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, we now have the new Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grant (RNSG) program. This program is open, for "virtual" events or for small gatherings (up to 6 people, within social distancing guidelines) with the purpose of organizing larger community building projects (such as care packages, community gardens or park cleanups). 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, is currently closed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Please note: You must live in West Vancouver (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?
The program is open for RSNG applications until funds are depleted. The grant cycle for the physical gathering projects will be moved to the fall, subject to changing conditions. You will be notified of the status of your application 2-3 weeks after you submit your application.
Thinking of applying but not sure if it is an appropriate project? Here are some of the criteria the committee will look for:
- Does the project build connections or share skills, virtually, in West Vancouver
- Is the project free to attend
- Is the applicant a West Vancouver 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 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)
- Cards and messages for vulnerable seniors, while still building connections. Eg. get a group of neighbours to work on the project with you.
- 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.
- 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
- ChiChi Wang
- Hoon Choi
- Eleanor Cramb
- Lorna Duncan
- Tamara Leger
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.