Neighbourhood Small Grants
The Neighbourhood Small Grant (NSG) program was started in 1999 as a way to combat loneliness and social isolation, by making communities stronger, safer and more welcoming. By offering a small grant (up to $500) we enable the applicant to bring their project to life, often in a more impactful way or with people in the community they may not have previously been familiar with. The NSG kickstarts people's imagination and often makes neighbours more willing to participate. Traditional projects have included concepts such as park cleanups, emergency preparedness meetings, community gardens and enhanced block parties.
Due to COVID-19, the program was revised to the Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grant (RNSG) program - a program for "virtual" events (with no gathering components). The purpose of RNSG is to build community strength and resilience, foster community creativity and wellbeing, and tackle social isolation.
The regular Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) Program, with large gatherings, was paused due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Please note: You must live in West Vancouver/Lions Bay/Squamish Nation (other communities have their own program). The virtual project must follow all physical distancing guidelines, be free to attend, accessible and welcoming. Registered organizations and businesses are not eligible – these grants are specifically for individuals. You may recruit donors and sponsors but you cannot fundraise.
When Can I Apply?
Applications are being accepted now until Apr 20, 2021.
Here are some of the criteria the committee looked for in 2020 (criteria may change for 2021):
- Does the project build connections or share skills, virtually, in West Vancouver
- Is the project free to attend
- Is the applicant a West Vancouver or Lions Bay resident (not a business or organization)
- Does the project follow social isolation/distancing guidelines (either virtual or groups up to 6 people)
- Are the honorarium and costs appropriate. Note that equipment or capital typically is not covered with the grant, however if an exception is made then the item(s) purchased must remain in a communal area where community members can access it. Because these types of purchases can be expensive, we encourage applicants to find a way to borrow equipment or find an additional sponsorship.
We are proud to partner with the Vancouver Foundation and the Howard Martin Memorial Fund to fund and deliver Neighbourhood Small Grants in West Vancouver. There are 31 communities in BC that participate in this program.
Need some ideas? Some projects we've heard of are (just remember, they need to be free to attend and within social distance guidelines):
- Online fitness, art, games, flower arranging, story time, language lessons or cooking classes - perhaps drop off a kit for your participants prior to the online sessions!
- Care packages to vulnerable seniors or youth (within social distance guidelines)
- Professionals offering webinars/video series with topics such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), learning at home, finances, music concerts, theatre productions, and fine art talks - ideally interactive with the audience
- Garden tours, neighbourhood beautification projects, beach cleanups - within social distance guidelines
- Read about some of the projects that have already taken place, here.
- See some other project stories on the Vancouver Foundation site.
- Join the West Vancouver Neighbourhood Small Grant Facebook group to connect with other project leaders and volunteers.
- Thinking of applying? Applied and not sure what to do next? Read this Tool Kit for some tips on physical NSG projects.
- To learn more about eligibility and the application process, visit the Neighbourhood Small Grants website.
- Bring the West Vancouver Memorial Library's Honouring Reconciliation resources or Reconciliation Canada's Reconciliation Toolkit to your neighbourhood.
- Find lessons learned, ideas, and examples to create projects where you live with the Resilient Streets Toolkit.
- Read our 2019 Neighbourhood Small Grant Annual Report
Have unanswered questions or need help with developing your project? Please contact us.
Neighbour Grants Committee
The Neighbour Grants Committee is made up of community volunteers who are passionate about building connection and belonging in West Vancouver. They help raise awareness about the Neighbour Grants Program, make grant decisions, and mentor grant recipients.
- Arzoo Babul
- Hoon Choi
- Eleanor Cramb
- Lorna Duncan
- Tamara Leger
Missed the 2020 Celebration? You can see the presentations here:
We had so many wonderful speakers and special guests. We brainstormed ideas for 2021 projects including:
- Young people interview seniors, share stories
- Teen/senior book club
- Online concert for kids
- How to start a new business online course
- Zoom lessons for seniors
- Music connections, making instruments together online
- Book club, via Zoom
- Reaching out to those in need in your neighbourhood
- Zoom cooking and dinner parties, cross generational
- Writing support group, can self publish and share in community
- Traffic & safety for seniors
- Yoga online for seniors
- Senior picks recipe from history, shares along with their story
- Seniors online fitness
- Cross Cultural Quilt online - share something from your heritage (a recipe, story, craft)
Thank you to everyone that participated and attended!
Watch the video from Jill, from the West Vancouver Seniors' Centre, as she explains the positive impact some of the 2020 Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grant projects had on vulnerable seniors in West Vancouver.
Neighbour Grants Stories
Neighbour Grants Project Leaders share their inspiring stories about people in West Vancouver gathering, sharing, celebrating, and connecting.
Join the West Vancouver NSG Facebook community to talk to others involved in NSG projects.
2020 Celebration - On Feb 17, 2021 we Celebrated our 2020 project leaders. We had many special guests and brainstormed some wonderful ideas. You can see the presentation here and the 2020 projects here.
Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants - When the pandemic caused all of us to change our daily lives, this grant program responded and went virtual. Read about some of the projects that have taken place already.
Celebration: In early Nov we celebrated all of the 2019 Neighbourhood Small Grant project leaders!
Movie Night: In late August, two neighbours got together and held a Family Movie Night. The neighbourhood has seen some changes including old homes coming down and new ones going up, new neighbours moving in and long time residents moving away. The perfect time to hold a neighbourhood get together.
Emergency Preparedness: 50 neighours got together for a community dinner and Emergency Preparedness meeting. In an emergency, you may want the help or offer your help, of your neighbours.
Picnic of the Century: Over 40 different groups meet in West Vancouver United Church and to celebrate they invited the various groups, neighbours and community to a picnic that closed down part of Esquimalt.
Cleaning, Caring & Caring Project: These residents designed a “spring cleaning” project to not only clean but also build community. They had no idea how successful it would be!
EAT Together 2019: Despite a last minute location change, everything worked out wonderfully at this long-table potluck. There were new faces and familiar, good food, lovely music, and overall a fantastic time was had by all.
Cedardale: A grandmother moves to a new community and organizes a block party to build a community where her grandson will be comfortable enough to knock on a neighbour's door and ask for help.
I Can, You Can, We Can: Residents invite our local Paralympics Gold Medalist to share her stories of passion, injuries, adversity, and triumphs with West Vancouver.
Mid Autumn Festival: Young children from different cultural backgrounds learn about a traditional Chinese Festival.
Tall Trees Beach Cleanup and Celebration: A small neighbourhood spent a summer morning cleaning up the beach and hosting a full house at an evening BBQ.