Funding and resources update: September 2023

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
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
A new intake of the Active Transportation Program will open this fall. Submission deadline, program and application materials will be available shortly.

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. Matching grants of up to $25,000 are available under the 2023 Asset Management Planning program 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 2023. The application deadline is September 15, 2023.

2023 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 2023 intake will be accepted until September 30, 2023. The 2024 intake will open starting October 1, 2023.

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 October 6, 2023. Funding permitting there will be another intake closing on March 28, 2024.

Volunteer & Composite Fire Departments Equipment & Training
The intent of the program is to build the resiliency of volunteer and composite fire departments in preparing for and responding to emergencies through the purchase of new or replacement equipment and to facilitate the delivery of training. Ongoing operational costs and the purchase of major fire apparatus are not eligible. The application deadline is October 20, 2023.

Indigenous Cultural Safety and Cultural Humility Training
The intent of the program is to support eligible applicants to enhance cultural safety and humility in the delivery of local emergency management programs and services. Activities include cultural safety and humility training, adapting emergency management tools to be inclusive of Indigenous peoples, and activities related to partnering with, or providing assistance to, Indigenous communities during emergency mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The application deadline is November 3, 2023.

Community to Community Program
Starting in 2023, the C2C program will continue to support C2C forums, now with funding up to $10,000 for events. In addition, the program is expanding to support the advancement of First Nation-local government reconciliation and relationship building through 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. Up to $10,000 is available for these new activities. A new application deadline for 2023/24 is December 1, 2023.

Other Funding

Agricultural Water Infrastructure Program
The Agricultural Water Infrastructure Program will help the sector adapt to climate change by providing incentives to invest in water infrastructure for adaptation. This is a three-year program with funding of up to $20 million through the provincial Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The program is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation. Through the program, primary and Indigenous producers, conservation groups, water purveyors, and Indigenous communities will have access to cost-shared funding to invest in water infrastructure. Applications will be accepted until all funding is committed; the next review date is September 19, 2023.

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.

BC Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant Program
The BC Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants Program provides cost-sharing opportunities for network planning grants and infrastructure grants. Funding from these grant programs support the development of active transportation infrastructure for all ages and abilities. Local government intake opened on September 1, 2023. Indigenous communities, or local governments working in partnership with an Indigenous community, may apply at any time.

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.

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 on an ongoing basis until March 31, 2025.

Clean Energy for Rural and Remote Communities
This funding program supports project proposals that contribute to Indigenous-led climate action, to economic development, to pollution reduction, and to job creation. This program has received an additional $300 million in funding until 2027. This program has open intakes until funding fully committed or program closes in 2027.

Reduce Fossil Fuel Use in Fleets
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities is offering combined loan and grant funding for capital projects that reduce or avoid fossil fuel use in any vehicle that delivers municipal services. This funding helps Canadian cities and communities of all sizes undertake environmental sustainability projects that reduce energy consumption/greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and improve their air quality. Initial review forms can be submitted year-round and application forms will be provided to eligible applicants.

Disaster Financial Assistance
Disaster Financial Assistance is available to local governments and First Nations impacted by wildfires and overland flooding. The funding is available to cover disaster-related losses not covered by insurance, such as wildfire damage to public infrastructure including roads, bridges, and other publicly-owned infrastructure.

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 accepted on a continuous basis.

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 towards 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.

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

Indigenous Awareness Training
Engage in a half-day webinar designed to provide a foundational understanding of historical and present-day issues that impact Indigenous Peoples. The webinar offers important guidance for those new to Indigenous relations or experienced individuals looking for a refresher course. LGMA is pleased to work with Indigenous Corporate Training to offer this opportunity specifically for local government leaders such as CAOs, Corporate Officers, Managers/Supervisors, and HR professionals. The September 15 session is full, but a waitlist is being accepted.

Canadian Stormwater Conference
The BC Water & Waste Association in partnership with the Water Environment Federation and affiliates across Canada, is proud to host the 2023 Canadian Stormwater Conference. This conference invites stormwater professionals from across Canada to come together to learn and share about issues related to stormwater. The conference will take place in Vancouver, September 20-21, 2023.

Corporate Officers Forum 2023
This educational offering focuses on emerging trends and legal and legislative changes of relevance to BC local government Corporate Officers. The 2023 Forum will feature local government experts to support you as a key trusted officer, tasked with safeguarding information and providing service to elected officials, staff, and the public. Take this opportunity to come together to connect and learn as a community. Open to Corporate Officers and Deputy Corporate Officers only, this forum takes place in Nanaimo, October 4-6, 2023.

Zero Waste Conference
Explore the circular economy's impact on climate change and connect with innovators, visionaries, and changemakers. Engage in inspiring talks, workshops, and sessions to transform ideas into action. Don't miss this opportunity to connect, learn, and shape Canada's sustainable future. The conference takes place in Vancouver, November 1-2, 2023.

Asset Management BC Conference
The annual Asset Management BC Conference is AMBC's event of the year, comprised of presentations, plenaries, social functions, and a mini trade show of exhibitors. The full title of this year's event is: Collaborating and Converging Toward a Sustainable Future...Fostering Social, Economic and Environmental Well-being through Continuous Improvement Processes. This year’s event is in Richmond, November 8-9, 2023.

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 the 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, 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.