In 2017 Canada will celebrate 150 years since the country’s confederation. As one of the founding provinces of Canada, Ontario will also celebrate its 150th year in existence. This exciting milestone in the province’s history will be celebrated by many across Ontario, and the provincial government has created a new ambitious funding program that ensures all Ontarians will be able to celebrate a healthy, growing, and prosperous province.
Ontario150 is a suite of government grants for non-profit organizations, municipalities, and indigenous communities that eliminate barriers and enable Ontarians to get involved during the province’s 150th anniversary. The three streams of funding that comprise Ontario150 seek to promote community celebration, enhance the well-being of youth, and build or repair critical infrastructure.
Projects eligible for Ontario150 may be entitled for 50-75% of project expenses to a maximum $100,000 to $500,000, depending on the stream applied for and the size of the applicant organization. For more information on the three Ontario government funding streams, continue reading this article.
Ontario150 Streams of Ontario Government Grants
Ontario150 applicants may apply for government grants via one of the three streams outlined below:
Community Celebration Program
Initiatives that support the celebration of Canada or Ontario’s 150th anniversary may receive up to 75% of eligible expenses to a maximum of:
- $10,000 (for organizations with operating expenses less than $250,000);
- $25,000 (for organizations with operating expenses between $250,000 and $1 million); and
- $70,000 (for organizations with operating expenses in excess of $1 million).
Projects that foster innovative ways to engage and/or empower youth may receive up to 75% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $100,000.
Community Capital Program
Initiatives that support the repair, renovation, or retrofit of existing infrastructure. Applicants may receive government grants valued up to:
- 75% of eligible project costs to a maximum $250,000 (for organizations with operating expenses less than $1 million); and
- 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $500,000 (for organizations with operating expenses more than $1 million).
Does Your Organization or Community Building Project Qualify for an Ontario150 Government Grant?
To become eligible for the Ontario150 government funding program, please ensure that your organization and project meet the following eligibility criteria for the most applicable stream:
Community Celebration Program
Not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, and indigenous communities/ organizations may apply for funding to reduce the cost of implementing:
- Ontario150 anniversary events and community celebrations;
- Commemorative installation ceremonies;
- 150 Anniversary-themed public workshops, forums, or conferences;
- Food festivals celebrating local chefs, locally-grown products, and local food movements;
- Public art exhibitions showcasing local or iconic artists;
- Sporting events and competitions; and
- Youth innovation or entrepreneur competitions.
Please Note: Ontario for-profit businesses, Chambers of Commerce, and academic institutions may receive project funding if they partner with a not-for-profit organization who applies on behalf of the partnership.
A range of applicants, including not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, indigenous communities/ organizations, business associations, and businesses (supporting non-commercial projects) may apply for youth empowerment projects, including those supporting:
- Diversity and inclusion;
- Creativity and cultural expression;
- Youth entrepreneurship;
- Civic engagement;
- Environmental stewardship; and
- Healthy living.
Community Capital Program
Likewise, not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, and indigenous communities/ organizations may apply for funding to support infrastructure projects, including:
- Multicultural centres;
- Sports facilities;
- Elderly person centres;
- Cenotaphs; and
- Other public meeting places/ spaces.
If you’re a for-profit organization, or otherwise ineligible for Ontario150, please consider other Canadian government funding programs which may be able to provide government grants and loans for your projects.
How to Apply for Ontario150 Grants for Community Building Projects
Each stream of funding operates on its own individual application timelines. Prospective applicants should note that their Ontario government funding applications are due by:
- Community Celebration Program: September 2, 2016.
- Partnership Program: September 30, 2016.
- Community Capital Program: September 14, 2016
Application to the Ontario150 program is dependent on the stream of funding being applied to. Applicants of the Community Celebration Program or Partnership Program may do so by accessing the Government of Ontario’s online portal and filling out a program application.
Applicants of the Community Capital Program should note that funding is administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). To apply, organizations must first register with OTF and access their online portal where application packages may be found.
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