Foundation offers seed money
for community block parties

Want a reason to get the neighborhood together? Here’s 500 of them.

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan-Similkameen is accepting applications from residents who have a project that will help build a sense of community on the street or block they live.

The foundation’s Neighbourhood Small Grants are based on a simple but powerful idea – that everyone is a valuable member of the community and that we all have something to share.

Each grant provides up to $500 for residents to strengthen their community by bringing people together, sharing skills and knowledge, celebrating diversity, and increasing people’s sense of belonging.

“Neighbourhood Small Grants is the only program in the region that gives grants to people rather than an organized group,” explained Kim English, the foundation’s Program Coordinator. “Over the past two years, nearly 50 NSG projects were awarded throughout the RDOS.”

Block-parties and parties-with-a-purpose, such as neighbourhood beautification, welcoming new comers, or intergenerational connections, are only some of the themes to build from.

Local residents can come up with all kinds of creative ideas to bring people together. Last year’s projects ranged from meet and greets, habitat restoration, to cultural sharing through drumming.

This year the program seeks to prioritize projects that connect indigenous and non-indigenous community members, and projects led by young people age 18 to 24.

If the idea of a block party appeals to you, you’ll want to hurry: applications for Neighbourhood Small Grants are open until April 4.

“Sometimes all people need is a little bit of seed money and talking with their neighbours to make something incredible happen,” Ms. English said.

True to the grassroots spirit of the program, each Neighbourhood Small Grant will be awarded by South Okanagan-Similkameen residents themselves. Local volunteers review the ideas submitted and decide which to fund.

Neighbourhood Small Grants help connect and engage residents in their community regions through co-funding partnerships with Vancouver Foundation and the City of Penticton.

For more information on the Neighbourhood Small Grants program, and to apply online, visit or email


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