Victoria Foundation Community Grants Top $1.7M

NEWS RELEASE – For Immediate Release                                              December 9, 2015

Victoria, BC – In step with the giving season, the Victoria Foundation has approved a record high $1,726,975 in annual Community Grants to 89 non-profit organizations on Vancouver Island. The region’s largest non-government funder, the Victoria Foundation has awarded over $14.2 million so far this year and over $158 million since the Foundation began in 1936.

“We are very pleased to make this significant contribution to these many deserving non-profit organizations in our community,” said Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson. “Our congratulations go to all of the recipients for our 2015 Community Grants. Our thanks also go to all of the advisors, committee members, donors and Board Members whose enthusiastic participation makes these grants possible.”

Supported by the Foundation’s Vital Victoria Fund, as well as specific donors and fund holders, Community Grants are awarded each December. The latest ones range from $2,000 for an historic stained glass restoration project at Centennial United Church, to $100,000 to support start-up operations of the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness, including strategic planning, identification of initial projects, and community outreach. The Victoria Foundation Board has established homelessness and food security as the three-year strategic granting priorities for the Vital Victoria Fund.

“More than 30% of those experiencing homelessness in the region come from an Aboriginal background,” said Acting Executive Director of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness Kelsi Stiles. “Unfortunately, the Coalition has lacked both the expertise and knowledge to develop culturally appropriate solutions. This new organization will have that expertise along with an Island-wide mandate, and will work collaboratively with the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness to identify culturally appropriate solutions to homelessness. Our thanks go to the Victoria Foundation and their donors for supporting this vital initiative.”

“I have worked in the First Nations community for over 30 years and this is a long awaited reality,” added Bernice Kamano , Aboriginal Outreach for the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness. “Finally there will be a place for the First Nations homelessness community to safely access services that are designed to help them on their journey to wellness. Everyone will benefit for this critical piece that has been missing for the First Nations homelessness community.

Community Grants have ties to Victoria’s Vital Signs®, an annual community report card produced by the Victoria Foundation and sponsored by Island Savings.  All of the grants have a connection to one or more of the 12 issue areas identified in the report that contribute to the vitality and wellbeing of our community: Arts & Culture, Getting Started, Standard of Living, Learning, Belonging & Engagement, Safety, Sports & Recreation, Economy, Transportation, Housing, Environment, and Health & Wellness.

A full list and description of all 89 projects funded is available at victoriafoundation.bc.ca

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Editors Please Note:  Full list of 2015 Community Grants are available here.

Background
Established in 1936, the Victoria Foundation is Canada’s second oldest community foundation and the sixth largest of nearly 200 nation-wide. The Victoria Foundation manages charitable gifts from donors whose generosity allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The proceeds from these funds are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes. To date the Victoria Foundation has invested more than $158 million in people, projects and non-profit organizations that strengthen communities in B.C. and throughout Canada.

Media contact:
Robert Janus, Director of Communications
Victoria Foundation
P. 250.381.5532      C. 250.886.6112   E. rjanus@victoriafoundation.bc.ca