There is grant money available on Vancouver Island.

Island Health is providing up to $800,000 in community wellness grants.

This is the fourth year that the Community Wellness Granting Program is helping not-for-profit organizations, local government organizations and Indigenous Nations, organizations, and communities.

Island Health manager of partner engagement, Janet Shute, said the grants are meant to improve people’s health.

“And that can only happen at a grassroots level,” she said. “And so by partnering with non-profit organizations, local government, and our Indigenous nations and their organizations, it’s a way for us to come up with innovative ideas and hopefully work with communities and come up with programs that address some key factors.”

A maximum of $150,000 will be awarded to individual/small grant projects in each of the four geographic areas within Island Health’s organizational structure. (Supplied by Island Health)

They can apply for one-time funding for the development of new initiatives and programs. 

Criteria for community wellness grants includes healthy aging, positive mental health, social and family connectedness, healthy eating and physical activity. 

 “Island Health is very proud to support community based non-profit organizations through the Community Wellness Granting Program,” Island Health’s president and CEO Kathy MacNeil said. 

“Together we are making lasting changes to improve the health and wellness of the people, families and communities we proudly serve.”

A total of up to $600,000 is available for individual/small grant funding.  

Individual grants will be awarded up to $12,000 each. 

To encourage partnerships and collaboration, the remaining $200,000  will go to projects that are multi-jurisdictional/multi-agency and involve a minimum of three partner organizations.  

Partnership grant applications will be awarded up to $50,000 each.

In the third year of Island Health’s Community Wellness Granting Program 56 grants were awarded to different organizations totalling nearly $765,000. 

This included eight partnership grants ranging from $13,000 to $50,000 and 48 individual grants ranging from $900 to $12,000. 

 “These community grants have served, and will continue to serve, promoting and fostering ideas to advance health and wellness at the grassroots level.  By providing these funds, Island Health recognizes the importance of the role that the community plays in highlighting and at times contributing to improving the social determinants of health,” said Island Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Richard Stanwick.

Last year, Island Health gave out 12 grants worth $183,000 in Geography 1, which includes the Comox Valley, Strathcona, and Mount Waddington.

Shute said the local grants covered a broad spectrum.

“The Lush Valley Food Action Society has received a couple of grants from us, the Comox Valley Art Gallery received a grant this past year, the Indigenous Parents Advisory Club, Georgia Park Elementary School… so a whole variety and a whole bunch of different initiatives,” she said.

“Some of them focused on healthy aging, some of them on positive mental health, and social connectedness.”

To apply for a community wellness grant and for more details, click here.

The deadline to apply is Feb. 26.