Island Health announces 2022/2023 Community Wellness Grant Recipients

Community resilience will be supported by 52 new projects across Island Health, thanks to Island Health’s Community Wellness Grant Program.

“Not only do these programs make our communities better, more vibrant places to live, they improve wellness in people of all ages,” said Michele Babchuk, MLA for the North Island. “Improving community wellness goes hand-in-hand with improving health outcomes for residents across the North Island, and I am pleased that so many exciting programs are receiving funding.” 

"When we support our neighbours’ health and wellness, our community becomes stronger as a whole,” said Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin. “The projects we're supporting through these Community Wellness Grants will make our region a healthier and more resilient place for people to live." 

"Whether you are facing new challenges or are looking to gain new skills, these projects improve the lives of so many in our community,” said Adam Walker, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “Our government knows how important it is to support these grassroots initiatives and with this round of funding more people will be able to find renewed wellness and resilience." 

The Community Wellness Grant program helps foster local partnerships and grassroots initiatives that promote health and wellness across the region Island Health serves. Nearly $800,000 from the Community Wellness Grant Program will fund a mix of individual and partnership grants.

The diverse range of projects receiving funding in 2022/2023 include an immersion course run by the Gwa'sala-'Nakwaxda'xw Nation for people to learn an endangered Indigenous language; an intergenerational connections project in the Comox Valley that brings together an early years collaborative, a seniors society, and other partners; a cooking and skill building program for expecting families and parents of young children in Nanaimo; and a visual arts-based autobiographical storytelling and community building group for newcomer women in Victoria.

“We’re so pleased to support another cohort of amazing Community Wellness Grant projects,” said Dr. Reka Gustafson, Island Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer. “These projects will truly make a difference by promoting resilience and wellness in ways that address the unique needs of each community. I am impressed by the innovative work and creative partnerships that are made possible through this program.” 

The Community Wellness Grant program is designed to support collaborative community-led upstream wellness interventions that reduce barriers and increase supports, enabling all members of the community to enjoy health and wellness.

In June 2022, Island Health issued a call for applications to local governments, community organizations and Indigenous communities for the 2022/2023 Community Wellness Grant Program. The theme of this year’s grant program was community resilience, with projects being required to focus on one or more of the following criteria: diverse communities, connected communities, safe communities, nourished communities and active communities.