Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants: a show of west coast community resilience

We’ve wrapped up our COVID-19 Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants (R-NSG) and couldn’t be more proud of our west coast communities! The 4 months since we launched the program have been a wild and unpredictable ride, but west coasters have come together to support each other— while maintaining physical distancing— in many inspiring and innovative ways.

There were 29 successful applications and 22 of the applicants had never applied for a Neighbourhood Small grant before. Applicants were from Ahousaht, Opitsaht, Tofino, Ty-Histanis, and Ucluelet, with many of the digital/remote designed to reach out to members of all west-coast communities.

While our local program is directly administered by the CBT and made possible by a local resident advisory committee, it is part of a BC-wide network of similar NSG initiatives supported by the Vancouver Foundation. This spring, our 29 local projects were part of 792 grassroots community COVID-19 response initiatives. CBT Outreach Coordinator, Brooke Wood, has been hard at work to help other Vancouver Island (including Saltspring Island, Courtenay-Comox, Parksville-Qualicum, Campbell River, and North Island-Mount Waddington) to develop their own NSG initiatives. Way to go Brooke!

We want to thank the Westcoast Community Resources Society for being such a fantastic partner in helping us deliver the funds to successful applicants during the pandemic. We also want to thank the District of Tofino, who stepped up and committed funding for additional Tofino-based projects.

Check out the full list of projects below- they’re an inspiring snapshot of our communities. We encourage you to keep thinking-up ideas and stay tuned for announcements about a new round of Neighbourhood Small Grants opening up in the fall.

2020 Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants

Leader: Nicole Gerbrandt 
Project: Ucluelet Bike Park Celebration and Knowledge Share (community gathering to learn about how to safely enjoy the revamped Ucluelet Bike Park)

Leader: Kimberly Johnston 
Project: Nature's Bounty - A Plant Technology Camp for Kids (one-day camp for kids age 4-6 to learn about plants of pacific west coast, how to harvest them, and about their herbal and medicinal uses)

Leader: Jennifer Brierley 
Project: Paper Pumpkin project kits and online class (providing paper pumpkin craft kits to local families and then hosting a zoom meeting where kids can make the crafts together.

Leader: Loesha Newmeyer
Project: Cards, Chakras and Crystals Made Fun for Kids!! (intro to mindfulness, chakras, and meditation all geared specifically for young children)

Leader: Ivy Martin
Project: Salve making (teaching 5 Tlaoquiaht people in the village of Opitsaht to harvest and process various traditional plants into healing salves). 

Leader: Erin McGillivray
Project: Pompom poodle project (bringing crafty, whimsical fun times to local kiddos by equipping them with poodle Pom kits made by Brian, a local artisan)!

Leader: Ashleigh Drummond
Project: Colouring Workbook Pages of the Pacific Northwest (free educational colouring pages teaching kids about local marine and coastal ecosystems made by local artist and mother Ashley Drummond, in collaboration with the Ucluelet Aquarium.

Leader: Carol Frank
Project: Ribbon skirts (small groups of ladies to learn how to make ribbon skirts to be worn for MMIW;   a local seamstress will show ladies the process of making skirts and talk to group meaning of the skirts and what designs and ribbons can be used)

Leader: Lindsay Wells 
Project: At Home Clay Class (all-ages clay classes that includes kit with all materials required dropped off at participants’ homes, instructions, and contact information for Lindsay, the organizer)

Leader: Annie George 
Project: Native Painting (Annie will gather a group of participants and send them packages of materials before leading a painting workshop for everyone using Facebook Messenger video chat)

Leader: Molly Law 
Project: Creating Community through Gardens (sharing edible and ornamental plants/garden starter kits with residents of Tofino's Lone Cone neighbourhood accompanied by educational pamphlets/guides)

Leader: Alisen Hunt 
Project: Covid Free Store at ANAF (a physically distant "free store" one day event at the Army Navy Air Force in Ucluelet to provide free upcycled clothes, household items, and good vibes)

Leader: Eva Wickham
Project: West Coast Youth Photo Thank-you Cards (a group of youth from west coast communities can take photos of nature or what inspires them then choose their favourites and make them into thank you cards which they will send to people in the community they feel should be thanked)

Leader: Leah Ungstad
Project: Gibson Grove (community project to restore more plants like salal, huckleberry, and ferns along the new housing development on Gibson Street in Tofino)

Leader: Elizabeth George 
Project: Beading dream catcher earrings (Elizabeth will create a facebook page for the people wanting to learn and practice beading dream catcher earrings and drop off the supplies for participants to get started)

Leader: Melanie MacLeod 
Project: Ahousaht Home Food Gardens (over 30 Ahousaht families have signed up to receive starter plants and guides for growing basic foods like potatoes, greens, tomatoes, cucumbers) 

Leader: Daphne Hurwitz 
Project: Crafting during COVID (Daphne and her sister would like to host an online crafting party. Card-making kits will be safely dropped off to participants in Tofino and Ucluelet and one-hour craft sessions will be held on Zoom)

Leader: Tamara Neale 
Project: The Hobbyist (online candle-making class delivered to local participants via Zoom)

Leader: Alyssa Fleishman
Project: Learning on the Land (youth from all Clayoquot Sound communities are invited to come together and share influential learning experiences they've had on the land, which will be compiled into booklets of everyone's stories then shared)

Leader: Laura Peake 
Project: Herb Garden for Tree Frog Lane (communal herb garden and digital package explaining herb types and uses for a neighbourhood with long forested driveways and reduced interaction and sense of community)

Leader: Hélène Descoteaux
Project: Food Preservation Workshops (virtual workshops on how to safely and deliciously preserve food).

Leader: Sophie L'Homme 
Project: We want to thank you so much (virtual choir showcasing the Wickaninnish Elementary singing group as a tribute/thank you to the front-line workers of our region)

Leader: Leah Austin 
Project: Virtual Chicken Social (zoom gatherings to allow chicken-keepers and chicken enthusiasts to share experience, including a "virtual chicken coop tour")

Leader: Carly Butler
Project: Ucluelet Artist Collective - Website for Ucluelet Artists (website to showcase Ukee artists will be launched in mid-May; any Ucluelet-based visual artist can request to be added to the site)

Leader: Dede Monette 
Project: Virtual Family Yoga (will provide yoga classes for three distinct population segments: Elder's chair yoga, kids yoga, and guided meditation for all ages) 

Leader: Nicole Gervais 
Project: Virtual Kids Clay Classes (teaching kids to make clay creations by hand incorporating materials they can find in nature or around the home)

Leader: Paula Robertson 
Project: Yew Wood Little Green Thumbs (physically distant youth gardening initiative for the 21 children who live in the Yew Wood neighbourhood of Tofino)

Leader: Anna Bichel 
Project: Growing Food at Hospital Garden (growing food plants and flowers at Tofino General Hospital for the enjoyment and sharing by staff, patients, and hospital kitchen)

Leader: Emre Bosut 
Project: Mental Health First Aid (virtual delivery of Red Cross mental health first aid courses focusing on self-care and care for others)

CBT collaborates on a new SDG Guidebook

August 13, 2020
This week, Community Foundations of Canada launched a Guidebook and Toolkit to help Canada's 191 Community Foundations—and all the communities they support—find bolder, creative and innovative ways to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. CBT research director, Laura Loucks, helped author a case study on p. 29 about our organization's dual role as a community foundation and UNESCO Biosphere Region.

We've met our Giving Catalogue fundraising goal

July 2, 2020
On Giving Tuesday Now (May 5th) CBT launched the Community COVID-19 Response Giving Catalogue, a place where west coast registered charities and not-for-profits share current and emerging needs with people who want to help. We are excited to announce that we have met our $30,000 for local organizations!

Red dresses in the office window

June 30, 2020
If you walk by the CBT office at 316 Main Street later this week, you may notice the red dresses hanging in the front window. The simple and elegant dresses are adorned with black silhouetted feathers and bring awareness to the staggering amount of missing or murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) across Canada, but especially those from our community.

2019 Neighbourhood Small Grants Announced

October 29, 2019
We're so grateful for all the amazing community members who are taking on a Neighbourhood Small Grant project this year This blog post includes a list of all the funded projects, the organizers, the approximate dates, and a summary of the project in the organizers' words. Make sure to check out what events are happening in your neighbourhood!