Gateway Gazette

Co-op Community Spaces Funds Places for Everyone

Co-ops across Western Canada are helping to create places for everyone through the Co-op Community Spaces Program.

Co-op Community Spaces is supporting local projects dedicated to recreation, environmental conservation and urban agriculture. Funding between $25,000 and $150,000 is available per project.

“As Co-ops continue to grow across Western Canada we want to ensure that communities grow right along with us,” said Vic Huard, Executive Vice-President of Strategy at Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL). “That’s why the Co-operative Retailing System (CRS) continues to give back and invest in our communities. Co-op Community Spaces provides the opportunity to celebrate Western Canadian communities and the efforts of the people behind important local projects.”

The program was launched in 2015 to help protect, beautify and improve local spaces. Since then, it has provided $4.5 million to 64 projects, including parks, greenhouses and sports fields. The program is administered by FCL on behalf of the CRS. Co-op invites registered non-profit organizations, registered charities or community service co-operatives to apply.

To learn more about Community Spaces, apply for funding or enter the contest, please visit communityspaces.ca.

High River Library Community Rooftop Patio

The Friends of the High River Public Library Society built a public outdoor patio in a neglected area outside the library. The Society applied for a Community Spaces grant in 2016 and were awarded $25,000 to build the rooftop patio.

Co-op awards $2 million to projects across Western Canada every year. The program helps build places for everyone to come together to meet, play, learn and share.

ELIGIBILITY

Applicants eligible for funding include:

  • Registered charities under the Canada Revenue Agency with valid registration numbers
  • Registered non-profit organizations under their provincial government with proof of registration (e.g. letters of incorporation)
  • Non-profit organizations partnered with their municipal government who will accept funding and issue receipts on their behalf
  • Community service co-operatives

Projects eligible for funding must:

  • Be available and accessible for community use
  • Align with one of the three funding categories (recreation, environmental conservation or urban agriculture)
  • Be completed within two years
  • Be a capital project
  • Be located in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba
  • Provide the opportunity for permanent signage

Projects ineligible for funding include:

  • Those that support religious or politically affiliated organizations
  • Those that will have adverse environmental impacts
  •  Those that are third-party fundraising campaigns

FUNDING

Projects can apply for between $25,000 and $150,000 in capital funding. 

Funding Categories:

Recreation

Providing enhanced recreation spaces in community.

Examples: recreation centres, playgrounds.

Environmental Conservation

Preservation of natural spaces in the community.

Examples: green spaces, interpretive centers.

Urban Agriculture

Small-scale community agriculture initiatives in both rural and urban spaces.

Examples: community garden, food education facilities.

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