Province recognizes age-friendly communities; commits $500,000 in funding

The Province of B.C. recognized 10 communities across the province as age-friendly, and announced renewed funding of $500,000 for age-friendly grants at the 2019 Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) convention. 

The communities of Cranbrook, Gibsons, Houston, Kelowna, Lake Cowichan, Nanaimo, Naramata, Okanagan Falls, Osoyoos and Rossland were celebrated for their commitment to creating opportunities for older persons to be healthy and well. They have received a promotional badge indicating their age-friendly status and are invited to join an international network of age-friendly communities. 

Communities wanting to follow in their footsteps can apply for the next round of Age-friendly Communities grants, administered by UBCM. The grant program, bolstered by the Province’s additional $500,000 in funding, can give communities up to $25,000 for age-friendly assessments and action plans and $15,000 to support age-friendly projects. UBCM has included a list of guiding principles and eligible projects in their application guidelines. 

Importantly, the application guidelines emphasize coordination and collaboration between health authorities, local governments and community partners. Applications must also demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity and equity. Proposed projects should focus on one or more of B.C.’s eight age-friendly community components:

  • Outdoor spaces and buildings
  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Respect, social inclusion, or cultural safety
  • Social well-being and participation
  • Communications and information
  • Community engagement and employment
  • Community support and health and wellness services

In addition to the grant amount, successful applicants may be eligible to apply for a range of process, planning and policy support from BC Healthy Communities.

The next round of Age-friendly Communities grants are open for application until Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. Further application information can be found on the UBCM website.