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Small amounts of money have the potential to bring powerful changes into local communities. Last year, Project Leaders of the Neighbourhood Small Grants program, used their $500 grants to host an educational farm movie night, plan an interactive seminar to re-think waste disposal, deliver care packages to those negatively affected by the pandemic, along with many more creative ideas that fostered local connections.
The Community Foundation North Okanagan is leading the Neighbourhood Small Grants (NSG) program for the North Okanagan region, which offers small grants up to $500 to individuals for projects that connect people socially or involve sharing skills or talents.
Lisa Deargle, communications director at the Community Foundation says, “A small grant of $500, can kickstart people’s imagination and wiliness to start a project.”
“In a year where so many of our local citizens experienced hardships and all of us saw divisive topics driving wedges between our relationships, we’re hoping this program will start bringing neighbours together through their common desire to make the world a better place. A small grant has the potential to be a beautiful start to something huge.”
There is no single right way to build community connection, and this unique program is taking a more grassroots granting approach to get neighbours connecting, creating, and making lasting memories. This year the Community Foundation has $20,000 to give away. Everyone is encouraged to apply and bring their ideas to life!
Last year over half of the projects were held using online video platforms like Zoom. The other projects were held outdoors on farms, trails, public parks, parking lots, and on neighbourhood streets. The only major challenges reported by the project leaders were learning and guiding others through using Zoom.
“I think the most memorable part of this experience was just seeing the looks on everyone's faces as they worked on their projects, and the big smiles at the end of the class. It is amazing how you can connect with people you don't know through the power of creativity and a shared project.” An NSG Project Leader describes the most memorable experience of leading a project.
Lisa Deargle adds, “The more connected we are, the stronger our sense of belonging to our community and the more easily we can work together to make it a better place to live.”
For more information on the program and to apply online, visit or email Lisa Deargle at