Skip to content

Squamish sees a record number of local groups seeking grants

Squamish Community Foundation allocated about $98,000 to 28 groups in 2023.

A record number of local groups sought community enhancement grant opportunities in 2023, according to the Squamish Community Foundation.

At the March 26 committee of the whole council meeting, the executive director of the foundation, Karen Clarke, presented an annual update to council members about distributed community enhancement grants. 

In 2023, the foundation dispersed nearly $98,000 to 28 groups. Yet, it received 32 grant applications with monetary requests totalling over $266,000.

“So over two times the amount was requested than what we were able to grant out,” said Clarke.

Clarke said the 32 applications were a new record for the foundation for this stream of grants. The foundation also helps with other granting programs, such as the Neighbourhood Small Grants.

“It's quite something to see it laid out in this way and the impact that it has on the community,” said Mayor Armand Hurford. “It is just also just scratching the surface of the impact of these programs.”

Each of the successful applicants received at least $1,000. 

The most funding went to Sea to Sky Community Services, which received $12,000 for three distinct programs. It was followed by the Squamish Food Bank Society, which received $11,500, and PearlSpace, which received $10,000.

The next highest amounts, receiving between $4,000 to $4,500, were Squamish Community Christmas Care, Howe Sound Curling Club, Squamish Helping Hands Society, Squamish Minor Hockey Association, Squamish Search and Rescue, and Whistler Adaptive Sports’ Squamish program.

The remaining 17 organizations split the rest of the funding.

Clarke noted a few different aspects of the program for the District of Squamish and the foundation to work out going forward, including establishing whether organizations can submit more than one grant, clarifying eligibility for grants from organizations with permissive tax exemptions, and what to do with District facility rental requests.

Numerous council members thanked Clarke and the foundation for determining how to allocate the funds. Additionally, a few noted that an increase in the program's budget may need future consideration.

“When I see the impact these, relatively speaking, small infusions into the community have—through Squamish Arts and the Community Foundation—it does make me wonder if we need to think about the amount we're investing in this program,” said Coun. Chris Pettingill. “We're in, and going into, some years of tough budgets. But, in this case, maybe it's a reason to do more here rather than less.”

Coun. Jenna Stoner echoed Pettingill in her comments as well.

“[I] definitely hear loud and clear that the asks are two-and-a-half times what we actually have on the table and I think that's the biggest one that we want to try and tackle going forward,” she said.

View all the recipients through the District of Squamish report available through the District’s website.


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks