On August 16th in Diana Krall Plaza, the Nanaimo Foundation, in partnership with the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th and Island Savings, delivered $70,000 in grants to 11 local non-profit organizations.
Each year the Nanaimo Foundation provides grants from its Vital Nanaimo Fund to local charitable organizations to help build vibrancy, health, and resiliency in our community. This year, thanks to the generous support from the Community Foundations of Canada, the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th and the Island Savings division of First West Credit Union, the Nanaimo Foundation’s annual granting capacity has more than doubled, creating a historical moment for the Nanaimo Foundation.
The Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, led by the Community Foundations of Canada, was established to provide funding to charitable organizations from coast to coast to coast in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. With the support of the Government of Canada and leaders from across our country, this fund aims to activate a groundswell of local initiatives and engage Canadians in a wide range of projects that mark Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.
Since 2014 Island Savings has been a corporate partner of the Nanaimo Foundation and the presenting sponsor of the Nanaimo Foundation’s Vital Signs® report. Island Savings is the first corporate partner in the Nanaimo Foundation’s 34 year history to support the Foundation’s annual Vital Nanaimo Fund grants, making possible three of the 2016 Nanaimo Foundation grants.
“Community vitality is the Nanaimo Foundation’s purpose, promise and passion,” said Ted Carson, Board of Directors Chair of the Nanaimo Foundation. “We are grateful and honoured to receive support from the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th and Island Savings as they join us in proudly funding local organizations that are making a big difference in our community.”
“Canada’s 150th is a historic moment with the power to strengthen our communities and our connection to one another,” said Ian Bird, President of Community Foundations of Canada. “The collaborative Community Fund for Canada’s 150th will spark thousands of initiatives and activities that bring out the best that Canada has to offer. The Fund will encourage all Canadians to contribute to their communities in a way that fosters a greater sense of belonging, inclusion, and reconciliation, leaving a lasting legacy for our communities and our country.”
“As a business committed to improving the lives of Island families, we took the findings from the latest Vital Signs report to heart and I’m very proud that we’ve found an impactful way to partner with the Nanaimo Foundation on these new grants,” says Randy Bertsch, president of Island Savings. “We focus on the socio-economic health of each neighbourhood we serve and, as a result, will continue to align our services, employment opportunities and community investment program to support the long-term wellbeing of Nanaimo families and children.”
Grants delivered to the 11 local non-profit organizations aim help build community and respond to local priorities:
Gyro Club of Nanaimo – contributing to the construction of Beban Community Bike Park—a bike skills park and youth-oriented physical activity centre.
Literacy Central Vancouver Island – assist with improvements to the exterior of their heritage building, showcase and create awareness of Canadiana books and local authors, and build awareness of their literacy programs.
Nanaimo Art Gallery – contributing to the commemoration of Canada’s 150th anniversary and Nanaimo Art Gallery’s 40 years of service to the community, in commissioning Marianne Nicolson, an artist of Scottish and Dzawada̱’enux̱w First Nations descent to create a dynamic new public artwork.
Nanaimo Brain Injury Society – assisting in the development of an online community resources and engagement program to enhance health outcomes for individuals with acquired brain injuries and their caregivers.
Nanaimo Foodshare Society – aiding in the construction of an urban five acre farm project that will bring individuals and groups together to learn agriculture skills and restore one of the region’s original five acre parcels to a working and learning community farm space, while addressing local food insecurity by providing long-term solutions.
Nanaimo International Jazz Festival Association – assisting in the production of a jazz festival in downtown Nanaimo in celebration of the first Canadian jazz recordings 100 years ago, in recognition of the jazz educational programs and professional performers of Nanaimo.
Nanaimo Women’s Resources Society – helping in the development of the Spirit of Place project. A project inviting community members to participate in artistic expression celebrating belonging, tolerance, diversity and understanding.
Vancouver Island University Foundation – assisting with VIU’s Indigenous Speaker Series and the associated conference. This speaker series is focused on issues of national importance relating to the struggles, triumphs and lived experience of Indigenous peoples, and their impact within a diverse Canadian society.
Write to Read project – helping in the construction of a library on Snuneymuxw’s First Nation reserve land; a project aimed at reconciliation, community, understanding and literacy.
Gabriola Community Hall Association – support for the commissioning of a local artist to paint a large mural depicting Gabriolan history.
Gabriola Island Lions Club – assisting with construction of a new playground in Huxley Park on Gabriola Island to create an inclusive, multi-generational community park that encourages active living and community engagement.