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Celebrating local: How Neighbourhood Small Grants can jumpstart community projects in Victoria

The 2024 NSG program is accepting applications in Greater Victoria until April 19, 2024
The Neighbourhood Small Grants program brings neighbours together to celebrate the joys of your community (Pictured: Vanessa Sharkey).

Small but mighty grants are ready to support big, beautiful ideas for your community – opportunities to strengthen connections right where you live.

The Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) program, co-funded by the Victoria Foundation and Vancouver Foundation, offers up to $500 for people to lead a project in their neighbourhood, like a multicultural event, block party, community garden or skill-sharing workshop.

For a number of years, the NSG program has been celebrating local by supporting projects in Quadra Village, North Park, Burnside-Gorge, and Oaklands. Residents of the capital region outside these areas are also welcome to apply, as support may be available for their innovative projects. 

The program is also offered in other communities on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands.

Where we live matters, and if you have a great idea to share with your neighbourhood, the Victoria Foundation wants to help make it happen. Here’s what you need to know about applying.

Neighbours came together at the Esquimalt Gorge Park Pavilion in Spring 2023 to learn about locally foraged tea blends rooted in Indigenous knowledge. . Photo via: Roxann Corpuz

NSGs support projects that bring your community together

The NSG program starts from a place of “Yes.” From that yes, the Victoria Foundation looks to see how it can support the idea.

Funds are given to projects that either connect and engage neighbours, build a sense of belonging, share skills and knowledge, or celebrate diversity – or a combination of all these. Youth-led projects are strongly encouraged.

Some examples could include an emergency preparedness planning session, a free yoga lesson, a virtual community kitchen where neighbours share their cooking skills, a neighbourhood cleanup, or an Indigenous plant walking tour. 

In past years, grants have supported a kids’ open mic night at a local cafe, art classes at the Quadra Village Community Centre, neighbourhood block parties, a family of four who wrote and recorded a song called “Big Feelings,” and so many more.

Your project can be anything, so get creative and think of a way to bring you and your neighbours together.

NSGs do not support projects that profit financially

There are a few things to be aware of when filling out your grant application.

Grants do not support projects that charge entrance fees, request donations, or are fundraising for other projects. These grants are also given to specific individuals, and not to non-profits or businesses, nor are they given to projects involving therapy and counseling support. 

Your project should be free, accessible, and welcoming to everyone, because that’s the best way to break barriers and foster connections in your home community.

A few other considerations

Your project should begin after the grant decision is made (not retroactively) and should be completed by September 30, 2024. It can also be offered in-person or virtually, or both, and it must involve your neighbours.

You might be pleased to learn that applicants can apply for a NSG even if you have applied previously. If your earlier project is complete and your report submitted, you’re welcome to apply again. 

Preference may be given to new projects or those funded for less than three years in a row.

Richard Wong offering a painting class for his community at the Esquimalt Gorge Park Pavilion during Spring 2023. Photo via: Roxann Corpuz

Anyone can apply online until April 19

If you’re ready, you can apply by filling out a short online form, then you’ll receive an email confirmation. You’ll then hear back on the status of your application within four weeks of the deadline.

These grant decisions are made by a diverse committee of local volunteers from many backgrounds and life experiences. They encourage any and all projects, they know that local is best, and they want to help your community flourish.

These grants are a wonderful way to help your neighbours meet each other, to share ideas and experiences, to grow and learn together, and to celebrate the joys of your community.

To apply for the Victoria Foundation’s Neighbourhood Small Grants, visit