Community Foundation big on South Okanagan neighbourhood small grants program - InfoNews

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Community Foundation big on South Okanagan neighbourhood small grants program

Toronto Avenue residents received a Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Community Foundation for a block party to get to know their neighbours.
March 17, 2017 - 9:00 PM

PENTICTON - A new round of neighbourhood small grants is returning to the South Okanagan and Similkameen regions.

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen announced yesterday, March 16, the return of the Neighbourhood Small Grants initiative.

Community Foundation executive director Aaron McRann says 25 applications were received for last year’s grants from all over the region.

“The applications were very creative, really cool ideas that people came up with… it’s the first time we’d ever done it, and we didn’t know what to expect but the outcome was really pretty cool,” McRann says, adding the program is expected to become a major community building strategy for the foundation.

“It will be even better this year because our timing is better,” McRann says, noting last year’s effort didn’t occur until fall, which hampered projects that were designed to take place outside.

McRann says every community in the region put forward at least one application last year.

The grants, which range in size from $50 to $500 are provided to projects focusing on connecting and engaging community residents through such diverse venues as block parties, art shows, craft workshops, community gardens, yoga at sunrise or movies under the stars.

“That outreach to the region’s smaller communities is critically important, and the small grants program is a great way to engage citizens in small towns,” he says.

The small grants program had a budget of $20,000 last year, with the Community Foundation partnering with the City of Penticton to put up $5,000 each. That amount was matched by the Vancouver Foundation. McRann expects the amount available for this year’s funding will be similar.

Applications must be made between March 16 and April 28. Applications may be made online at

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