Canada Healthy Communities Initiative

The Healthy Communities Initiative is a $31 million investment from the Government of Canada to transform public spaces in response to Covid-19.

The Government of Canada to help support Canadian communities as they deploy new ways to adapt spaces and services to respond to immediate and ongoing needs arising from COVID-19, today they announced federal funding through the Canada Health Communities Initiative (CHCI). Please find below highlights of this program which may be of interest to you or your organization:

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Public spaces are the glue to our communities: they enable a feeling of belonging, of social cohesion and encourage our sense of collective identity. COVID-19 has seriously constrained our access and use of these spaces in communities across Canada. Impacts of the virus have also been extraordinarily uneven, underscoring inequalities across communities and disproportionately impacting those who are already experiencing vulnerability as a result of systemic inequalities. 

In the face of these challenges, communities have been extraordinarily resourceful and resilient in improvising temporary and longer-lasting solutions to the challenges of COVID-19. Many are undertaking work for immediate needs but also thinking about how to build pandemic-resilient spaces for the future. We are seeing new digital solutions, that allow people and communities to feel connected, safe and healthy all while respecting public health measures and norms such as physical distancing and mask-wearing.

The Healthy Communities Initiative will provide funding to a broad range of organizations, including local governments, charities, Indigenous communities and nonprofits, for projects, programming and services that help communities : 

  • CHCI supports programs under three themes: 
    • Creating safe and vibrant public spaces – Projects that create or adapt existing public places such as parks, main streets, and indoor spaces that encourage safe cultural or physical activities, and local commerce.
    • Improving mobility options – Projects that permit physical distancing through permanent or temporary changes that make it easier for people to get around in their communities, whether walking, biking, accessing public and private transit, or other modes of transportation.
    • Digital solutions – Innovative digital projects that address changing community needs through the use of data and connected technologies.
  • The minimum funding amount for projects is $5,000 and the maximum funding amount is $250,000 for each project.
  • Eligible organizations include federally or provincially incorporated not for profits, including: 
    • local economic development groups including business improvement associations/areas
    • relevant not-for-profit professional associations (e.g. urban planners, architects)
    • federally or provincially incorporated not for profits/local community, non-profit, voluntary organizations
    • registered charities
    • Indigenous organizations and organizations whose central mandate is to improve Indigenous outcomes on or off-reserve
    • research institutes
    • not-for-profit residents associations
    • post-secondary educational institutions
    • Indigenous development corporations

The application portal will reopen on May 14, 2021, at 9:00 AM AST for Round 2 and applications must be submitted by June 25, 2021, at 5:00 PM PST.

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