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.
Please note: projects must follow all current (at the time of event) physical distancing guidelines, be free to attend, accessible and welcoming to all. Registered organizations and businesses are not eligible – these grants are specifically for individuals.
Principles of Neighbourhood Small Grants
- Everyone has gifts: Anyone can offer their ideas, talents, skills, experiences and contacts to build a strong community
- Small is powerful: Small amounts of money have a potential to bring powerful changes in community in forms of new relationships, increased self-confidence, leadership development, stronger sense of place and creation of local traditions
- Local decisions are best: Community members from diverse backgrounds and experiences get an opportunity to make decisions on who should get the grants in their community
- Where we live matters: the grants enable anyone to team up with their neighbour and develop a project that they can carry out within an area of where they live and based on what they think works best in their community
- We learn together: There is no single right way to build community so anyone involved in the program will have many opportunities to learn, share, reflect, exchange and capture knowledge, skills and information that they can use within and beyond the program
- Everyone is invited: The program is accessible and inclusive to anyone living in an NSG area no matter their age, ethnicity, income, cultural background, gender, ability and sexual orientation.
When Can I Apply?
Applications are being accepted now. The Neighbour Grant Committee meets monthly to review applications.
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.
Here are some of the criteria the committee looks for:
- Does the project build connections or share skills
- 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
- Are the honorarium and costs appropriate
- Is it open to all.
Need some ideas?
Here are some projects we've heard of and some that came out of our brainstorm session.
Have unanswered questions or need help with developing your project? Please contact us.
Project Leaders can now start applying for grants that have a component of in person gathering, with a few changes to the application
- You must agree to abide by the PHO rules.
- The budget and project plan will indicate that you have considered how to protect and ensure the safety of participants.
- Your will clearly state that the people you are inviting are part of your core bubble of 10, as defined in the PHO.
- The size of gatherings will be limited to 10 people or less.
- Organizers are expected to have a signup sheet for participants for contact tracing purposes.
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
- Kim Wong
If you missed the 2020 Celebration you can see the presentations here:
Video explaining the positive impact the Neighbourhood Small Grant projects had on vulnerable seniors in West Vancouver.
The Beacon article, on the 2021 Celebration.
- Tool Kit with tips on physical NSG projects.
- More information on the Neighbourhood Small Grants website.
- West Vancouver Memorial Library's Honouring Reconciliation resources
- Reconciliation Canada's Reconciliation Toolkit
- Resilient Streets Toolkit.
- 2019 Neighbourhood Small Grant Annual Report
- Join the Neighourhood Small Grant Facebook page
Neighbour Grants Stories
Neighbour Grants Project Leaders share their inspiring stories about people in West Vancouver gathering, sharing, celebrating, and connecting.
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.