Victoria, B.C. – A distribution of over $3.13 million from the Victoria Foundation’s Community Recovery Program will help 142 organizations on Southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands weather the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds are providing eligible organizations in the capital region with flexible, general operating funds assisting them in continuing to offer services and helping provide financial security now and moving forward. These funds will in turn allow these organizations to support vulnerable communities affected by the pandemic and strengthen the charitable sector more generally.
“Organizations across Greater Victoria have experienced significant impacts due to COVID-19, including with changes in service delivery models to safely meet the needs of the community or temporarily closing to align with the direction from the Province of BC,” said Sandra Richardson, Victoria Foundation Chief Executive Officer. “Thank you to the generosity of our donors, I’m pleased the Foundation is able to provide this funding in support of non-profit sector organizations that are working hard to meet the needs of our region now and in the future.”
Of the total $3,132,457 being granted to 142 organizations, just over $920,000 has come from donors in our community through the Community Action Funds or from Donor Advised Funds. The Community Action Funds, launched in September 2020, give the opportunity to donate directly to issue areas in our community, including pandemic recovery through the continuation of the Rapid Relief Fund.
Since March 2020, the curtains have been closed to in-person performances at many theatres to respect the COVID-19 protocols from the Province of BC. The change has led to organizations looking at unique ways to deliver performances, even as we work through the Province of BC’s Restart Plan. The Kaleidoscope Theatre is taking the theatre experience outside by setting up a free, accessible outdoor theatre experience for children and families that celebrates diversity, promotes equality, and provides meaningful connection to support mental wellbeing.
“We are so grateful for the support of the Community Recovery Program. This support allows Kaleidoscope to provide meaningful and accessible theatrical experiences for young people in our region, while employing local artists, many who have been out of work since the start of the pandemic” said Pat Rundell, Executive Director of Kaleidoscope Theatre. “By bringing productions outdoors, we are able to safely welcome audiences back to the theatre.”
A goal of the Community Recovery Program is to support organizations on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands to stay on-track to achieve their long-term goals. Despite the impact of COVID-19, many organizations have demonstrated an ability to stay on-track.
The Institute for Sustainability Education & Action, working through a partner organization Transition Salt Spring, is leading climate change planning and action through education, coordination, and implementation of the Salt Spring Climate Action Plan. This funding will enable Transition Salt Spring to focus community attention and action on the urgent need to make a rapid transition to a low-carbon economy through fundamental shifts towards electric transportation systems, sustainable food systems, carbon sequestration projects, building retrofits and energy efficiencies and green jobs creation.
“Our two organizations feel fully supported by the Victoria Foundation and recognize the good work it is doing on behalf of all of us. We at the Institute for Sustainable Education and Arts are proud to be associated with Transition Salt Spring to tackle this important work,” said Peter Allan, Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Education and Arts. “The team at Transition Salt Spring has a clear-eyed view of the climate challenges facing our community and thus, the planet and this grant will allow us to move forward with unstoppable momentum.”
Find out more about the organizations that received funding through the Community Recovery Program at https://victoriafoundation.bc.ca/crp-2021-distributions/
Moving forward, the Victoria Foundation will continue to evaluate funding opportunities based on need in the community as the pandemic evolves.
To help in these efforts, donations to the Community Action Funds can be made at https://victoriafoundation.bc.ca/community-action-funds/