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Photo credit: Kate Maddigan

Description: The program supports communities in undertaking assessments to inform land use decision-making, considering housing need, supply, and location; providing transportation options including increased walkability; and making connections to infrastructure investment and servicing decisions.

Eligible Applicants: All local governments (municipalities, regional districts, and the Islands Trust) and modern Treaty First Nations (as defined by the Interpretation Act) in BC

Eligible activities: applicants must select a minimum of three of the four lenses identified in the

Ministry of Housing’s Complete Communities Guide to assess their community completeness:

  • Housing

  • Transportation

  • Daily Needs

  • Infrastructure

DeadlineJune 16, 2023 and January 12, 2024

Funding amount: The Complete Communities program can contribute a maximum of 100% of the cost of eligible activities to a maximum of $150,000. Regional projects can request up to $500,000.

Contact: Local Government Program Services, Union of BC Municipalities (

Description: The Infrastructure Planning Grant Program (Program) assists local governments in developing well planned community infrastructure that will improve public health and safety, encourage resilient communities, protect the natural environment while strengthening local and regional economies.

Eligible Applicants: local government (municipality or regional district). Local governments can submit applications on behalf of improvement districts, or other small water system operators and must include the letter of request from that organization.

Eligible activities: Eligible projects are those that promote sustainable infrastructure. List of examples on the Infrastructure Planning Grant Program Guide (PDF).

DeadlineJuly 12, 2023

Funding amount: a maximum grant amount of $10,000 for each approved project. One hundred percent of the first $5,000 in approved eligible project costs will be paid. Those approved eligible costs over the first $5,000, will be calculated at 50% funding and paid up to a maximum total grant amount of $10,000.

Contact: Local Government Infrastructure and Finance Branch,

Description: Supports large-scale infrastructure projects to help communities better manage the risks of disasters triggered by natural hazards. The DMAF is aimed at strengthening the resilience of Canadian communities through investments in large-scale infrastructure projects, including natural infrastructure projects, enabling them to better manage the risk associated with current and future natural hazards, such as floods, wildfires and droughts.

Eligible applicants:

  • A municipal or regional government established by – or under –provincial or territorial statute;

  • An Indigenous governing body

  • An Indigenous Development Corporation

  • A not-for-profit organization whose central mandate is to improve Indigenous outcomes.

Eligible activities: Eligible infrastructure projects under the DMAF include new construction of public infrastructure and/or modification or reinforcement of existing public infrastructure including natural infrastructure that prevent, mitigate or protect against the impacts of climate change, disasters triggered by natural hazards, and extreme weather. Projects must have a minimum of $1M in total eligible costs to be considered for funding.

Deadline: Intake open from January 16, 2023 until July 19, 2023 at 3:00 PM (EDT).

Funding amount: Not specified.

Contact: Infrastructure Canada,

Description: to help local and indigenous governments achieve the vision of building age-friendly communities.

Eligible applicants: The following government organizations are eligible to apply:

  • First Nations Bands

  • First Nations Tribal Councils

  • Métis Chartered Communities

  • Municipalities

  • Regional Districts

  • Self-Governing First Nations

Eligible activities: Two funding streams:

  • Stream 1 Planning: To complete an age-friendly assessment and develop an age-friendly action plan.

  • Stream 2 Projects: to implement age-friendly action(s)/projects identified in the age-friendly community assessment and action plan.

Deadline: July 28, 2023

Funding amount: Stream 1: up to $25,000 and Stream 2: up to $15,000.

Contact: BC Healthy Communities Society,, (250) 590-8442.

Description: Provides $140 million annually to not-for-profit organizations throughout B.C., to support their delivery of ongoing programs and services that meet the needs of their communities.

Eligible Applicants: Not-for-profit organizations providing programs or services of direct benefit to the broader community. Details provided in Sections 3 and 4 of the Community Gaming Grants: Program Guidelines (PDF, 1.9MB)

Eligible activities: A program may be eligible if it:

  • Has been delivered for a minimum of 12 months at the time of application and has incurred cash expenses over the past 12 months.

  • Is directly delivered by the applicant organization.

  • The applicant organization is responsible for program expenditures.

  • Funding for the same or similar programs will only be provided to a single organization that directly delivers the program and is responsible for program expenditures.

  • Delivers an ongoing service, activity or series of activities to the community.

  • Demonstrates accessibility and inclusivity.

  • Programs delivered for less than 12 months may be considered.

Deadline: There are three categories with upcoming deadlines – Public Safety: Apply between July 1 and August 31. Environment: Apply between July 1 and August 31. Human and Social Services: Apply between August 1 and November 30.

Funding amount: Local organizations: up to $125,000 per year, Regional/Provincial organizations: up to $250,000 per year.

Contact: Community Gaming Grants Branch,

Description: The primary purpose of the DAEF is to support the implementation of the Declaration Act Action Plan and commitments to align provincial legislation with the UN Declaration. Funding can also be used by First Nations to engage on a government-to-government basis with the Province on other strategic, policy, and legislative initiatives.

Eligible Applicants: B.C. First Nations under the Indian Act, B.C. Modern Treaty Nations, and Self-Governing Nations

Eligible activities: Program funding can only be used to cover costs that are directly related to the work, engagement and consultation with the Province of B.C in the implementation of the Declaration Act Action Plan, alignment of Provincial laws with the UN Declaration, and to support other strategic, policy, and legislative engagements that evolve from enhanced government to government work and relations with the Province of B.C.

Deadline: The Declaration Act Engagement Fund will accept new applications during New Relationship Trust’s annual funding cycle between May and December each year. Applicants will only have to apply once to the program.

Funding amount: The total funding cap over 4 years per Nation is $1,040,000.


Description: The Rural Transit Solutions Fund is the first federal fund to target the development of transit solutions in rural and remote communities. Launched in 2021, the Fund provides $250 million in federal funding over 5 years to support the development of locally driven transit solutions that will help people living in rural communities get to work, school, appointments, and to visit loved ones.

Eligible Applicants:

  • Municipalities, local and regional governments established under provincial or territorial statute, including local service districts;

  • Provinces and territories (only for capital projects);

  • Public sector bodies that are established by or under provincial or territorial statute, or by regulation, or are wholly-owned by a province, territory, municipal or regional government;

  • Indigenous governing bodies;

  • Federally or provincially incorporated not-for-profit organizations whose mandate is to improve Indigenous outcomes, organizations serving Indigenous communities living in urban centers and First Nations living off-reserve;

  • Indigenous development corporations; and,

  • Federally or provincially incorporated not-for-profit organizations.

Eligible activities: There are two program streams depending on the nature of their project:

  • Planning and Design Projects stream: Through this stream, eligible applicants can seek grants of up to $50,000 in support of communities’ projects to plan and design new or expanded transit solutions for their communities.

  • Capital Projects stream: Through this stream, eligible applicants can seek contributions of up to $3 million to help cover the capital costs of a new or expanded transit solution (e.g., purchase of vehicles or digital platforms), and up to $5 million to support zero-emission transit solutions (e.g., for the purchase of a zero-emission vehicles).

Deadline: continuous intake of the Rural Transit Solutions Fund of the Capital Projects stream is open.

Funding amount: Funding depends on which stream is applied for.

Contact: For any inquiries you may have about the Rural Transit Solutions Fund or the application process, please contact or call toll free at 1-833-699-2280.

Description: aims to create, grow and nurture inclusive regional ecosystems that support business needs throughout the innovation continuum, and foster an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation, growth and competitiveness.

Eligible applicants: open to not-for-profit organizations that support businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs, for start-up, growth, productivity, technology commercialization, technology adoption, export and investment attraction.

Eligible activities: Activities that support a regional innovation ecosystem to respond to a specific challenge, opportunity, or market need or demand related to business scale-up and productivity, with emphasis on:

  • Technology commercialization

  • Business scale-up

  • Productivity improvement

  • Ecosystem capacity building

  • Business acceleration and incubation

Deadline: Ongoing until annual funding allocation has been reached.

Funding amount: Not specified. Potential funding recipients are expected to have secured all non-PacifiCan requested project financing (typically, at least 50%) before applying.

Contact: contact us directly at one of our local offices or by calling 1-888-338-9378.

Description: Fund provides incentive funding to local governments encouraging initiatives aimed at increasing housing supply. It also supports the development of complete, low-carbon and climate-resilient communities that are affordable, inclusive, equitable and diverse.

Eligible Applicants: Local governments in Canada with delegated authority over land use planning and development approvals, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit governments, can apply. Regional districts, provinces or territories are eligible to apply if there isn’t a municipal-level authority.

Eligible activities: Incentive funding can be used for prescribed uses, which fall under 4 categories:

  • investments in Housing Accelerator Fund action plans

  • investments in affordable housing

  • investments in housing-related infrastructure

  • investments in community-related infrastructure that supports housing

Deadline: portal is scheduled to open at the end of June 2023

Funding amount: Not specified – Program total Is $4 billion and will run till 2026-27.

Contact: Can sign up for updates on the Fund webpage.

Note: Two streams for applications: large/urban (for communities with population of 10,000+) and small/rural/Indigenous (for indigenous communities or non-indigenous communities with population under 10,000).

Description: Projects must contribute directly to the modernization and development of regional infrastructure for boat or ship dry dock, or refit and maintenance facilities.

  • Projects that increase in capacity and capability for the new build of smaller coastal craft will also be considered.

  • Projects should increase competitiveness for local businesses to compete for federal and commercial contracts, providing increased opportunities for British Columbians.

  • Projects should provide widespread economic and environmental benefits in line with StrongerBC Economic Plan of clean and inclusive growth and the legislated emissions reduction targets in the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030.

Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants consist of businesses and for-profit organizations of all sizes (not-for-profit organizations are not eligible) that, as of the date of application to the program;

  • Operate in the marine, maritime and/or ship building and repair sector.

  • Have been operating in B.C. for at least 24 months.

  • Have an existing footprint in the province of British Columbia.

  • Can demonstrate being a viable operation through positive cash flow or have net positive assets.

  • Are not currently preparing the business for closure, dissolution, bankruptcy or sale.

Organizations can apply individually, or in collaboration with other eligible applicants, if the primary applicant is an eligible entity.

Eligible activities: projects that increase ability of B.C. boat and shipyards to compete for federal and commercial contracts through modernization and expansion of;

  • existing boat and shipyard equipment and facilities including, but not limited to, overhead cranes, hydraulic lifts, welding machines and material handling equipment, rail lines, pumps or valves, etc.

  • regional dry dock or wharfage infrastructure for both small to large domestic and deep-sea boats and ships to receive vessel life-cycle upgrades, planned overhaul work, scheduled dry docking for class certificate renewal, unplanned maintenance or any type of alongside work.

  • infrastructure for construction of smaller boats.

Deadline: To be determined. Visit this “How to apply” page for instructions on how to apply when they are released.

Funding amount: Non-repayable funding contributions are provided through two capital investment streams,

  1. Stream 1 – 50% of capital costs up to $500,000 for equipment and facility modernization OR new small vessel construction infrastructure.

  2. Stream 2 – 25% of project capital costs up to $5 million for dry dock and wharfage expansion for boat and ship overhaul, refit, maintenance, and repair infrastructure.

Contact: Association of British Columbia Marine Industries

Cortes Islanders will be familiar with efforts over the years to explore improvements in transportation options for residents and visitors, while reducing the Island’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.   This new study has just been announced by the province to address rural Inter-Community transportation.  For Cortes Islanders, this is mainly about finding affordable and reliable solutions to the challenge of crossing Quadra Island without a personal vehicle to access essential goods and services not available on Cortes.

These consultations are being held during the month of June and are intended to eventually help inform the design of a new micro-granting program, in order to fund projects prioritized by communities through this study.

With funding eventually available to support the outcomes of this study, this is a promising initiative for our island, and I hope you will participate! Besides the survey, you can also participate through in-person community sessions, and online/virtual sessions.

Read below for more about this project, and for much more follow this link:

What is This Study About?Island Coastal Economic Trust (the Trust) and Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA), with funding provided by the Province, are exploring passenger transportation between communities on Vancouver Island and parts of coastal B.C., including the Sunshine Coast.

The focus is on passenger transportation connections between communities, especially in rural and remote areas as well as the islands, that are either not currently served or are underserved by buses, ferries, water taxis, float planes, community shuttles, or other ways of getting around. Connections between transportation modes (e.g., ferry to bus) are also included. This study will look at what exists today with community-to-community transportation, will consult on the challenges and barriers, and will bring forward the opportunities to better connect communities. The purpose is to provide the provincial government with information to help inform future policy and investment decisions in the region.

It should also be noted that the Greater Victoria area and existing transit services within communities are not part of this study.

With this in mind, the Trust and VIEA are hoping to hear from you on what has been seen and felt when it comes to current community-to-community transportation and other such issues through an online survey. The survey is available from now until June 30, 2023.

Why is it Important to ParticipateHearing from you and others in communities will help this study in understanding the following:

– What are the challenges when it comes to existing passenger transportation among communities?– What is important to address when it comes to transportation, such as safety and reliability?– What needs are not being met today, in being able to transit between your community and other communities?– What can be done to improve the means of, and access to, transportation between your community and other communities?– To recognize the time being put toward the survey, five $100 VISA gift cards will be awarded at random to those who complete it by the deadline (June 30, 2023).

How else can I participate in this study?

Besides the online survey, facilitated sessions will be held with First Nations, local governments, industry, local research organizations, and community groups across Vancouver Island and in the Sunshine Coast. These sessions will be by invitation. If you would like to be included in a session, please email:

For Cortes Island residents, the closest in-person community session is Campbell River on June 23, 2023. The online session for Rural Island Communities is on Tuesday, June 27, 2023 from 1 to 4 pm. 

Is there an incentive to participate?

Your views and suggestions will help inform future strategies along with initiatives aimed at improving community-to-community transportation. We are also offering the chance to win one of five $100 VISA gift cards for those who take part in the online survey by the deadline (June 30, 2023).

Is there financial support for participating?

There are funds available to help cover travel costs for Indigenous people located in remote areas to attend the in-person engagement sessions. For more information, please email Indigenous participants will be offered an honorarium for participating in these engagement sessions.

Kate Maddigan is the Economic Development Officer for the Cortes Community Economic Development Association/CCEDA. Please reach her at, and for more on CCEDA visit their website at

Putting the Pieces Together for Healthy Rural Island Communities

Over 125 islanders, stakeholders, allies, and representatives from all levels of government gathered at The Haven Centre—located on the traditional and unceded territories of the Snuneymuxw First Nations on Gabriola Island—from April 25-27 to ‘put the pieces together” for BC’s rural island communities at the 2023 RIEP Forum.

It was the first such in-person gathering since the inaugural Forum event in 2019, which led to the formation of the Rural Islands Economic Partnership Society (RIEP). Virtual Forums were held in 2021 and 2022, along with four virtual ‘Connection Cafes’.

At the 2022 Forum, the focus was on ‘Connect, Reflect, Moving Forward’, and was notable for its outcome—the creation of the Rural Islands Values Framework, inspired by the Doughnut Economics model (which you can read about here).

The Rural Islands Values Framework is a set of intentions for what’s needed for BC’s rural islands to be sustainable. Developed by and for rural islanders, it serves as a starting point for a common approach to addressing the present and future challenges of BC’s rural islands, one that is rooted in social and environmental responsibility. It is also one which would provide a basis of respect for each island’s individuality, while also serving commonalities of the islands as a whole.

This is what served as the starting point for the RIEP 2023 Forum – where to go next with both the Framework …islanders and allies – and as RIEP – what could we achieve together, and without delay?

Connect + Reflect + ACT!

In pre-Forum 2023 promotions, you may have seen promotions using the tagline, “Connect, Reflect, and ACT”. The first two were easy because, as with most in-person conferences, the delegates, speakers, sponsors, and event hosts—in this case representing over 15 islands, local businesses, community NGOs and activists, and several government bodies—were able to connect in meaningful ways and reflect on what had brought us back together (or in many cases, together for the first time).

The third call-to-action was ‘ACT’—the idea that the Forum could transform the ideas, energy, and intentions incubated over the 3 days into actionable expressions of island values.

That’s exactly what happened. Attendees in 2023 Forum Action Labs formulated ways to activate initiatives related to:

  1. Rural Housing Policies That Work

  2. Engaging Shared Services as a Means for Building Local Economic Capacity

  3. Fostering Travel As A Force For Good

  4. Incorporating Islands Style Climate Adaptation Best Practices

  5. Adopting Circular Economy Methods To Address Food Sector ‘Take-Make-Waste’ Streams

  6. Securing Regional District Economic Development Staff To Serve the Islands In their District

These six resolution statements can take the shape of aspirations, requests, demands; however, what they say is grounded in collaboration, through a rural islands and reconciliation lens, and between visionaries, innovators, change makers and community organizers from organizations focused on regenerative economic development, rural housing, Indigenous business, local food, and destination management, and more.

So What Happens Next?

In many ways, it’s up to you—along with the RIEP Board, members, and volunteers, supported by our small staff team—to stand ready to breathe life into these Resolutions.

Whether it’s due to population fluctuations, climate impacts, changes in land use, access to vital services or issues of significance to us all, we believe the RIEP movement serves as a platform for collaboration and collective action.


To make a positive difference Islander movers and shapers must play an active role in championing rural island values by making a commitment to have ‘skin in the game’.That’s what these resolutions are all about.

We are forming Working Groups to refine content and propose a action timeline for:

  • Moving the Resolutions forward through a intentional collaborative process, that will engage RIEP members, local community organizations, allies – local and regional NGOs, government, and private industry; and

  • Seeking ways to secure financial, human resource, legislative and regulatory support to make fundamental changes in how BC’s rural islands navigate the next few years and decades of change.

An Opportunity To Keep The Islands Vibe Alive & Flourishing

If this sounds like an opportunity for our all islands community to get ahead of our present and future challenges – and if challenges sound like opportunities to you – then we invite you to join RIEP and help make these resolutions to become a reality.

  • RIEP Membership supports this ongoing work and opens up opportunities to participate going forward—join RIEP now, for as little as $25/yr.

  • Learn more about the Resolutions, the process going forward, share ideas and ask questions at a special Connection Cafe on the 2023 RIEP Forum Resolutions—Thursday, June 8th, 6:007:30 PM – REGISTER NOW!

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