Funding & resources update

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City of Victoria
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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.

FireSmart Community Funding & Supports - Funding for 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. Apply by October 8, 2021.

Evacuation Route Planning - This planning stream supports eligible applicants that would otherwise be challenged to successfully undertake an evacuation operation during an emergency.  Maximum available funding is $25,000. Apply by November 19, 2021.

Regional Community to Community Forum - Regional C2C Forums are intended to provide a time and place for dialogue increase understanding and improve overall relations between First Nations and local governments by building on opportunities, supporting reconciliation efforts and resolving issues of common responsibility, interest or concern. Apply by December 3, 2021.

Other Funding

Canada Cultural Spaces Fund - This Canadian Heritage fund supports the improvement of physical conditions for arts, heritage, culture and creative innovation. The fund supports renovation and construction projects, the acquisition of specialized equipment and feasibility studies related to cultural spaces. The CCSF annual grants and contributions budget is $54 million for the period 2018-2028.

Local Government Partnership Program - The Investment Agriculture Foundation program is designed to support the development of shared visions for agriculture in BC communities and encourage the integration of agricultural priorities into local government planning and decision making. The desired outcome of the LGPP is for local governments to support the growth and economic viability of agriculture when making decisions about land-use planning and by-laws or regulations. Application deadline is October 21, 2021.

HCTF Enhancement & Restoration Grant - Each year, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation provides approximately $6 million to projects that focus on native freshwater fish, wildlife and their habitats, have the potential to achieve a significant conservation outcome, and align with our purposes as laid out in the Wildlife Act. Proposals that involve on-the-ground habitat enhancement and/or restoration activities are strongly encouraged. Application deadline is November 5, 2021.

HCTF Stewardship Grants - HCTF invests in projects that create stewards, including individuals, practitioners, and community organizations who take responsibility for promoting, monitoring, conserving, and restoring ecosystems to ultimately result in enduring conservation outcomes for fish and wildlife and their habitats. Proposed projects must align with our purposes as laid out in the Wildlife Act. Application deadline is November 5, 2021.

Nation Building Program - The purpose of this program is to provide funding opportunities to First Nations and Tribal Councils in British Columbia to support their nation-building activities according to their self-determined priorities. A project or initiative meant to strengthen the institutional, governance, and community capacities in reclaiming and rebuilding resiliency, self-determination, and sovereignty, within each Nation’s own context is considered an eligible project. Eligible applicants (BC First Nation Community, Organization, Tribal Council) can apply for up to $50,000. Application deadline is December 7, 2021.

Disaster Financial Assistance - The Province of BC announced DFA is now available to local governments and First Nations impacted by the wildfires that started June 16th. 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.

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. Potential applicants are invited to discuss the program and potential projects and also how the CIRNAC funding might also be considered.  Up to $475,000 is available for each site.

Residential Schools: Federal Funding - Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada has made funding available for locating, documenting, maintaining, and commemorating 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.

Regional Connectivity Plan Funding - The Province is providing funding to assist rural communities wanting to access broadband internet with technical infrastructure assessments of current and proposed networks towards a regional connectivity plan. Funding is up to 75% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $15,000. Local governments, registered not-for-profit government organizations, First Nations and First Nations organizations are eligible to apply. Funding is first come, first served until funding is exhausted. Projects must complete by March 31, 2022.

Active Transportation Fund - The Active Transportation Fund (ATF) is a national, merit-based contribution program intended to support projects that improve active transportation infrastructure across Canada. Announced in March 2021, the Fund will make available $400 million over five years to help build new and expanded networks of pathways, bike lanes, trails, and pedestrian bridges, as well as support Active Transportation planning and stakeholder engagement activities. Grants of up to $50,000 are available for successful applicants who wish to undertake planning, design, or stakeholder engagement activities. Funding can cover up to 100% of eligible costs. The application process will open soon and applications will be accepted through Infrastructure Canada’s online portal.  

BC Employer Training Grant - Persons with Disabilities Training Stream - The goal of the BC Employer Training Grant program (ETG) is to help British Columbians access the skills training they need to adapt to the changing requirements of jobs and the labour market, while encouraging employer involvement in the training of their employees. Employers operating in BC are eligible to apply and under this program, employers may receive 100% of eligible costs, up to a maximum of $20,000 per participant per fiscal year for training, participant financial supports, and training allowances. The application deadline is December 31, 2021.

Recreation Infrastructure Program - The Northern Development Initiative Trust supports communities to create, upgrade, and repair recreational infrastructure such as arenas, gymnasiums, golf courses, fields, and boat launches. This grant program supports new or substantial upgrade projects with up to $300,000 to a maximum of 50% of costs, and upgrades and repairs to existing facilities with up to $100,000 to a maximum of 70% of costs. Local governments, registered First Nations Bands, and registered not-for-profits are eligible. Intakes are quarterly.

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.

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.

Infrastructure Planning Grant Program - The Ministry of Municipal Affairs offers grants up to $10,000 to help local governments plan, design, and manage sustainable infrastructure. Applications are accepted year-round and have regular processing deadlines.

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 per cent 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.

First Nations Adapt Program - This federal program supports First Nations 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.

Columbia Basin Trust - CBT offers 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 grant writing activities.

Events & Resources

Escalating Wildfires: Adaptation and mitigation strategies for communities & forests - Forests are one of our strongest assets in the fight against climate change but wildfires threaten to turn that asset into a liability by releasing huge quantities of carbon to the atmosphere. Investigators from PICS’ Wildfire & Carbon project and partners will explore how we arrived at our current wildfire predicament and discuss the complex risks that wildfires pose to human health, forests, and carbon dynamics. October 26, 2021, 5:00-6:30pm.
    
BC Community Climate Funding Guide for Indigenous Communities and Local Governments - The Province of B.C. has developed the website for the BC Community Climate Funding Guide for Indigenous Communities and Local Governments. This new guide was created to simplify a community’s search for funding and to quickly connect communities to the next opportunity to fund a climate-related projects. It is a one-stop resource within several broad categories, including Climate Preparedness & Adaptation, Community Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation, and Clean Energy.

Healthy Communities, Equity and Economic Recovery: Creating Healthy Public Policy - BC Healthy Communities and SFU’s Community Economic Development team are hosting the Local Government Leaders Speaker Series. This on-demand webinar series has already posted one event, Living Wage Policies. An upcoming webinar is BC Housing presenting Building Knowledge and Capacity for Affordable Housing. Visit to view upcoming additional webinars. Participate live or view recorded sessions.

External Resources for Councils & Boards - The Working Group on Responsible Conduct has developed a database of external resources to support local governments. The consultants included a range of services that support responsible conduct by elected officials, including conflict management and resolution, coaching, counselling, and elected official training. 

2022 Land Awards - Know of a project or person that exemplifies big ideas and bold leadership in sustainable land use and real estate in BC? Nominations are now open for the 2022 Real Estate Foundation of BC Land Awards with a deadline of November 5, 2021.

BC FireSmart - 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.

Building Knowledge & Capacity for Affordable Housing - BC Housing is partnering with the Community Development Institute at the University of Northern British Columbia to offer a series of 2-hour webinars from June through October. The series, aimed at the building industry and local and regional governments, focuses on understanding the unique needs and challenges small communities face in providing viable options for affordable housing.

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.

The State of the Economy in Northern BC - This issue of Northern Dispatch asks the question, “How has COVID-19 impacted the economy in Northern BC?”

Advancing Your Asset Management Practice - If you missed this recent Asset Management BC webinar, you can now view the recording. Meet the speakers and learn more about how this unique training program will benefit you.

Rapid Action Resources for Local Governments - Community Food Production - Over the coming months, PlanH will be releasing a series of Rapid Action Resources to provide local governments with an understanding of the equity considerations around various aspects of food security, as well as examples of good practices in food security from other local governments in the province.

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.

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

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.