye, manager of Neighbourhood Small Grants at Vancouver Foundation, said in a press release.

Danielle Gauld, program coordinator in Vancouver’s Cedar Cottage, Hastings-Sunrise and Renfrew neighbourhoods, said it’s easy to feel disconnected from the people around us in a busy city like Vancouver.

“This program is about creating a sense of connection and strengthening relationships in our neighbourhoods, making them more vibrant and enjoyable places to live,” Gauld said.

For more information on the Neighbourhood Small Grants program, and to apply online, visit

Upcoming grant workshops:

Marpole-Oakridge, March 10th

What: an afternoon information session and grant-writing jam at the Joy Kogawa House

Location: 1450 West 64th Ave. near Granville Street

When: noon to 1:30 p.m.

Why: Learn more about the kinds of project ideas that get funded, get your questions answered and plan your own grant application.

Killarney-Champlain, March 18th

What: information session and grant-writing jam down by the water’s edge at the River District Community Centre.

Location: 8683 Kerr St., south of Southeast Marine Drive

When: 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Why: To share inspiring ideas and help you submit your own grant idea.

Read more from the Vancouver Courier