Neighbourhood Grants

Do you know the names of our neighbours. Any idea where they work, what their kids like?, when their family is coming to town? How connected are we to those who live right next door?
Our "always connected" technology filled culture seems to have missed some key aspects to creating a great quality of life. We forget to connect with our neighbours (you know those folks who live a few feet away). I think that's why I love my day job at Parks Alive! so much. It brings communities together. It's the reason why it's one of the most loved programs in our city. There is no cost for entry and you get to sit down, connect with newcomers/oldtimers/friends/strangers while enjoying some great local music in one of our parks. 
So I was over the moon to read about a new initiative that council approved on Monday called the Neighbourhood Grant Program. It's generously funded by the Central Okanagan Foundation and they will be providing $15,000 seed money for neighbours to finally get around to planning that small get together or community project that they have been thinking about doing but just weren't sure about all the rules around planning something. 
I don't want to offer idea for what you can do (I'd rather see your project ideas come to fruition) but neighbourhood projects that I've been involved in that could be fit would be our local neighbourhood Family Fun Day (video from 2012). 




What ideas do you have to do in your community? I can see this being the perfect catalyst for many more events like the grass roots Candy Cane Lane event that has just taken off. 
Here is the official details incase you want to start thinking about your project. 
Neighbourhood Grant Info:
  • To inspire residents to connect with their neighbours.
  • To stimulate resident initiated neighbourhood enhancement projects.
  • To harness local experience and expertise in neighbourhood based initiatives.
  • To encourage resident involvement in making their neighbourhoods even better places to live.
  • To promote neighbourhood based solutions to everyday concerns.
  • 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.
  • Only one Neighbourhood Grant may be received by a neighbourhood group per year, with priority given to groups that have not previously received a grant.
  • Project must occur within the applicant group’s neighbourhood.
  • The maximum matching grant is $1,000.
  • Contribution for matching can include cash, in-kind volunteer hours and/or materials and equipment.
  • The number of grants distributed in a year will depend on the funds available.
  • Resident groups must have a project lead accountable for project funds and reporting. 
Describe the project and how it will impact neighbourhood quality of life.
Include a plan to foster broad neighbourhood participation.
Enhance one or more drivers of neighbourhood attachment: aesthetics, leadership, safety, social
offerings or relationships.
Provide a project budget which includes details including how grant funds will be matched with cash,
in-kind volunteer hours and/or materials and equipment.
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 no such expertise or service exists
within the neighbourhood.
Promotional material and translation services.
Equipment rental.
There is $15,000 allocated for this year and two or three intakes for the grants.
The first intake deadline is on June 1st. The contact email for this program is: [email protected]  

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About the Author

Ryan Donn is a singer/songwriter, event producer, digital creative, and Councillor at the City of Kelowna

I love creating songs, which have been used by the Terry Fox Run, Kelowna’s Centennial Celebration, or heard on various local radio stations. 

In the past few years, I've focused on creating community events including Music in the Park, New York New Years, Castanet’s Free Family Skate, Talented Kids, Talented Kelowna, and others.

Originally from Scotland, I’ve lived in Kelowna for over 20 years. My wife, Kimberly, and our two daughters, Lyla and Bella, share our home with Tom (adult with diverse abilities).

In 2014, I was elected to Kelowna City Council. 

Opinions are my own, and don't represent the City of Kelowna, Festivals Kelowna or Creative Okanagan. 

To connect with Ryan:

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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