Ottawa, Ontario, June 10, 2021— As Canada makes progress in the fight against COVID-19, Canadians are eager to return to the activities that they enjoy and access the services they need. To keep residents safe and healthy, support economic recovery, create jobs and build vibrant, resilient communities, local governments and community partners across the country are implementing creative ways to improve people’s quality of life now and following the pandemic.
Today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, joined Hedy Fry, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre and Christine Buttkus, Executive Director at Surrey Cares Community Foundation to announce funding for projects under the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative that will benefit residents of Metro Vancouver. Also in attendance were Sophia Suderman, Executive Director of Pedal Foundation, Teka Everstz, National Coordinator at DUDES Club Society, and Karen Lee-Morgan, Artistic Director, Health Arts Society. The projects being announced today are among the more than 250 projects receiving funding following the first round of applications.
Safe and Vibrant Public Spaces
With almost $75,000 in federal funding, Burnaby’s Nikkei Garden will set up a local farmer’s market open to the public that will offer fresh, local, and culturally-appropriate food options in a safe outdoor setting that respects public health guidelines. Funds will also support safety upgrades and restorations so that the garden and market can be enjoyed by everyone.
Improved Mobility Options
Federal funding of $66,000 will support the Pedal Foundation’s Oppenheimer Park Bicycle Repair Clinics project, which will offer bicycle repair clinics in Oppenheimer Park to help ensure that people who live in Vancouver’s downtown east side can keep their bikes tuned and remain active as well as get to work and access social networks and support services.
With federal funding of $95,000, the DUDES Club Society will expand and adapt their virtual platforms so that it can create opportunities for men in over 200 locations, including 10 men’s correctional centres, to connect and support each other’s wellness through online communities. In particular, this project will help the marginalized men disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 continue to meet in peer-based spaces that promote Indigenous men’s physical and mental wellness.
More than $64,000 in federal funding will help support BC Hospice and Palliative Care Association’s grief and bereavement programming by allowing them to host their symposium and perform outreach virtually. Grief and bereavement struggles have been exacerbated by COVID-19 making projects like this one all the more important. Funds will also support the development of a web page dedicated to grief and bereavement resources to support those experiencing loss.
Federal funding of $43,000 will support the Farm-to-Plate project by the Canadian Society Promoting Environmental Conservation. The free online platform will act as a virtual farmer’s market that consolidates orders for locally farmed goods and offers “pay what you can” and “pay it forward” options. This project benefits both marginalized individuals that struggle to access fresh food and farmers who have been negatively affected by restaurant closures.
With federal funding of $50,000, the Health Arts Society will to develop a new online portal from where seniors living in retirement communities can access Concerts in Care – weekly video-recorded concerts by local musicians and artists to replace in-person shows. Going digital will enable seniors in Vancouver and neighboring rural communities to access and enjoy music from home both during the pandemic and once public health restrictions have been lifted.
The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative is a $31-million investment to build safer spaces and ensure a higher quality of life for people across the country, by helping communities adapt to the challenges presented by COVID-19.
A second call for applications for funding under the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative is open until close on June 25, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. PST. Applicants can apply for funding ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 for eligible projects.