Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen takes Part in Healthy Communities Initiative with grant money to improve public spaces. (Stock photo)

Funding available in the Okanagan to create vibrant public spaces as part of COVID-19 recovery

Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen says $1.5 million available to B.C.

There is $1.5 million in funding available to transform public spaces in the South Okanagan in response to COVID-19.

Local organizations are invited to apply for funding between $5,000 and $250,000 to lead projects that help create safe and vibrant public spaces, improve mobility options, and provide digital solutions to help their neighbourhoods or communities navigate the pandemic and look to build back better in the COVID-19 recovery.

“We are excited to be given this opportunity to bring infrastructure funding to our local communities in the South Okanagan Similkameen,” said Sarah Trudeau, manager of grants and community initiatives for Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen.

“The Southern B.C. region, from the Lower Mainland to the Interior, has over $1 million to fund projects that create safe and vibrate spaces for citizens to gather, improve mobility in our communities and provide digital solutions to help neighbourhoods or communities navigate the pandemic,” she added.

This could include projects that adapt crosswalks and access to public transit to allow for safe physical distancing, the creation of community gardens, and art installations, and free wifi in targeted public spaces.

A variety of community-led organizations are eligible to apply, including local governments, charities, Indigenous communities and registered non-profit organizations.

CFSOS is working alongside Community Foundations of Canada, the Canadian Urban Institute and other partners to serve communities across Canada, including equity-seeking groups interested in applying.

“Public spaces are the glue to our communities, they enable a feeling of belonging and of social cohesion. They are a big part of what makes communities safe, vibrant and connected” said Trudeau.

“As the South Okanagan Similkameen faces increased isolation due to COVID-19, the Healthy Communities Initiative will help our community to connect safely and will benefit the mental and physical well-being of our residents,” added Trudeau.

The application period for the first round of funding closes on March 9 at 5 p.m. A second application period will take place starting in May 2021.

Information on eligible projects, how to apply and applicant resources can be found on the website at

READ MORE: COVID-19 cases hold steady at over 400 a day in B.C.

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