Community gaming grants improve services, support not-for-profits

PEOPLE throughout the province will benefit from upgrades to not-for-profit services and programs with additional funding from B.C.’s Community Gaming Grants program.

“Not-for-profit organizations are at the heart of fostering healthy, connected and safe communities in B.C.,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs, on Tuesday. “This $3.8 million in extra funding will help organizations buy equipment and make renovations to brighten our communities and give people safer, improved access to key services and programs.”

With this final round of 2021-22 funding, the Community Gaming Grants capital projects program will provide $3.8 million to 51 not-for-profit organizations throughout B.C. for upgrades to community infrastructure, updated technology and new equipment. This is in addition to $5 million in capital funding for 45 not-for-profit groups announced in January 2022.

“Organizations like the False Creek Rowing Club give so much to our community by helping people stay active, enjoy the outdoors and get to know their neighbours,” said Brenda Bailey, MLA for Vancouver-False Creek. “Rowing has been a big part of my life, and I know the value of getting out on the water both for exercise and mental health. As we recover from the effects of the pandemic, this grant will help the club acquire new equipment and grow their programs so more people can enjoy rowing in our beautiful neighbourhood.”

New projects funded in this round of grants include:

* new boats with sun covers and oars for the False Creek Rowing Club in Vancouver to help expand the rowing program and increase the number of people accessing it;

* a new roof for the Eureka Support Society’s building in Courtenay to prevent leaks and flooding so that people living with persistent mental-health issues can continue to access services;

* a renovated building for Community Connections Revelstoke that will include a community kitchen, a safe space for women seeking support and a drop-in centre;

* a new truck for Houston Search and Rescue that will help provide access to remote search areas and improve response times to keep community members safer; and

* a new daycare facility for the Al-Kawthar Foundation in Surrey for infants and toddlers as old as five that will have accessible play areas that will support the development of children.

Organizations that have been navigating increased service pressures during the pandemic have been prioritized in this round of funding. Many not-for-profit organizations are using these funds to make adjustments that support physical distancing and other measures to ensure services and activities meet public health and safety guidelines.

All Community Gaming Grants funding in 2021-22 must comply with provincial health orders, and the program allows organizations to delay service and project delivery until this can be done safely.

Niki Sharma, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits, said: “Many non-profits are struggling with dwindling budgets because demand for their services has increased in the post-pandemic recovery period. Throughout the pandemic, non-profits continued to stock food banks, provide essential services such as child care, and help vulnerable people in need. Our government is supporting non-profits with Community Gaming Grants so they can continue to deliver the critical services British Columbians count on throughout the province.”

Caroline Miller, Chair, BC Association for Charitable Gaming, said: “As the organizations in B.C. communities continue to emerge from pandemic-restricted operations and the challenges of operating over the past two years, provincial gaming grant funding is one of their vital sources of income. Funding major capital projects means fresh starts, expansion, repairs and broadening an organization’s impact on and reach into their community. These groups are to be applauded as they continue their work with community members to improve lives and keep more than 85,000 B.C. residents employed.”

Malik Ibrahim, Director, Al-Kawthar Foundation, said: “We are pleased that the Al-Kawthar daycare is in the final stages of construction. This centre will provide a caring, nurturing and safe environment where children will learn, grow and be encouraged by warm, qualified educators to reach their full potential. We’re extremely excited about the prospect of making such high-quality daycare accessible to so many families in the local community.”

Quick Facts

* Community Gaming Grants provide approximately $140 million each year to support nearly 5,000 not-for-profit organizations that deliver services to people in British Columbia with $5 million dedicated to funding the capital project sector.

* To support vulnerable British Columbians during the COVID-19 crisis, the Province provided a $3-million emergency grant from the Community Gaming Grants program to Food Banks British Columbia in March 2020.

Learn More:

The full list of capital projects grant recipients for this round of funding:

For more information on Community Gaming Grants, visit: