Over $1.7 Million to Help Local Governments Develop Active Communities

Local governments in British Columbia are invited to apply for a share of more than $1.7 million to develop programs that get people moving and promote physical activity in their communities.

“Increasing physical activity in communities will help improve the health and well-being of British Columbians,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “A lack of physical activity has contributed to an increase in chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, and these grants will support more opportunities for people to become more active.”

Local governments, such as municipalities, regional districts and First Nations, can apply for the Active Communities Grants to increase opportunities for physical activity through improving access, inclusion and/or healthy community design. Each of the province’s five regional health authorities will receive $353,800 to award individual community grants of up to $30,000, with the opportunity for larger combined grants for joint proposals. All projects must be completed by Oct. 31, 2018.

It is estimated at least 60 communities throughout the province will benefit from one of these grants. For projects to be eligible for the grants, they should promote physical activity in the community and build on an existing relationship between the community stakeholder and their health authority.

Examples of projects could include a community workshop to create better access and signage for local trails for all users, including those in wheelchairs, or engaging with First Nation Elders to take local youth out foraging and teach them about edible and traditional plants in the area.

Communities that support healthy living make it easier for all residents, regardless of age or ability, to make healthy choices every day. The Active Communities Grants are a result of the B.C. Physical Activity Strategy and action plan that was released in November 2015. The BC Healthy Living Alliance is overseeing a three-year action plan designed to guide and stimulate co-ordinated policies, practices and programs in physical activity. It aims to foster active people and active places.

Grant Application Process

Deadlines and instructions on how to apply for an Active Communities Grant for each health authority region:

  • Vancouver Coastal Health
    The invitations to apply for an Active Communities Grant through Vancouver Coastal Health are being distributed in February. Interested municipalities, regional districts and First Nations within the region should submit their letter of community interest by April 19, 2017. For more information on the letter of community interest, project and additional grant guidelines, contact Naomi Ashton at: community.investments@vch.ca.
  • Northern Health
    Northern Health will have an open call for proposals from local governments from the end of May to July 2017. For more information please contact Chelan Zirul, regional manager, Healthy Communities and Schools at: chelan.zirul@northernhealth.ca
  • Fraser Health
    Fraser Health will accept proposals directly from local community leaders, including mayors and councils, First Nations’ chiefs and councils, and Métis presidents and boards of directors. The deadline for Fraser Health grant submissions is April 15, 2017. Grant announcements will be made in May 2017. For more information, contact Judi Mussenden at: Judi.Mussenden@fraserhealth.ca
  • Interior Health and Island Health
    Interior Health and Island Health will have an open call for proposals supported by BC Healthy Communities Society. Grant details will be launched at the end of March, with an application deadline of June 30, 2017. For more information, contact Gagan Leekha at: gagan@bchealthycommunities.ca

Original article posted on BC Gov News here.