Strong Neighbourhoods grants
We offer two types of grants: The Strong Neighbourhood Grant and the Youth Development & Engagement Grant.
Both grants are designed to empower residents to lead projects and events that foster a deeper sense of connection and belonging within neighbourhoods.
Do you have an idea for a community building project or event? Share your idea with us by submitting an expression of interest below.
Alternatively, if you know which grant you'd like to apply to, feel free to apply at their respective links below.
Strong Neighbourhood Grant
We have partnered with the Central Okanagan Foundation to offer matching grants of up to $1,500 to support small-scale, resident-led activities that connect neighbours, enhance neighbourhoods through placemaking projects, or involve neighbours sharing skills or talents with each other.
This program aims to provide assistance to residents at the neighbourhood level for the purpose of:
- stimulating small-scale, resident-led, neighbourhood-based projects and initiatives that build community and enhance quality of life
- inspiring residents to connect and build relationships with their neighbours
- harnessing local experience and expertise in neighbourhood-based initiatives
- encouraging resident involvement in making their neighbourhoods better places to live
- promoting neighbourhood-based solutions to everyday concerns
By initiating and nurturing neighbourly connections through projects and events, communities become more vibrant, safe, resilient, and inclusive places to live, work and play.
Neighbourhood projects are eligible for up to $1,500 in matching grant funds. Some ideas include:
- Creating a neighbourhood garden
- Enhancing an alleyway
- Painting a mural
- Boulevard beautification
- Creating a story walk
- Building a little free library
- Leading a cooking lesson
Neighbourhood events are eligible for up to $500 in matching grant funds. Some ideas include:
- Organizing a block party with performers and activities
- Organizing a neighbourhood festival
- Organizing a talent show, porch concert, trivia night or movie night
Projects and events must align with at least one of the focus areas below:
Enhance the physical appearance, character, or natural environment in your neighbourhood
Examples: nectar trail, neighbourhood garden, mural, sidewalk art, alleyway beautification
Encourage/involve multiple neighbours to participate in planning and/or implementing the project including opportunities for neighbours to share skills with each other
Examples: teaching neighbours how to cook, starting a knitting circle
Enhance safety, especially traffic, bike and pedestrian safety
Examples: AED training, emergency preparedness bench
Provide opportunities for neighbours to gather and have fun
Examples: holiday decorating along street, little free library/pantry/art gallery
Create opportunities for neighbours to connect, especially neighbours that are new or haven't interacted in the past
Examples: buddy bench, block concert, outdoor movie night
Any group of three or more neighbours from separate households with an idea for a small-scale project or initiative that is inclusive and brings neighbours together is eligible to apply. 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 Strong Neighbourhood Grant, an applicant must:
- Live within the geographic boundaries of Kelowna
- Live within the neighbourhood of the proposed project or initiative
- Identify a working group including a minimum of two additional neighbours from separate households
- 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 12-month period.
- Applicants can’t apply for recurring funding for a project already supported by the Strong Neighbourhoods program.
The Strong Neighbourhood Grant is a matching grant, and has the following funding availability and requirements:
- $15,000 is available annually by the Central Okanagan Foundation, which will be distributed over three intake periods: $6,000 is available in January and May and $3,000 is available in August
- Maximum grant amount is $1,500 per project and $500 per event
- Matching contribution can include cash, in-kind volunteer hours towards the project valued at the current B.C. minimum wage rate, and/or donated materials and equipment
- Application budgets must accurately reflect the estimated costs of the project
- If all funds aren’t awarded during a grant cycle, applications received after the deadline that meet all other criteria will be considered on a first come, first served basis
- Equipment rental
- Promotional material and translation services
- Equipment, materials and other items that will be accessible and used by the neighbourhood. The use of these items are not to be restricted for use only by the applicant or project working group
- Contractor service payments for performers and other service providers
- Honorarium payments in recognition of a volunteers’ contribution of skill, knowledge or expertise to the project. A maximum of $200 per person may be given as an honorarium
- Contractor service payments and honoraria cannot be paid to family members or project working group members. No more than 50% of the grant can be allocated to contractor service payments or honoraria
- Food costs are not to exceed more than 50% of the total grant request. Exceptions will be considered for projects focused on skill sharing specific to food preparation and preservation.
- ongoing operating costs
- ideas that are not neighbourhood-based
- projects or activities put on by for-profit businesses
- retroactive projects and expenses
- any item that will revert to private ownership
- travel expenses
- trade shows or commercial/business activity
- fundraising activities and/or donations
- projects which already receive financial support from other City of Kelowna sources
- activities focused on politics or religion
- any project in contravention of City of Kelowna bylaws
- block parties where funds are used exclusively for food, drink and/or prizes
Applications must be submitted by 8:00 AM on the application deadline: last Monday of January, May or August.
A typical timeline appears in the table below. The timeline is subject to change.
|Last Monday in January
|Last Monday in May
|Last Monday in August
|Last Monday in February
|Last Monday in June
|Last Monday in September
|March to June
|July to September
|October to December
Project Completion By
|Final Report Due
|Fifteen days after project is completed
*Should a deadline fall on a statutory holiday, the deadline will be adjusted to the following business day.
- Community Development Coordinators will review applications and vet them through applicable City staff, depending on the nature of the grant application.
- Community Development Coordinators will evaluate the applications based on the program criteria and 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.
Youth Development & Engagement Grant
Get empowered! The City of Kelowna has up to $1000 to support youth led community projects or events. Team up with other youth ages 13-24 in your community. This grant is your chance to get creative and take the lead. Rack up some volunteer hours, boost your resume, hone your leadership skills, and build friendships while making your neighbourhood a better place to live.
We’re all about fostering fresh and creative project or event ideas! Here are some cool project concepts to spark your imagination.
- Film festival
- Open mic night
- Porch concert
- Neighbourhood beautification projects
- Trash to treasure
- Indigenous cooking teachings
- Story walk
Need more inspiration? Check out the Strong Neighbourhoods success stories page to see some past initiatives and events.
Applications should dive into at least one of these five categories:
- Leadership – Empower your neighbours to share their skills
- Relationships – Foster stronger connections among neighbours
- Social fun – Create activities or an event for neighbours to have a blast together!
- Safety – Boost neighbourhood safety and unity
- Aesthetics – Elevate the look and feel of your neighbourhood
What's your passion? Chances are there’s a project or event that connects with your passion. You can also find inspiration by checking out cool neighbourhood projects and events from Kelowna, Canada, and around the world.
Grant money can be used for:
- Purchasing or renting equipment & materials
- Professional services
- Advertising materials
- Skill training
Grant money can’t be used for:
- Fundraising activities
- Retroactive project or event expenses
- Items that will revert to individual ownership
- Travel expenses
- Any project in contravention of City bylaws
No experience is necessary to get involved. Our Community Development Coordinators are here to assist you with the application process, and once your project gets the green light, they’ll provide guidance, mentorship, and support as you bring your project to life.
Once your project is approved, you’ll gain access to some exciting workshops tailored to support your project or event. These sessions will help you fine-tune your project plans, manage your budget, create schedules, action blueprints, and nail the vital steps to ensure your project or event is a total hit.