Salt Spring Island Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Fund Reaches Goal

A $30,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation Community Response Fund has boosted the Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund to its $200,000 target. The grant is intended for rapid community response to support the needs of vulnerable populations. Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson says, “We are extremely grateful for the generous community response. Reaching this Emergency Fund goal enables the Foundation to continue to partner with donors and local charities to deal with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for the services of our non-profit organizations will undoubtedly increase as islanders experience loss of income and other challenges, including mental health issues, over the summer and beyond.” The Foundation’s emergency fund has already distributed $113,687 to Salt Spring charities, including over $50,000 in food gift cards distributed via local charities to those in need in the community. This has been made pos…
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Announces Spring 2020 Grants

The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce over $84,000 in spring grants for island charities. The Foundation thanks the many caring donors who make our grants possible. Capacity-Building Grants. This spring, $15,000 is being directed to projects that aim to strengthen our local charities: Graffiti Theatre: $5,000 toward a feasibility study for a multi-use performing arts education and recreation centre. I-SEA (Institute for Sustainability Education and Action): $2,500 to assist in strengthening the organizational capacity of Transition Salt Spring by implementing a new governance structure that would enable it to effectively manage the ongoing work of climate action implementation on Salt Spring Island. Salt Spring Island Community Services/Salt Spring Health Advancement Network: $7,500 to develop a stewardship committee and a two-day mental health symposium to be held in November 2020. The goal of the symposium is to better address mental health an…
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COVID-19: Local Charities Respond to Challenges

Salt Spring Island non-profit organizations have been rallying to assist islanders who are struggling with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. As the local Salt Spring economy is expected to slump for many months, demand for their services will undoubtedly increase. The Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund has distributed $83,033 to Salt Spring charities. This includes $35,300 in food gift cards distributed via local charities to those in need in the community. This has been made possible through the generosity of Country Grocer and the Upper Ganges Liquor Store. Simone Cazabon, Salt Spring Island Community Services Food Program Manager, says, "We are expecting a continuing increase of clients at the Food Bank, our meal/food delivery services, and Tuesday Market Coupon Program. The gift cards are great because they allow people to customize their food preferences and address their sensitivities." IWAV has also received gif…
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COVID-19: Mental Health Recognized as a Long-Term Concern by Salt Spring Island Foundation

On April 9, in recognition of the importance of maintaining mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, BC Premier John Horgan and Minister for Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy announced $5 million in funding toward expanded and new mental health programs and services The funding includes enhanced virtual services, with a focus on adults, youth and front-line health care workers, to ensure British Columbians can get supports at home. Islanders can find out more about accessing these mental health services through calling healthlinkbc.ca  or by calling 811. While the provincial response and recognition of current mental health challenges is welcomed, the stress on our mental health services has been an ongoing concern on Salt Spring Island for years. In addition to providing grants to support mental health programs, the Salt Spring Island Foundation has recognized that a strong sense of community belonging is an important factor in supporting mental health and commu…
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COVID-19: Salt Spring Island Foundation Announces Further Emergency Grants

The Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund has reached $140,000 and is well on the way to the target of $200,000. In addition to the Foundation, major donors include Country Grocer and the Upper Ganges Liquor Store, the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, Island Savings and the CRD. Donations to the Fund from the wider community have reached $55,000. Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson is grateful for the overwhelming support, “Our community is showing generosity and solidarity in so many ways during this crisis, and we thank all who have given our local charities a helping hand through the Foundation’s Emergency Fund.” To date, the Foundation has distributed $60,732 from the fund to Salt Spring charities. In addition to grants already announced, the following organizations have received funds: IWAV: $10,000 to support various operations and programming threatened by the closure of the Transitions store due to the COVID-19 em…
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COVID-19: Foundation Emergency Fund Aims for $200,000 for Community Charities

The Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund has distributed $26,633 to local charities since the fund was launched with $20,000 from the Foundation on March 26. The fund has reached $130,114 with a target of $200,000. Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson says, “We have received many applications for COVID-19 relief from our local charities and are working to distribute the funds as quickly as possible. We know community charitable initiatives in response to the emergency will really make use of the new targeted amount." Grants from the fund will focus on community health-care preparedness, relief or assistance for vulnerable people in our community, such as seniors, and other pressing community needs as they emerge. Major donors include Country Grocer and the Upper Ganges Liquor Store, the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, Island Savings and the CRD. Over $45,000 has been received in donations from the wider community. The foll…
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COVID-19: Salt Spring Island Foundation Emergency Fund Helping Island Charities - April 1st, 2020 - 5:04 PM

In just six days, the Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund has reached $114,803. Funds are currently being directed toward local charities with urgent needs. As a consequence of the strong community response, the Foundation has increased the fund’s goal to $200,000. Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson says, “The needs are large and complex, but we can meet the challenges ahead. We feel confident we can achieve this target.” The Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, which has supported agriculture and food security on Salt Spring for many years, has donated $10,000 to the fund. Island Savings Credit Union has contributed $2,500, in addition to supporting food banks through its own signature program, The Full Cupboard. Lawson says, “We so much appreciate their compassion and support. We have surpassed the target of $100,000 in only a few short days since launching the fund and are grateful for the generosity of the entire comm…
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COVID-19: Salt Spring Island Foundation Emergency Fund Reaches $93,000 - March 30th, 2020 - 1:49 PM

As of March 30, the Salt Spring Island Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund has grown to $93,000. Country Grocer and the Upper Ganges Liquor Store have donated $50,000, and community donations have reached $18,000. The fund was started with a Foundation contribution of $20,000 and a CRD Grant-in-Aid of $5,000. Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson says, “We are extremely grateful for the heartwarming response from these caring businesses and individuals. We are working to get funds out quickly to support the local charities that are fighting on the front lines of this crisis.” Donations may be made at ssifoundation.ca or by mail to: Salt Spring Island Foundation, Box 244, Ganges PO, Salt Spring Island, BC, V8K 2V9. Please indicate on your cheque that the donation is to be directed to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Grants from the fund will focus on community health-care preparedness, relief or assistance for vulnerable people in our community, su…
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COVID-19: Salt Spring Island Foundation Launches Emergency Fund

The Salt Spring Island Foundation has established the COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Relief Fund in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Foundation is making an initial contribution of $20,000 and will also be receiving a CRD Grant-in-Aid of $5,000 for the fund. In addition, Country Grocer will be partnering with the Foundation to support the fund. Grants from the fund will focus on community health-care preparedness, relief or assistance for vulnerable people in our community, such as seniors, or other pressing community needs as they emerge. Foundation Board Chair Brian Lawson says, “As Salt Spring faces this unprecedented challenge, the Foundation is committed to helping the charities and not-for-profit organizations that are on the front lines of this fight to assist those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Islanders have always been incredibly caring and generous to others in times of need, and we appeal for their help now.“ The Foundation is inviting i…
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Announces Fall 2019 Grants

The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce over $108,000 in fall Foundation grants for island charities. The 2019 fall grants support many essential programs and services, with a particular focus on children and youth, health and wellness, and capacity building for local non-profit organizations. The Foundation thanks the many generous donors who make these grants possible.   BC SPCA, Salt Spring Island $5,000 for the “Snip for Dogs” program, to provide spaying and neutering for dogs owned by low-income households and individuals without housing. Big Brothers Big Sisters $1,500 to provide supplies for 15 students for one year for the In-School Mentoring program. This grant is supported by funds from the Unger Family Fund for Children and their Mothers and Senior Women in Need. Capital Regional District (CRD) Salt Spring Island Electoral Area Emergency Program: $6,000 for an on-island, two-day Justice Institute of BC-certified course, on the …
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Marks 35 Years of Giving

We all know that great trees grow from tiny seeds, which makes the tree logo of the Salt Spring Island Foundation particularly appropriate. Thirty-five years ago, John C. Lees planted a $10,000 seed that has grown to a $7.5 million endowment fund solely for the benefit of Salt Spring Island charities. Since then the Foundation has granted the amazing sum of $3.3 million, with over 550 grants awarded to over 60 local charities since its inception. In 1984, Lees first conceived of establishing a community endowment fund, and his bequest was the first donation to the fund. Lees died on March 1, 1984, just five days before the Salt Spring Island Foundation was registered as a Public Foundation with Revenue Canada in Ottawa. Alan Pierce, Colin Mouat and Richard Toynbee were the first three trustees. The Foundation has benefitted from exceptional leadership over its 35 years. Between 1991 and 2006, under the chairmanship of Bob Rush, the community endowment fund swelled from $2…
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Salt Spring Foundation Announces 2019 Neighbourhood Small Grants

The Salt Spring Island Foundation, in partnership with Salt Spring Island Community Services, is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2019 Neighbourhood Small Grants. The Neighbourhood Small Grants program offers grants of $50 to $500 to support projects that bring people together, share skills and knowledge, build a sense of community belonging and responsibility, and respect and celebrate diversity. First offered in the fall of 2018, the grants have supported many fun and creative events that have proved to be extremely popular. Bard on the Ridge This Eagle Ridge event brings neighbours of all ages together to perform a shortened version of one of Shakespeare’s plays through a staged reading with music. A dessert potluck follows the family event. Canvasback Neighbours Barbecue To be held in August, this event for the Canvasback Place neighbourhood will provide an opportunity for residents to meet, socialize and participate in discussions about emergency plann…
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Announces Spring 2019 Grants

The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce over $148,000 in spring grants for local charities, including $30,000 targeted to youth recreation programs. The Foundation thanks the many generous donors who make these grants possible.  BC Parks/Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage To create and install six new interpretive signs for Ruckle Provincial Park to increase the appreciation of Ruckle heritage farm, the oldest operating family farm in BC and a living link to Salt Spring Island history. Graffiti Theatre Company For a secure and permanent storage container for the theatre company’s technical equipment, props and costumes. Towards a feasibility study for a multi-use performing arts education and recreation centre. Gulf Islands Seniors Residence Association For updated computers and a new phone system to increase the organization’s capacity and communications efficiency. IWAV For new computers in order to securely and effectively carry ou…
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Small Is Powerful: Neighbourhood Small Grants Come to Salt Spring

On a recent sunny morning, the Salt Spring library’s program room was filled with conversation, laughter and the occasional squeal from a happy baby. Groups of women were gathered around several wooden coat stands and ladders, busily knotting macramé plant hangers as they chatted. The macramé workshop was the final one in the Creative Collective series of arts and craft skill- share workshops, one of 11 projects supported by Neighbourhood Small Grants. Over the past memorable winter, this small but powerful grants program has been forging connections between islanders. The program is based on a simple idea—that everyone is a valuable member of the community and that we all have something to share that will make Salt Spring Island a better place to live. Last fall, the Salt Spring Island Foundation, in partnership with Salt Spring Island Community Services, launched the island’s first Neighbourhood Small Grants program, offering grants of $50 to $500 to projects and even…
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Fall Grants 2018

The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce over $85,000 in fall grants for local charities, including $34,000 targeted to youth recreation programs. In 2018, the Foundation has granted over $290,000 to island charities, with $130,000 assisting youth programs. These grants would not be possible without the support of our many generous donors, who share the Foundation’s vision of a healthy and caring community. Beaver Point Community Hall For fascia board, gutter and downspout installation for the hall, an important heritage building and gathering place. Gulf Islands Marine Rescue Society To purchase protective equipment for volunteers serving Station 25, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue. Gulf Islands Seniors Residence Association To support consulting engineer’s fees for a sustainable rainwater capture system that will be incorporated into an integrated water supply system for the Meadowlane Multi- Unit Residential Building for seniors. …
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Salt Spring’s First Neighbourhood Small Grants Announced

The Salt Spring Island Foundation, in partnership with Salt Spring Island Community Services, is pleased to announce the recipients of our first Neighbourhood Small Grants. The Neighbourhood Small Grants program offers grants of $50 to $500 to local projects and events run by people who are passionate about giving back to the community and who have seen a need to encourage social connections in order to make Salt Spring a better place. Unlike regular Foundation grants, which can only be awarded to registered charities, Neighbourhood Small Grants are awarded to individuals with great ideas to bring people together, share skills and knowledge, build a sense of community belonging and responsibility, and respect and celebrate diversity. Glitter Queens Gathering The Glitter Queens Gathering will bring together girls in grades 6–8 to create community, share skills and song circles, and expose them to diverse opportunities and interests. At each Glitter Queens circle, a woma…
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Neighbourhood Small Grants Launched on Salt Spring

Carolling by canoe on Cusheon Lake, the Firefly Lantern Festival, public pianos, Earth Day in Centennial Park, Art Jam, and a neighbourhood potluck party on Park Drive. What do all of these have in common?

They are all colourful and joyful expressions of Salt Spring culture, local projects and events run by people who are passionate about giving back to the community and who have seen a need to encourage social connections in order to make Salt Spring a better place.

To encourage and foster more of these wonderful events, the Foundation, in partnership with Salt Spring Island Community Services, is pleased to announce the launch of Neighbourhood Small Grants, which offers grants of $50 to $500 to support projects that bring people together, share skills and knowledge, build a sense of belonging and responsibility, and respect and celebrate diversity. The Foundation wants to hear from islanders who have a great idea for a proje…

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Salt Spring Island Foundation Spring Grants Support Youth Recreation Programs

The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce over $206,000 in grants for local charities, including $97,000 targeted to youth recreation programs. These grants would not be possible without the support of our many generous donors, who share the Foundation’s vision of a healthy and caring community  Greenwoods Eldercare Society For a fall prevention and balance improvement program for at-risk seniors. Gulf Islands Families Together Society (GIFTS) To improve safety and accessibility at the GIFTS building in Ganges, which also is used by several other organizations assisting people with special needs. Island Women Against Violence (IWAV) For the development of a three-year strategic plan for 2019 to 2022, which will assist in building the capacity and sustainability of IWAV and enhance its work and provision of services to vulnerable people. School District #64 For the Healthy and Connected School Gardens project, which will develop a Gulf …
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Salt Spring Island Foundation Fall Grants Support Affordable Housing Projects

The Salt Spring Island Foundation is pleased to announce over $100,000 in grants for local charities, including $50,000 in support of local affordable housing projects. Affordable housing is shown to be a critical need in Salt Spring’s 2017 VitalSigns® report. These grants would not be possible without the support of our many generous donors, who share the Foundation’s vision of a healthy and caring community Big Brothers Big Sisters For supplies, such as learning materials, games and crafts, for the In School Mentoring Program for elementary-school children who need a wider circle of support. Adult and teen volunteers work with the children on a weekly basis. Fulford Harbour Childcare To build a new fence at Tree Frog Daycare to create a safe play space for children under 2½ years old. Gulf Islands Marine Rescue Society To upgrade the chartplotter for the marine search and rescue vessel. The chartplotter is essential to safe navigation and operation. IW…
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Report: How Are Salt Spring's Vital Signs?

Think you know Salt Spring Island? For the past six months, the Salt Spring Island Foundation has been compiling VitalSigns®, a compelling report that looks under the covers of our little island and reveals some fascinating facts. The 24-page Vital Signs report explores 12 areas of special interest, including arts and culture, health and wellness, housing, the environment, seniors, work and the economy and more. It is being launched alongside reports from more than 35 other community foundations across the country participating in Vital Signs in 2017. Vital Signs is a national program coordinated by Community Foundations of Canada that leverages local knowledge to measure the vitality of our communities and support action toward improving our quality of life. Started by the Toronto Foundation in 2001, today close to 100 communities around the world use Vital Signs to mobilize the power of community knowledge for local impact.
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Vital Signs Report Coming Soon!

The votes have been counted, the referendum arguments finally won or lost, and Salt Spring will go on going on. But how much do you really know about the place you call home? For the past six months, the Salt Spring Island Foundation has, with professional help, been compiling VitalSigns®, a compelling report that looks under the covers of our little island. There are 10,557 of us (at last count) and, truth be told, we’re toward the grey end of the scale. Our average age is 50.3 years old, but more than 40% of us are over 60. And we’re a responsible lot—76% of us turned out to vote in the provincial elections compared to a feeble 61% for the rest of the province. Salt Spring’s Vital Signs report isn’t just a simple survey. It is part of a national program led by local foundations and coordinated by Community Foundations of Canada. It uses local knowledge to measure the vitality of the community and will support action toward improving our quality of life. The 24-page re…
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