Funding and resources update: February 2024

Publishing Date

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

Starting in January 2024, all of UBCM’s Local Government Program Services (LGPS) funding programs have moved to a new application process. Applicants are now required to use the LGPS Online Application Tool and submit their application in two steps before the application deadline. The new application process modernizes LGPS' current application procedures to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its adjudication processes. Please refer to the Appendix in each funding stream’s Program and Application Guide for more information on the new process and the information required to complete each step.

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

Active Transportation Planning
Applications are now being accepted for the 2024 intake of the Active Transportation Planning program. Local governments with a population up to 25,000 that meet the grant criteria are eligible for up to $20,000 toward active transportation planning costs. The deadline for applications is February 9, 2024.

Emergency Operations Centres Equipment and Training
Local governments and First Nations can apply for funding of up to $30,000 in order to support the purchase of equipment and supplies required to maintain or improve Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) and to enhance EOC capacity through training and exercises. The application deadline is February 23, 2024.

Disaster Risk Reduction-Climate Adaptation
The intent of the program is to support eligible applicants to reduce risks from future disasters due to natural hazards and climate-related risks through the development and implementation of accurate foundational knowledge of the natural hazards they face and the risks associated with BC’s changing climate, and effective strategies to prepare for, mitigate, and adapt to those risks. The application deadline is March 28, 2024. Funding permitting, there will be another application deadline in October 2024.

Regional Community-to-community program
The intent of the Regional C2C program is to support the advancement of First Nation-local government reconciliation and relationship building. This program supports forums with funding of up to $10,000. The same funding maximum is also available for the development of agreements (such as protocols, MOUs, and service agreements), joint plans and/or strategies and the joint review of bylaws and/or policies in order to develop recommendations for amendments or new bylaws and/or policies. The total eligible grant amount is $20,000. Applications can be submitted at any time, however funding permitting, applications will only be reviewed three times in 2024. The 2024 application deadlines are April 5, September 6, and December 6.

Public Notification and Evacuation Route Planning Funding Stream
The intent of this funding stream is to support eligible applicants to develop Evacuation Route Plans and/or Public Notification Plans that provide information for First Nations, local governments, and community members in the event of an emergency. The application deadline is April 26, 2024.

Asset Management Planning program
The intent of the program is to assist local governments in delivering sustainable services by extending and deepening asset management practices within their organizations. The 2024 Asset Management Planning program can provide up to 50% of total project costs to the grant maximum of $25,000 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. Applications can be submitted at any time; however, funding permitting, applications will only be reviewed two times in 2024. The 2024 application deadlines are May 10, 2024 and September 27, 2024.

2024 FireSmart Community Funding and Supports
The FireSmart Community Funding and Supports program provides funding to local governments and First Nations in BC to increase community resiliency by undertaking community-based FireSmart planning and activities that reduce the community’s risk from wildfire. Applications for the 2024 intake will be accepted from October 1, 2023 to September 30, 2024. 

Other Funding

Local Community Accessibility Grant Program 
Under the Accessible BC Act, local governments are required to develop a feedback mechanism, Accessibility Committee and Accessibility Plan. The Province of BC has allocated $5 million in one-time funding for eligible BC municipalities and regional districts, of up to $25,000, to support the implementation of projects or priorities identified in their Accessibility Plan or in partnership with their Accessibility Committee. This program is designed to support persons with disabilities by funding the removal of barriers identified by local governments’ Accessibility Committees, feedback mechanisms or Accessibility Plans. Applications will be received and approved on a rolling basis until March 2026. Contact: Louise O’Shea, SPARC BC 604-718-7748,

United for BC  Wildfire Recovery Fund
The United for BC Wildfire Recovery Fund is accepting applications to support agencies helping with immediate and ongoing relief efforts, long-term recovery, resiliency, and preparedness for future events in British Columbia and impacted regions, including consequential events related to the fires. We encourage organizations helping with wildfire relief to apply. The application is short and designed to be low barrier. Note that to obtain more information about the grant and to apply, you require a United Way login.

Climate Disaster Response Fund
Offered by Heritage BC, this is a one-time grant opportunity that will provide limited resources to heritage-focused organizations with resources damaged by recent climate and natural disasters in British Columbia. The total allocation of funds is $75,000 with a maximum award of $8,000. All projects must indicate immediacy and urgency of the issues, an approximate timeline for scope of work, and a feasible project within the framework of this grant. Applications are processed on first-come, first-served basis.

Active Communities Grant
Local and Indigenous governments are encouraged to apply for Active Communities grants to support projects and programs that increase access to physical activity throughout their communities. The application deadline is February 9, 2024.

Department of National Defense Indigenous Reconciliation Program
Do you have an idea to improve how the Department of National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces work toward reconciliation with Indigenous communities? You can request Engagement and Collaboration Grants to support costs associated with targeted or occasional events that encourage dialogue between Indigenous communities and military establishments and/or Defense programs. Grants up to $50,000 are available to host or participate in workshops, conferences, roundtables, town halls, and informal discussions, conduct cultural activities and ceremonies create community outreach events, support or participate in established, ongoing events, workshops, and meetings other relationship-building activities. Apply by March 1, 2024.

Community Participation Funding Program – Rail Safety 
The Community Participation Funding Program – Rail Safety (CPFP-RS) grant program helps eligible local and Indigenous communities and organizations to take part in developing and improving Canada's rail transportation system. Eligible recipients can apply for up to $5,000 per short-term activity until March 2024.

Codes Acceleration Fund: Accelerating Decarbonization
Natural Resources Canada launched a call for proposals for the Codes Acceleration Fund: $100 million to help provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous governments, and stakeholders decarbonize the buildings sector in order for Canada to reach a net-zero emissions future. Stringent building energy codes are a near-term action local governments can use to achieve climate change targets. The codes provide a series of performance tiers that lead towards making all new buildings net-zero energy-ready. Applications from Indigenous governments and organizations will be accepted continuously until March 31, 2025.

Declaration Act Engagement Fund
The Declaration Act Engagement Fund (DAEF) provides multi-year non-repayable funding contributions to First Nations to support their capacity to engage with the Province on the implementation of the Declaration Act Action Plan and alignment of Provincial laws with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples both of which must be done in consultation and co-operation with Indigenous Peoples in BC. The Province has partnered with the New Relationship Trust to administer the Fund. The total funding cap over four years per Nation is $1,040,000. One application per Nation. The DAEF will accept new applications during New Relationship Trust’s annual funding cycle between May and December each year. Applicants will only have to apply once to the program.

Rapid Housing Initiative: Round 3 
Round 3 of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Rapid Housing Initiative is receiving applications to support new housing builds and/or purchasing existing buildings that will be rehabilitated or converted into permanent, affordable housing. This $1.5 billion program has two streams: projects stream for eligible applicants including municipal governments and Indigenous governing bodies and organizations, and a cities stream that is open to Burnaby, the Capital Regional District, Richmond, Surrey, and Vancouver.

Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities
This funding program supports project proposals that contribute to Indigenous-led climate action in relation to biomass heating, district heating, and combined heat and power systems; and research, development, and demonstration projects. The program is working to reduce the use of fossil fuels for heating and electricity by increasing the use of local renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. This creates environmental, social and economic benefits to support healthier and more sustainable communities. This program has open intakes until funding is fully committed or the program closes in 2027.

Capital project: Stormwater Quality, Community Project
Offered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, this program will fund capital projects that allow a community to remove 60% of total suspended solids (TSS) or a significant amount of other contaminants (e.g., e.coli, salt, grease) from its stormwater runoff. This funding helps Canadian cities and communities of all sizes protect local bodies of water through stormwater treatment. This funding has a two-stage application process. Potential applicants may submit initial review forms at any time. Application forms will be provided to eligible recipients.

Residential Schools: BC Response Fund
Provincial funding is available for First Nations-led strategies to identify, investigate, protect, and commemorate the sites of former residential schools and hospitals in BC and for providing the mental health, wellness, and cultural supports required to do this work. Lead communities may apply to develop and implement strategies and procedures for the ongoing identification, documentation, maintenance, commemoration, and protection of residential school cemeteries or other sites at which residential school children were buried. Up to $475,000 is available for each site.

Residential Schools: Federal Funding
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada will fund the locating, documenting, maintaining, and commemorating of burial sites associated with former residential schools, and responding to family wishes to commemorate or memorialize their losses and the children's final resting places. Proposals are welcome from Indigenous governments, councils or tribal councils, Indigenous not-for-profit groups, and organizations, including survivors’ groups, demonstrating a close working partnership with and directed by Indigenous-governed organizations.

Community Buildings Retrofit Initiative
This Federation of Canadian Municipalities initiative is intended to help fund energy efficiency upgrades for existing community facilities. The Government of Canada, through the Green Municipal Fund, has launched this $167 million initiative to help Canadian municipalities of all sizes retrofit existing community facilities, such as arenas, pools, and libraries, to significantly reduce GHG emissions, while reviving important community assets.

Legacy Fund: Building Communities through Arts and Heritage
This Department of Canadian Heritage Program provides funding for community-initiated capital projects, intended for community use. Recipients may receive up to 50% of eligible project expenses up to a maximum of $500,000. Funding supports community-initiated capital projects that: commemorate a significant local historical event or pay tribute to a significant local historical personality; mark a 100th anniversary or greater, in increments of 25 years (e.g., 125th, 150th); involve the restoration, renovation, or transformation of existing buildings or exterior spaces with local community significance that are intended for community use; encourage arts and heritage activities in the local community that are intended for and accessible to the general public. Applications are accepted continuously.

BC Employer Training Grant
The BC Employer Training Grant is a cost-sharing grant program that provides employers throughout BC with skills training funding for their workforces, including prospective new hires. The grant funding helps employers respond to their changing labour needs and helps develop a skilled workforce with the right mix of skills. Employers can apply as often as they need and receive 80% of the cost of training up to $10,000 per employee, with a maximum annual amount per employer of $300,000.

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

Events & Resources

CAO Forum: Building a Strong Foundation
LGMA is hosting the annual CAO Forum from February 20-22, 2024 in Vancouver as an offering for local government Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) to meet with their colleagues and discuss issues of mutual concern in a congenial atmosphere. Registration is limited to CAOs, appointed Deputy CAOs and Executive Director CEOs of Affiliate Members. CAO Forum sessions can be used towards Continuous Professional Learning credits.

Regional District Chairs and CAO Forum 2024
UBCM is hosting the annual Regional District Chairs and CAOs forum March 25-26 in Victoria, BC.

FireSmart BC Wildfire Resiliency and Training Summit 
The 2024 Summit will take place from April 20–24 in Prince George, BC where more than 600 firefighting professionals, FireSmart experts and Indigenous, municipal, and community leaders will gather to learn and network. Presentations will focus on how to recover from an unprecedented wildfire season, rebuild and prepare for future wildfires, and lead discussions in research, technologies, and best practices. Funding to assist local governments and First Nations is available through UBCM FireSmart Community Funding & Supports and ISC - FNESS On-Reserve FireSmart Program

Principles for Responsible Conduct
This online course, developed by UBCM, LGMA, and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, introduces the principles that support responsible conduct by local elected officials in BC. The interactive course is based on real-life scenarios in which learners are part of the story. The code to access the course is VV81-5TFM.

Virtual Reconciliation Engagements
Interested in raising awareness about reconciliation for your community, organization, or business? In light of the COVID-19 crisis, Reconciliation Canada is currently providing all engagements online. They can provide a virtual gathering with an inspiring speaker to help engage reconciliation in a meaningful way.

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

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.

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, a 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 the program.