Canada Healthy Communities Initiative

$31 million to support communities as they adapt public spaces for the new realities of the pandemic


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Canada Healthy Communities Initiative (CHCI)

Public spaces are a big part of what makes communities safe, vibrant, and connected. They enable a feeling of belonging, places where we return to in work and play, and where we make new connections.

Parksville-Qualicum Community Foundation is participating in the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative (CHCI), a $31 million investment from the Government of Canada that is supporting communities as they adapt public spaces for the new realities of the pandemic.

The pandemic has altered our use of public spaces. Communities and individuals have come up with many creative solutions to allow new ways to access public spaces while working within the public health guidelines, such as social distancing and mask wearing.

Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) and Canadian Urban Institute are partnering to deliver the new Healthy Communities Initiative (CHCI). This Government of Canada investment is to support communities as they adapt public spaces to respond to ongoing needs of the pandemic in the next two years.

CHCI will help communities respond to immediate needs caused by the pandemic, and help with recovery programs. 

Canada Healthy Communities Initiative

This funding will support local projects to adapt public infrastructure to COVID-19. Parksville-Qualicum Community Foundation will allocate $970,000 for projects on Vancouver Island and Northern BC, ranging from $5000-$250,000, that: 

  • create safe and vibrant public spaces,
  • improve mobility options and/or
  • provide innovative digital solutions to connect people and improve health.


Have Questions? Please call or email PQCF for more information. 


  • The Canada Healthy Communities Initiative was created to help communities adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and create safe ways for residents to access services and enjoy the outdoors. The Initiative is designed to fund eligible projects between $5,000 and $250,000 that fall under three main themes: creating safe and vibrant public spaces, improving mobility options, and digital solutions.
  • Community Foundations of Canada together with its partners, including the Canadian Urban Institute, is working with community foundations across the country to manage the funding process and serve the distinct needs of communities across Canada, including equity-seeking groups, interested in applying.
  • A variety of community-led organizations are eligible to apply, including local governments, charities, Indigenous communities, and registered non-profit organizations. 
  • The first intake for projects was launched on February 9, 2021 and closed on March 9, 2021. Successful projects from the first intake have been and will continue to be announced in the coming weeks.
  • The second intake opened May 14, 2021, and closes on June 25, 2021.

CHCI Applications are currently CLOSED.

Projects must:

  • respond to identified needs arising from impacts of COVID-19;
  • create and adapt public spaces, and programming and services for public spaces in the public interest;
  • engage the community;
  • serve and be accessible to the public and/or a community disproportionately impacted by COVID-19; and,
  • fall within the three CHCI theme areas.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

  • Municipalities and local or regional governments
  • Municipally-owned corporations
  • Indigenous governing bodies, including a band council, a First Nation, Inuit or Metis government, or Tribal council
  • Federally or provincially incorporated not-for-profits

CHCI Themes

1) Safe & Vibrant Public Spaces

  • Community projects that create and adapt public spaces, and programming and services for public spaces that improves open spaces, parks, commercial main streets, and access to other amenities.
  • Community projects that adapt public spaces to meet public health guidance.

2) Improved Mobility

  • Community projects that deliver a range of transportation and mobility options or adaptations that permit physical distancing through solutions that increase safe social connectivity, walkability, bike-ability and access to public transit.
  • Community projects that improve pedestrian and cyclist safety through roadway, sidewalk or crosswalk improvements and adaptations.

3) Digital Solutions

  • Community projects that provide digital solutions that use data and technology in innovative ways to connect people and improve health.
  • Community projects that use digital technologies and solutions to encourage citizen engagement, use open data, online platforms or physical digital devices for public benefit.