Residents often know just what is needed to enhance the quality of life in their neighbourhoods. With this in mind, we have partnered with the Central Okanagan Foundation to offer matching grants of up to $1,500 to support resident-led neighbourhood enhancement ideas or projects that empower neighbours to take action locally.
In working together with other residents, these grants will provide the opportunity for neighbours to build relationships, gain a greater sense of neighbourhood pride, and provide resources to address each neighbourhood's unique interests and needs.
Get creative and make your neighbourhood an even better place to live!
Examples of neighbourhood grant projects/initiatives include:
Little free library and pantry
Interpretative nature signage
Wall or fence mural
Back alley roadway art
Note: If you are planning a block party, neighbourhood picnic or themed gathering, please visit Neighbourhood Events.
Start your application by completing the Neighbourhood Grant Expression of Interest Form and tell us more about your project idea! Tell us about your project idea as soon as possible to give yourself lots of time to work on the full application.
Once we receive your Expression of Interest, a Community Development Coordinator will contact you to discuss your project idea more and will give you the full application to complete.
The overarching goal of the Neighbourhood Grant is to deepen and strengthen attachment to the community. In a 2014 community survey, residents of Kelowna indicated that there are five key areas that enhance neighbourhood attachment and these are the core focus of the program. The following table lists these focus areas and what we are looking for in each category. Your project does not need to support all areas but must support a minimum of one focus area.
|Aesthetics||Enhance the physical appearance, character, or natural environment in your neighbourhood.|
|Leadership||Encourage/involve multiple neighbours to participate in planning and/or implementing the project including opportunities for neighbours to share skills with each other.|
|Safety||Enhance safety, especially traffic, bike, and pedestrian safety (for example: creating a traffic calming sign).|
|Social Offerings||Provide opportunities for neighbours to gather and have fun.|
|Relationships||Create opportunities for neighbours to connect, especially neighbours that are new or haven't interacted in the past.|
Any group of three or more residents with an idea for a project or event that will enhance their neighbourhood is eligible. Experience in organizing a project or event is not necessary; the Community Development Coordinators are available to support you along the way. In order to be eligible for a Neighbourhood Grant, an applicant must:
- Live within the City of Kelowna boundaries
- Live within the neighbourhood of the proposed project
- Identify a working group including a minimum of two additional neighbours from separate households
The Neighbourhood Grant is a matching grant; the funding availability and requirements are as follows:
- Maximum grant amount is $1,500 per project
- $15,000 is available annually by the Central Okanagan Foundation which will be distributed over 3 intake periods meaning: $6,000 is available in March & June and $3,000 is available in November.
- Matching contribution can include cash, in-kind volunteer hours valued at current BC minimum wage rate, and/or donated materials and equipment
- Application budgets must accurately reflect the estimated costs of the project
- If all funds are not awarded during a grant cycle, applications received after the deadline which meet all other criteria will be considered on a ‘first come, first served’ basis
- Equipment, materials and other items that will not revert back to private ownership
- Contract services from outside the neighbourhood, e.g., master gardener, journeyman carpenter or artist. These services are only fundable if there is no individual within the neighbourhood willing or able to donate the necessary expertise
- Promotional material and translation services
- Equipment rental
Food costs, to a maximum of $10 per person, to complement neighbourhood enhancing project. Exceptions will be considered for projects focused on skill sharing or skill building specific to food preparation and preservation.
- Retroactive expenses
- Any item that will revert to private ownership
- Travel expenses
- Trade shows or commercial/business activity
- Fundraising activities and/or donations
- Political or religious activities
- Volunteer honorariums
- Any project in contravention of City bylaws
- Block parties where funds are used exclusively for food, drink and entertainment
All applicants must complete an Expression of Interest form. Once the Expression of Interest has been submitted, the Community Development Coordinator will follow up to discuss the project further and will provide the full application form, which must:
- Explain how the project addresses one or more drivers of neighbourhood attachment: aesthetics, leadership, safety, social offerings or relationships
- Describe a neighbourhood enhancement component or activity that will encourage neighbours to connect to build relationships as well as share skills, talents and passions.
- Describe how the project will enhance living in the neighbourhood and/or enhance connections among neighbours
- Meet matching grant requirement by means of volunteer hours (valued at current BC minimum wage rate), monetary donations from businesses or community members, and other in kind contributions
- Demonstrate how the project will foster neighbourhood participation
- Projects must comply with City of Kelowna bylaws.
- Insurance and applicable permits is the responsibility of the applicant
- Grants are available only to residents of Kelowna and require a minimum of three residents from separate households within the neighbourhood to operate as a project working group.
- Project must occur within the applicant group’s neighbourhood.
- Resident groups must have a project lead accountable for project funds and reporting.
Residents considering submission of an application are encouraged to do the following:
- Review these guidelines
- Complete the Expression of Interest form
- Contact staff to discuss eligibility for this program or to obtain more information.
Applications are to be considered on the benefit of projects to the their neighbourhoods, and the City, through the following categories:
- Neighbourhood Participation and Impact
- Alignment with Council priorities and the program’s focus areas
- Feasibility of project
- Sustainability of the project
- Applicants who meet the above criteria and have not previously received grant funds will be given priority
- Applicants will typically be limited to one Neighbourhood Grant per twelve-month period.
Applicants cannot apply for recurring funding for a project already supported by the Strong Neighbourhood Program.
- Applications will be reviewed by the Community Development Coordinators who will vet the applications through applicable City staff, depending on the nature of the grant application.
- The Community Development Coordinators will evaluate the applications based on the program criteria and will forward their recommendations to the Divisional Director of Active Living & Culture for final approval.
- The decision of the Divisional Director of Active Living & Culture will be final.
- Applicants will be notified within five weeks of the intake deadline. In some cases, an applicant may be required to submit further information before a final decision can be made.
Neighbourhood groups can submit an application at any time; however, funding is released three times per year. If you have an idea for a project, you are encouraged to submit your Expression of Interest early so that you may have time to complete the full application by the deadlines below.
*If deadline lands on a statutory holiday, the next business day will serve as the new deadline.