Island Health announces 2024/2025 Community Wellness Grant Recipients

Island Health is celebrating the launch of 53 new locally-led wellness projects focused on community resilience, made possible with funding from Island Health’s Community Wellness Grant Program.

The diverse range of projects receiving funding in 2024/2025 include a food security and cooking skills project for families in Port Alberni, a restorative justice program for Cowichan Valley high schools, a community arts program on Pender Island, and a Decolonizing Addictions conference hosted by the Kwakiutl Health Centre in Port Hardy. 

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

“We’re so pleased to support innovative Community Wellness Grant projects for another year,” said Dr. Réka Gustafson, Island Health’s Vice President of Population Health and Chief Medical Health Officer. “Each year, these projects support community organizations to address the unique wellness needs of each part of our region. My congratulations to this year’s recipients.” 

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.    

“We know that our personal physical and mental health is inextricably linked to the health of our communities,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “When we live in more active, inclusive and interconnected  neighbourhoods, we all benefit. I want to congratulate all the organizations and programs that received  Community Wellness Grants, and thank them for all they do to improve the lives of people throughout Vancouver Island.”  

In February 2024, Island Health issued a call for applications to local governments, community organizations and Indigenous communities for the 2024/2025 Community Wellness Grant Program.

The theme of this year’s grant program was community resilience, inviting applicants to focus on one or more of the following criteria: diverse communities, connected communities, safe communities, nourished communities and active communities. 

A complete list of 2024/2025 grant recipients is available at

Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan

“We’re improving the health and well-being of people across Vancouver Island through Community Wellness Grants. By supporting projects such as the Cultivate and Cook and Indigenous Programming in Nanaimo, and Activating our Compassionate Community on Gabriola Island, we’re helping to address our communities’ specific needs and priorities.” 

Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island

“People living in remote and coastal communities on Vancouver Island are benefiting from Community Wellness Grants, and I am thrilled that we have 14 programs across the North Island that will be receiving these grants. Projects like Reconciliation through Connection in Campbell River, and Healing Together in Alert Bay, show how Community Wellness Grants support people in our region and allow for greater connection and community-led collaboration.” 

Josie Osborne, MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim    

“People who feel connected to their community are happier and healthier, and these Community Wellness Grants will bring families and youth together over good food and fun outdoor activities together while helping to build strong, more inclusive and resilient communities. I’m thrilled to see the support for the Port Alberni Backpack Program Society and the Mułaa Rising Tide Surf Team and their programs, which go a long way to reducing barriers to wellness and health.”

Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo    

“Here in Nanaimo, we've been through a lot. With Premier Eby we've been taking action to help people with better healthcare. With Nanaimo community groups we're helping people feel connected. All these partnerships make our community healthier.” 

Grace Lore, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill    

“Our community, including our most vulnerable community members, will benefit from 53 new locally-led projects supported by this year’s Community Wellness Grants. Programs like the Youth Suicide Prevention Program Expansion and Empowering Communities through Food Systems in Victoria will build social connections and promote dignity and human rights.”

Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake

“People living in the Victoria area will have stronger and more active communities because of projects funded by Community Wellness Grants. With initiatives from community organizations like Building Intergenerational Connections, and Living Edge Neighbourhood Food Markets 2024, people will in our region will enjoy a more socially connected and inclusive city.”

Mitzi Dean, MLA for Esquimalt-Metchosin

“Everyone benefits from healthier, more resilient communities, and programs supported by Community Wellness Grants respond to the specific needs of the people living in our region. The QomQem Night Outreach Program and Island Ignite Camp, along with many more projects funded this year, will bring people together and support healthier neighbourhoods.”

Murray Rankin, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head

“We’re supporting community-led projects that help grow more resilient, diverse and healthy environments for people. Community Wellness Grants are powerful tools developed by First Nations, not-for-profit organizations and local governments, offering tailored solutions for each community.”

Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health

“Communities’ needs and priorities vary, and local organizations know best how to make their neighbourhoods stronger and more resilient. Community Wellness Grants support grassroots projects that remove obstacles to good health and make people feel more socially connected in Vancouver Island’s coastal communities, remote and rural areas.“

Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox

“We’re taking action to make sure people are more connected to their communities and live their happiest, healthiest lives. Locally led projects supported by the Community Wellness Grants are making a huge impact in my community and throughout Vancouver Island as First Nations communities, not-for-profit organizations and local governments lead projects tailored to our region’s needs.”

Ravi Parmar, MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca

"People thrive through locally created programs tailored to their community's unique priorities. Thanks to Community Wellness Grants, inspiring initiatives like the Victoria Brain Injury Society’s Community Connections and Wear2Start's Community Diversity & Inclusion Continuing Education program unite people, fostering deeper understanding and building stronger, more resilient neighborhoods."

Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South

“We’re improving people’s lives on Vancouver Island by investing in 53 locally led projects that are strengthening people’s sense of wellbeing and interconnectedness. Community Wellness Grants also help foster local partnerships and collaborations so community groups can work together to improve lives.”


North Island

Black Creek Community Association
Black Creek
Seniors Lunch

Campbell River Child Care Society on behalf of the Campbell River Early Years Council
Campbell River
Reconciliation through Connection in the Early Years Pilot Project

Comox Valley Art Gallery
Walk With Me - Exploring Service Improvements for People in Trades at the Heart of the Toxic Drug Crisis

Eureka Support Society
Seniors Outreach Program

Gold River Literacy Society 
Gold River
Creating: Gold River Community Services

Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society
Port Hardy
Fit and Fab Seniors

Island Death Care Society
Manson’s Landing
Connectedness Through Death Care

Kwakiutl Health Centre
Port Hardy
Decolonizing Addictions Conference

LUSH Valley Food Action Society
Community Orchard Program

Ma'amtagila First Nations 
Alert Bay
Healing Together

Mt. Waddington Community Ministries - The Salvation Army
Port Hardy
Healing Circle

Mt. Waddington Health Network 
Port McNeill
Wellness World Cafe Forum

North Island Queer and Trans+ Song Society
Campbell River
Fieramente Choir

Nuchatlaht First Nation
Financial Literacy Series

Rivercity Inclusion Society
Campbell River
Cooking Education

Sayward Community Health Society
Seniors Lunch Program

School District 85
Port Hardy

Youth Climate Corps BC
Alert Bay & Hiladi Village
Kwak'waka'wakw Revitalization Project

Central Island

BC Dementia Care Society
Shawnigan Lake
We CARE Connection: Dementia Family Caregivers

Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society
Indigenous Day Gathering

Cowichan Restorative Justice Society
Restorative Justice in Education

Errington War Memorial Hall Association
Errington (re)Creation Family Activities Program

Ladysmith Family and Friends (LaFF)
Nourishing At Risk Families

Lookout Housing and Health Society 
Street Smart Peer Outreach Program

Nanaimo Art Gallery
Indigenous Programming

Nanaimo Community Hospice Society
Traumatic Loss Adult Grief Support

Nanaimo Community Kitchens Society 
Cultivate and Cook

Nanaimo Division of Family Practice
Social Prescribing Project

Nanaimo Ladysmith School District
Games Galore Get-together

Oceanside Hospice Society
Qualicum Beach
Educational Volunteer Lunch & Learn Workshop Series

Shawnigan Lake
Medicine Basket Learning Circles Series (in the Peacemakers Kindship Medicine Garden)

People for a Healthy Community on Gabriola (PHC)Society 
Gabriola Island
Activating our Compassionate Community

Port Alberni Backpack Program Society
Port Alberni
Local Sustainable Nutritious Food!

Rising Tide Surf
Mułaa Rising Tide Summer Camp: Wellness on the Water

Warmland Women's Support Services Society
Calling Ourselves Home - Indigenous Outreach

South Island

Building Resilient Neighbourhoods
Neighbours Helping Neighbours - Building Neighbourly Supports for Aging in Place

Crisis Intervention and Public Information Society of Greater Victoria
Youth Suicide Prevention Program Expansion

FED Urban Agriculture Society
Empowering Communities through Food Systems

Greater Victoria School District
Mental Health Navigator

Greater Victoria Social Gathering Place Society
EMP Theatre Social Gatherings

Island Ignite Mentorship Society
Island Ignite Camp

James Bay Community Project 
Building Intergenerational Connections

Living Edge Community
Living Edge Neighbourhood Food Markets 2024

Oasis Society 
Oasis Connects

Parkinson Wellness Projects
PWP Exercise, Counselling and Education Program

Power To Be Adventure Therapy Society
Inclusive Adventures - Community Programs

Ptarmigan Arts Society
Pender Island
Community Arts for Resilience and Engagement (CARE)

QomQem Coast Connections - Peers Victoria Resources Society
QomQem Night Outreach Program

The Mustard Seed Street Church
Wellness Centre Project

Umbrella Society for Addictions and Mental Health
Recovery Day 2024

Victoria Brain Injury Society
Community Connections

VIDEA - a BC based International Development Education Association
Wisdom from the Land

Wear2Start's Community Diversity & Inclusion Continuing Education Program