The Healthy Communities Initiative is a $31 million investment from the Government of Canada to transform public spaces in response to COVID-19.
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 :
- create safe and vibrant public spaces,
- improve mobility options and
- provide innovative digital solutions to connect people and improve health.
Organizations can apply to the Healthy Communities Initiative starting February 9, 2021, through March 9, 2021, at 5:00 PM PST.
If you’re interested in applying to the Healthy Communities Initiative we invite you to:
- Read the Applicant Guide to learn more about the Initiative and the application process;
- Visit the resource library to explore helpful tools including the Equity Guidance and a screencast of the application process;
- Sign up for community mobilization sessions to learn more about the themes of the Healthy Communities Initiative and best practices around project planning and applying for funding.
A second application round for the Healthy Communities Initiative will take place starting in May 2021.
Watch or attend a community mobilization session
Simple Ways To Create Vibrant Safe Spaces or Adapt Public Places and Programming During a Pandemic
Maintaining a Healthy Sense of Community in Indigenous Communities During a Pandemic
Simple Ideas To Improve The Ways We Get Places During a Pandemic
Creating safe and lively public spaces to improve mobility options
How to Write a Funding Application: Tips for First Time Applicants
Digital Solutions 101: Community digital solutions ideas to support people during a pandemic
Translating Community Care Work into an Infrastructure Funding Proposal
Learn more about the CHCI partners
The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative partners are experts in building vibrant, equitable and livable public spaces and include: the Canadian Urban Institute, 880 Cities, Park People, Vivre en Ville, MaRS, Canadian CED Network, ICLEI, the National Association of Friendship Centres and Jay Pitter Placemaking.