2016 applications will be open until May 31, 2016 and can be completed online at www.neighbourhoodsmallgrants.ca; for more information, you can also contact NSG coordinator Rowena Locklin at email@example.com.
On a Sunday afternoon in early March, several residents of the Hillside Quadra neighbourhood gathered at the Quadra Village Community Centre to share stories about community-building projects they had led in their neighbourhood over the past four months. This was the wrap-up celebration of the Neighbourhood Small Grants program pilot in Victoria, and attendees at the celebration had received grants of up to $500 to help them connect and engage neighbours, share residents’ skills and knowledge, respect and celebrate diversity, and build a sense of ownership and pride in the Hillside Quadra neighbourhood.
Sixteen projects were completed through the pilot program, which ran from November 2015 to March 2016. There were a wide variety of projects: community clean-up days, free painting and meditation classes, community gardens, block parties, and intercultural celebrations.
At the March wrap-up celebration, grantees (also called Project Leaders) reported on how they used their grant funds by giving a short presentation. Five young women presented about their project, the Hijab Awareness Celebration, which highlighted the multicultural nature of the Hillside Quadra neighbourhood by having displays about the hijab from different Muslim countries around the world at the Quadra Village Community Centre. One presenter told the audience that people were so welcoming at the event and it made her feel safe and part of her community. A few project leaders said that they had plans to continue their projects or programs sparked by the small grant, even after the funding had been completed.
As we know from recent Victoria’s Vital Signs® reports and other sources, our community well-being is strengthened when people feel a sense of belonging and engagement in the place they live. A key goal of the Neighbourhood Small Grants program is to encourage and develop those feelings of connection to community – whether it’s connecting neighbours on the same block, connecting people across cultures, or connecting people in need of support to others in the community who can help them to thrive.
After a successful first year, the Neighbourhood Small Grants program will continue in 2016 in the Hillside Quadra neighbourhood. Grants of up to $500 will be available for residents of the neighbourhood who have an idea for a project. Applications will open on April 25 and can be completed online at www.neighbourhoodsmallgrants.ca; for more information, you can also contact NSG coordinator Rowena Locklin at firstname.lastname@example.org.