The Sunshine Coast Foundation is inviting applications to access new funding to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19.
The funding is part of the federal government’s $31-million Healthy Communities Initiative. Of that, $1 million has been allocated to rural communities in British Columbia, including the Sunshine Coast.
The fund is intended to “support community-led organizations in developing local, small-scale infrastructure projects that respond to the immediate needs arising from COVID-19, while building towards a more pandemic-resilient future,” the foundation said in a news release.
“Public spaces are the glue of our communities: they enable feelings of belonging and of social cohesion,” said foundation board chair Manjit Kang. “As the Sunshine Coast faces increased isolation due to COVID-19, the Healthy Communities Initiative will help our community to connect safely and benefit the mental and physical well-being of our residents.”
Until March 9, organizations can apply for funding between $5,000 and $250,000 to lead projects that “help create safe and vibrant public spaces, improve mobility options, or provide digital solutions to help their neighbourhoods or communities navigate the pandemic and recover from COVID-19.”
The foundation says this could include “projects that adapt crosswalks and access to public transport to allow for safe physical distancing, create community gardens and art installations, or provide free Wi-Fi in targeted public spaces.”
Eligible organizations include local governments, charities, Indigenous communities, and registered non-profit organizations.
Applications for the rural region will be reviewed by a regional committee led by the Shuswap Community Foundation and Prince George Community Foundation.
The application period for the first round of funding closes on March 9 at 5 p.m. A second application period for funding will take place starting in May 2021.
For more information, please visit www.sunshinecoastfoundation.org and click “Apply for Funding” or call 604-741-7360.
– Coast Reporter