Funding & resources update

Each month we provide an update on UBCM funding programs and information on other programs, events and resources that may be of interest to local governments and First Nations.

Local Government Program Services

The administration of provincially-funded grant programs is continuing at UBCM during the COVID-19 pandemic, including adjudication of intakes that closed before March 15, 2020, review of final reports and processing of all payments.

Extensions to project end dates and final report deadlines are available for any approved project impacted by COVID-19.  Extensions are available for all applicants that have applications under review and who may need additional time to meet application requirements.  To request an extension or to discuss the status of any programs, contact the appropriate Program Officer or email

Applications are currently being accepted for the following funding programs. A complete and chronological listing of grants currently offered by Local Government Program Services is also available on the UBCM website

Regional Community to Community Forums: The goal of a Regional C2C Forum is increased understanding and improved overall relations between First Nations and local governments. Forum events are intended to provide a time and place for dialogue to build on opportunities, support reconciliation efforts, and resolve issues of common responsibility, interest or concern. Two intake deadlines have been set for the 2020/21 fiscal year: September 4 and December 4, 2020.

See the recently published Guide to Community to Community Forums in British Columbia for more information and helpful advice on convening a forum, including sample event plan, agenda, etc.

Asset Management Planning:  Matching grants of up to $15,000.00 are available to support activities that advance a local government’s asset management planning or practices, and that facilitate better integration of asset management planning with long term financial planning. The application deadline is September 11, 2020. 

Housing Needs Report Program: The application deadline for 2020 intake for the Housing Needs Report program has been rescheduled to October 16, 2020.  

Community Emergency Preparedness Fund: The following intake deadlines have been confirmed for CEPF funding streams:

  • Structural Flood Mitigation - October 23, 2020.
  • Evacuation Route Planning - November 6, 2020

Funding permitting, looking ahead to 2021, the following additional intakes are anticipated. Application deadlines are to be confirmed/announced:

  • Emergency Support Services
  • Emergency Operations Centres & Training
  • Flood Risk Assessment, Mapping & Mitigation Planning

Other Funding 

COVID-19 Emergency Support to Community Organizations: Thanks to the Government of Canada Emergency Community Support Fund, the Canadian Red Cross is making grants and training available to community organizations across the country through two main programs, Granting Program for Non-profits Program and Preventing Disease Transmission Training and Equipment Program.

First Nations community guide on accessing additional COVID-19 supports: Extensive links and information on federal Indigenous Services Canada resources available during the pandemic.

COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Vulnerable Populations: A collaboration between FCM and the Canadian Medical Association Foundation, this program directly funds cities and communities to support vulnerable populations struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Municipal Asset Management Program: MAMP is an eight-year, $110-million program funded by Infrastructure Canada to support Canadian municipalities and communities in making informed infrastructure investment decisions based on stronger asset management practices.

Community Connectedness Grants: Grants of up to $5,000 plus in-kind supports are available for up to 15 local governments working with health authorities and other partners to better understand priority areas and local needs and to take action to improve connection in their community or region, even during public health emergencies calling for folks to be physically apart. Apply to BC Healthy Communities by July 15, 2020.

Healthy Community Engagement Grants: Grants of up to $15,000 each plus in-kind supports are available for up to five local governments working with health authorities and other partners to better understand priority areas and local needs and to take action to improve social connectivity in their community or region. Apply to BC Healthy Communities by July 15, 2020.

Infrastructure Planning Grant Program: The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing offers grants up to $10,000 to help local government plan, design and manage sustainable infrastructure. The first round of approvals for the 2020/21 Program will be based on applications received by July 15, 2020.

CBT Social Grants: Local governments and Indigenous organizations, among others, may apply for Columbia Basin Trust Social Grants that improve the social well-being of people living in Basin. Applications for Social Small grants (less than $5,000) are due by July 28, 2020, while Expressions of Interest for Social Large grants are due by September 10, 2020. An information session for the Social Large grants is scheduled for August 6, 2020.

Nation Governance Initiative: The New Relationship Trust’s Nation Governance Initiative assists First Nations in BC to complete Nation-building and self-determination projects that involve research, exploration, and assertion of First Nations rights and title and their authority and jurisdiction to decide over their lands, waters, resources, citizens, and services in a modern era context. NRT will provide the following funding support: A maximum of $25,000 per project will be available where one (1) First Nation is involved. A maximum of $50,000 per project will be available where two (2) First Nations are involved. Projects must identify a minimum of 25% equity (own or other sources) to support total project costs. Deadline July 27, 2020.

CBT Environment Grants: Large and Small Environment grants are being offered by the Columbia Basin Trust. Large grants (of $5,000 or more) will use a two-stage application process with Expressions of Interest due by September 2, 2020. Small Environment grant applications are due by July 30, 2020. 

Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure: The Canadian and British Columbian governments have committed up to $100.6 million towards the second intake of the Community, Culture, and Recreation Program to support cost-sharing of infrastructure projects in communities across the province. This intake is designed to target projects starting in 2021 or 2022. Application deadline is October 1, 2020.

Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure:  The Rural and Northern Communities (RNC) Program was established to ensure the unique needs of British Columbia’s small, rural and remote communities are met – supporting their wide range of infrastructure priorities. On June 25, 2020, the Canadian and British Columbian governments committed up to $58.7 million towards the second intake of the RNC Program to support cost-sharing of infrastructure projects in communities across the province. This intake is designed to target projects starting in 2021 or 2022. Application deadline is October 22, 2020. 

Childcare BC New Spaces Fund: This program provides funding to build quality, licensed child care in all regions of the province (on and off reserve). Indigenous Governments are eligible for up to $3 million in capital funding and Indigenous non-profit societies are eligible for up to $1.5 million (both at 100% Provincial contribution) to build a child care centre, renovate a building to create child care, or renovate to expand current child care services. The intake is opens and applications due on November 1, 2020.

Funding for Energy Efficient Affordable Housing: This $300 million FCM initiative offers support to local and affordable housing providers, including local governments, to retrofit affordable housing units or build new energy efficient units. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis until annual funds are exhausted. 

BC Housing Community Housing Fund: The BC Government is inviting non-profit and Indigenous housing societies, First Nations, housing co-operatives and municipalities to propose new affordable housing projects for the second intake of the Building BC: Community Housing Fund. The RFP will remain open until mid-January 2021. Organizations that have “Construction-Ready Projects” are encouraged to apply early, by September 4, 2020.

Indigenous Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative: The objective of this initiative is to increase economic development opportunities of Indigenous Peoples and communities in Canada by supporting Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs who are ready to launch agriculture and food systems projects and others who want to build their capacity to participate in the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector. Proposals can be submitted at any time until September 30, 2022.

First Nations Adapt Program: This federal program supports First Nation communities to assess and respond to climate change impacts on community infrastructure and emergency management. It prioritizes communities most impacted by sea level rise, flooding, forest fires, and winter road failures. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis.

New Relationship Trust: The NRT is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening First Nations in BC through capacity building. Numerous funding, initiatives and resources are available on their website 

FCM Funding Opportunities: Visit this site to learn about FCM’s funding offerings, from plans and studies, to pilot and capital projects, and more. 

Northern Development Initiative Trust: Northern Development offers a range of funding programs suited to a diverse set of economic development priorities in central and northern British Columbia.

Columbia Basin Trust: CBT offers the grants and programs to help residents and communities in the Basin take action on issues that are important to them.

Other Funding Opportunities: BC Healthy Communities has compiled a list of funding opportunities worth knowing about, along with guides and resources to support your grant writing activities.

Events & Resources

Preparing for Climate Change Through Collaborative Watershed Natural Asset Management: Join this webinar on July 22, 2020, 11am-12:30pm, to hear from the Municipal Natural Assets Initiative, Comox Valley Regional District and City of Courtenay on how they are valuing the natural assets of their shared watershed and how these natural assets can provide regional resilience in a changing world. 

Harnessing the Power of Collaboration: Support Local BC: While COVID-19 was keeping people apart, amazing collaboration was happening to support the businesses and individuals being impacted. Join this webinar to hear about one such collaboration, Support Local BC, that brought together economic developers around the province and provided a way for closed businesses to continue to have cash flow. July 23, 2020, 10-11am.

BC FireSmart Website: This website introduces the FireSmart program and its seven disciplines and is intended as a one stop shop for all things FireSmart. The site includes links to training, education, an events calendar, resource library and downloadable content. It also features a short video inviting everyone to become involved in prevention and to learn about the benefits of FireSmart. 

BC Rural Centre: The Centre provides a wealth of links to assets, news, videos, services, and resources of value to rural British Columbians. 

Advancing and Integrating Municipal Natural Asset Management: Ontario is the first province in Canada to regulate asset management planning at the municipal level, with all 444 Ontario municipalities required to have a strategic asset management policy and asset management plan for core and all other municipal infrastructure assets. The regulation also requires municipalities to inventory, value, and integrate green infrastructure – including natural infrastructure and, by extension, natural assets – into their asset management planning. MNAI has developed this helpful report.

Financing tools for local climate action: Canadian municipalities are reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through pilot projects, municipal programs, and more. However, financing these initiatives can be a significant challenge. FCM’s toolkit explains how your municipality can leverage private and community investors to help you take action on climate change in your community. 

ReTooling for Climate Change: The Fraser Basin Council hosts this first-stop website on climate change adaptation. Here is the place to find top tools and resources for BC local governments, First Nations and the natural resource sectors as everyone prepares for the impacts of climate change, now and in the years ahead.

Weathering the Storm - Developing a Canadian Standard for Flood-Resilient Existing Communities: This report from the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation presents a flood hazard and vulnerability screening framework that can help identify areas in existing residential communities that require the most immediate attention for flood risk. Application of the framework will enable communities to make better-informed decisions when prioritizing areas for flood-resiliency programming. 

Resources for Rural & Small Communities: BC Healthy Communities has launched a collection of resources related to PlanH action areas, with a rural and small community lens.

Building sustainable communities with asset management: This guidebook is designed for staff or elected officials in medium and large municipalities who are responsible for green projects or who are interested in municipal sustainable development.

CivicInfo BC: British Columbia's local government information hub offers comprehensive organizational and grant directories, events listings, tools for training, research and career development, bids & tenders, and other resources.

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