Victoria Foundation approved a record high $2,005,232 in annual Community Grants to 98 non-profit organizations, including a handful of Oak Bay groups.
“What struck me with this year’s grants is the impressive breadth of local issues being addressed,” said Sandra Richardson, Victoria Foundation CEO. “From welcoming newcomers, to supporting homeless youth and women at risk, to restoring our natural environment and improving access to healthy food, the range is incredible. Our congratulations go to all of the recipients and our thanks also go to all of the committee members, donors and board members whose enthusiastic participation makes these grants possible.”
The Canadian College of Performing Arts earned $40,000 for facility upgrades. The CCPA enters its 19th season and is looking to upgrade its performance hall on Elgin Street. Upgrades would improve the theatre experience with more comfortable seats and accessible washrooms.
Canadian Light Music Society Palm Court Light Orchestra, which performs in the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre, scored $6,929.70 to help mark its 30th anniversary season. The orchestra plans to present two afternoon concerts in Oak Bay and Sidney, celebrating achievements and acknowledging its seniors audience, some of whom were present at its first concert in 1987.
InspireHealth Society was awarded $30,000 for its InspireHealth’s Supportive Cancer Care Programs and Classes. Funding is slated to expand the program by increasing membership.
Oak Bay Volunteer Services Society got $20,000 for volunteer engagement on its 40th anniversary. Oak Bay Volunteer Services provides direct one-to-one volunteer services to Oak Bay residents in need. While honouring its upcoming 40th anniversary, the organization will look to expand outreach to attract new volunteers.
Threshold Housing Society scored a $40,000 grant for the home it opened in Oak Bay this year. Threshold received 117 applications last year but only had capacity to house 30 at-risk youth at any one time. Given the growing need and urgency to prevent at-risk youth from falling into adult homelessness, Threshold has leased an ideal property for youth housing, opening its doors in September. This new building houses up to eight more youth in a transitional setting and serves as the central location for Threshold’s life-skills and transitional planning programs.
University of Victoria’s University 101 Volunteer Leadership Program earned a $20,000 grant.
University 101 provides free non-credit courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences for people who have experienced significant barriers to education, such as poverty, mental health diagnoses, single-parenting and unstable housing. Leadership Program participants volunteer as student leaders in the core Uni 101 courses and undertake a concurrent leadership course focusing on inner strength, communication and critical thinking. Graduates of the Leadership Program facilitate future leadership courses, creating sustainability in the program.
Victoria Foundation has awarded over $15 million so far this year and over $175 million since the Foundation began in 1936.