Canada 150th grants support exciting events

Lily helps her daughter Dahlia, with Derek facilitating games, at PISE’s Power PL program and Active Development, funded in part by a Canada 150th grant.

National and community pride will be in full celebration in 2017, with a wide variety of events and initiatives made possible thanks to the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th.

The Community Fund for Canada’s 150th is a collaboration between the Victoria Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada and the Government of Canada to support local projects connected to Canada’s sesquicentennial celebration.

Through the fund, the Victoria Foundation has granted $366,983 to 35 organizations who will lead projects that:

  • ENCOURAGE participation in community activities and events to mark Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.
  • INSPIRE a deeper understanding about the people, places and events that shape our country and our communities.
  • BUILD vibrant and healthy communities with the broadest possible engagement of all Canadians, including indigenous peoples; groups that reflect our cultural diversity; youth; and official language minorities.

Many of these projects were also generously supported by our donors.

Learn more about these Canada 150 projects

Join these grant recipients in celebrating Canada’s 150th! This list of Canada 150 projects, many of which are open to the public, is a guide for what events will be happening throughout the year. As event information will continue to be updated, please check back here regularly or visit the grant recipient’s webpage for current event information.

See the media release here.


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria Capital Region – Celebration of Caring – Featuring Canadian-themed activities, this picnic for families served by the organization will celebrate being Canadian and honour those who strengthen the community.

Bridges for Women Society – Real Women, Real Success 2017 – Real Women, Real Success 2017 is an empowering one-day conference on March 25th, a day of action to Unite to End Violence Against Women, in honour of Canada’s 150th and the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in British Columbia. Keynote speaker is Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell.

Canadian Earth Institute – Shawnigan Lake Community Celebration – On Canada Day 2017, South Cowichan will come together to explore Shawnigan Lake’s role in Canada’s history as well as the community’s expectations for the next 50-100 years in the context of environmental sustainability. 

CFB Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre – Canada 150 Pacific Women’s Day – Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre will celebrate Canada’s 150th through a special commemorative Pacific Women’s Day, an annual event designed to celebrate the contribution of women in the Defence community.

Downtown Blanshard Advisory Committee – QVCC’s Community BBQ & Celebration – Quadra Village Community Centre will host a youth-led community BBQ to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Greater Victoria Volunteer Society – 150 Reasons – 150 Reasons is a series of 12 pop-up projects designed and led by youth to celebrate Canada’s 150th. This project provides opportunities for youth to develop new skills, showcase ideas that matter to them, and include diverse partners, participants, communities, and neighbourhoods.

Linden Singers of Victoria – Chorfest: United in Song: Celebrating Canada’s 150th – On May 19-21, 2017, Victoria will host Chorfest, an annual event where community-based choral singers from across the province gather to learn interesting and challenging repertoire with nationally-renowned choral clinicians. This year’s Chorfest will feature Canadian and international works that celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Moricetown Band Administration – Moricetown Band Stronger Together 2017 – Moricetown Band will organize a Canada Day Celebration for the entire community, involving a pancake breakfast, children’s games and a baseball game. There will also be a competition for design of a mural, judged by Elders and Band Council.

Parish of St. Peter & St. Paul – St. Paul’s 150th – This project will celebrate the 150th anniversary of both St. Paul’s Church and Canada. A static exhibition of artifacts and pictures from the last 150 years will be enhanced by an audio-visual “Narrative Map”. The community is invited to join the celebration on Saturday May 6th, when the Naden Band will lead a Community March from Naden base, the original home of the Church, to its present location.

Victoria Brain Injury Society – Survivors Songs to Celebrate – To celebrate the history and future of Canada, 10 brain injury survivors will work with a qualified music therapist to learn five songs that embrace Canada’s history and heritage. These songs will be performed at an outdoor event celebrating the diversity and inclusion of disabled people in Canada.

Simon runs during a Canada 150th grant-funded program at PISE.


Bateman Foundation – Urban Sanctuary Project – This project will raise awareness about Greater Victoria’s three migratory bird sanctuaries and their corresponding traditional territories through a travelling exhibit, pictorial guide to the sanctuaries, and adult and youth symposiums.

Broadmead Care Society – Vancouver Island’s Veterans: Celebrating our Nation’s Heroes – Broadmead Care Society will work with an experienced videographer to honour the courage, bravery and contributions of Canada’s WWII and Korean War veterans. The video will be presented at a special screening event around Remembrance Day 2017.

Canadian Heritage Arts Society (Canadian College of Performing Arts) – Emily Carr Project – The Emily Carr project will be a multi-media production presenting Victoria native, Emily Carr, her life on Vancouver Island and the impact of her art on Canadian culture.

Hallmark Society – Summer of Love – Canada’s first ‘love in’ was held here in Victoria, at Beacon Hill Park, on April 30, 1967. In commemoration, the Hallmark Society will produce “The Summer of Love”, a 90-minute multimedia presentation about the shift in Canadian culture that began during 1967 in Victoria. The performance will take place April 25, 2017.

Home is Where we Live: Lifecycles Project Society – Celebrating our Seed Heritage – A partnership between LifeCycles and the Greater Victoria Public Library, the Victoria Seed Library provides access to free seeds and seed-saving education. This project will identify rare and unique Canadian seeds growing in the region and share them and their stories with library patrons across the Capital Region, providing a fascinating window into Canadian heritage.

Island String Players Society – Vimy Ridge 100/Canada 150 – Island String Players Society, together with historian Barry Gough and the Victoria High Alumni Association, will offer free afternoon and evening performances of live period music at Victoria High School on April 12, 2017, sharing with students and the public the historic involvement of Victoria High School in World War I and the emblematic battle of Vimy Ridge.

Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific and United World Colleges (Canada) Inc. – Lester B. Pearson: Legacy for Canada – This project will create a catalogued archival record and physical and virtual public travelling exhibit about the vision of Canada’s 14th Prime Minister in founding Pearson College and tell a story that is integral to a celebration of Canada’s role as a peacekeeping nation for 150 years.


Camosun College Foundation – 150 Days of Play – The Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence (PISE) will provide 150 opportunities for disadvantaged children to engage in physical activity in a supportive and safe environment.

Fairfield Community Association of Victoria – Canada’s 150th Community Dinners – Fairfield Gonzales Community Association will host monthly dinners and talks celebrating the diversity of our community made possible by our multi-cultural society. These free all-ages dinners feature guest speakers, performers, arts and crafts, intergenerational dialogue and more.

Galiano Conservancy Association of BC – Coming Together for Freshwater Stewardship on Galiano Island – This community engagement project aims to bring life back to freshwater awareness for the local and seasonal communities of Galiano Island. Community discussions and free home water-saving kits to improve personal water conservation will impact effective, sustainable water stewardship practices in the long term.

Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation – Resilient Buildings and Streets: Strengthening Intergenerational Engagement – This social innovation project promotes and supports neighbour to neighbour connections in residential streets and multi-family buildings through orientation sessions, a take-home Toolkit of different activities, peer mentors, expert support, and small grants to support neighbour get-togethers and projects.

Greater Victoria Public Library – Community Conversations: Revitalizing Relationships with Aboriginal Peoples and Canadian Society – In partnership with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, the Greater Victoria Public Library will plan and host a four-part speaker series on the topic of Truth and Reconciliation. Speakers will share the impacts of colonization, the Aboriginal youth experience, Aboriginal law, and the legacy of residential schools. 

Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) – I’ve Not Always Been Canadian – This project will produce a refugee and immigrant photo essay centered on the question: “What makes you feel Canadian or alternatively un-Canadian?” From March – May, there will be four community Belonging & Identity Talks, facilitated in a non-threatening theatre-style, where refugees and immigrants can share stories of their experiences arriving to Canada and articulate what it means to “belong”.

Marie Esther Society (Mount St. Mary Hospital) – Seniors Connecting Seniors to our Community – This project will support a Project Coordinator to create and manage a new volunteer program, allowing residents of Mount St. Mary Hospital to attend events in the community, including Canada’s 150th celebrations.

Power To Be Adventure Therapy Society – The Hub 150 at Prospect Lake – The Hub 150 Project at Prospect Lake involves renovating an outdoor space to encourage, enable and support accessible community and participant gatherings. Hub 150 will be a focal point where many different people can come together and enjoy nature.

Saanich Neighbourhood Place – “The Little Woods” Natural Playground – Building on the amenities of Pearkes Recreation Centre, originally constructed with funds celebrating Canada’s 100th anniversary, Saanich Neighbourhood Place and other members of the community will reclaim a neglected green space in the neighbourhood and create a low-impact, natural play setting that encourages play, exploration, learning and stewardship of the natural environment.

Songhees Nation – First Nations Community Dialogue Series on Economic Development – In partnership with the Victoria Community Micro Lending Society and the South Island Prosperity Project, Songhees Nation will engage 10 South Island First Nations communities through the First Nations Community Dialogue Series on Economic Development. This series will deepen understanding of priority issues and strategies and explore convergences in economic opportunities. 

Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) – Immigrant and Refugee Entrepreneur Training Workshop – The Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society is partnering with the Victoria Community Micro Lending Society to offer Entrepreneur Training Workshops, providing immigrants and refugees with the knowledge required to start a business. Fourteen Syrians refugees are participating in the program, which began in January and will conclude in late March.

Victoria Youth Empowerment Society – Outlet: An LGBTQ+ Youth Drop-In – Outlet is an LGBTQ+ drop-in space and mentorship program that empowers youth to build healthy community connections and to feel safe and appreciated within their communities. This grant will support the 35 sessions planned for 2017 as well as an appreciation event for the fall of 2017.

Carey Newman speaks at the recent Art and Artists: Critical Dialogues about Truth Telling and Reconciliation event. funded in part with a Canada 150th grant.


Ballet Victoria – Multicultural Dance Celebration – In May 2017, Ballet Victoria will present a series of three free performances showcasing the dances of First Nations, local cultural groups and new Canadian ballet works.

Pacific Centre Family Services Association – Salish Art at Goldstream – This project will engage young First Nations artists to produce and curate First Nations art for Pacific Centre Family Services Association’s Centre for Wellbeing in the West Shore, the new headquarters of the organization’s community social services.

Pacific Opera Association – Community Engagement Program for the New Opera “Missing Women” – This project will support a series of community conversations, performances, and exhibits around the new opera “Missing Women” by Métis playwright Marie Clements and composer Brian Current. Set in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and along the Highway of Tears, this opera will give voice, in English and Gitxsan, to the story of Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women. Five shows will take place in Victoria from November 17-25, 2017.

SeaChange Marine Conservation Society – Welcoming in Tod Inlet – As a symbol of healing between the W SÁNE? (Saanich) peoples and the communities living on the Saanich Peninsula, Tsartlip Elder and Master Carver Charles Elliott will be designing and carving a Welcoming Figure for Tod Inlet. Carving will occur on site, where Elliot will be demonstrating to park visitors the artistry of carving in the W SÁNE? tradition.

Tsawout First Nation – To Fish as Formerly: Strengthening Intergenerational Resilience for Reconciliation – In partnership with the International Resilience Network, Tsawout First Nation will lead a weekend-long workshop about the history and importance of reef net fishing. The general public will be invited to an education session and the event will be live-streamed across Canada and internationally, contributing to reconciliation efforts by increasing the public’s awareness and knowledge of Tsawout traditional reef net fishing.

Victoria Symphony Society – Tanya Tagaq Inuit Throat Singer – The Victoria Symphony will commission a piece for orchestra and voice by renowned Inuit throat singer and composer Tanya Tagaq. The goal of this unique performance, scheduled for October 21, 2017, is to honour the cultures of Indigenous peoples and to provide Victoria audiences with the opportunity to experience the art of Inuit throat singing, which involves improvisation and an unusual vocal production rarely heard in traditional Western music.