Healthy Communities Initiative will be beneficial

Community Foundation of Southeastern Alberta announced they will work to provide $1,267,320 in funding to transform public spaces across Southern Alberta in response to COVID-19. 

This funding is part of the Government of Canada’s new $31 million Healthy Communities Initiative. This investment by the federal government will support community-led organizations in developing local, small-scale infrastructure projects that respond to the immediate needs arising from COVID-19, while building towards a more pandemic-resilient future. 

Starting today, 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. This could include projects that adapt crosswalks and access to public transport 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. 

CFSEA and the Red Deer & District Community Foundation are 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 Sue Edwards, Executive Director of CFSEA. “As Southern Alberta 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.” 

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

“Organizations across our country have shown creativity and resourcefulness in improvising temporary and longer-lasting solutions that enable people to connect and access public spaces safely. The Healthy Communities Initiative is supporting organizations in Southern Alberta to bring people together in our communities both in person and digitally, while respecting public health measures,” explained Andrea Dicks, President, Community Foundations of Canada.

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