2016 Aviva Community Fund : Helping to Change Your Community
Aviva Community Fund
The Aviva Community Fund
The Aviva Community Fund helps passionate people like you make positive change in their communities.
For seven years, we’ve been putting our money where our business is — investing in charitable community initiatives across Canada, protecting the people and things you love, supporting the causes you care about most, and strengthening your local community. To us, at Aviva, this is just good thinking. We’re so proud to have provided more than $6.5 million in project funding to date, and we can’t wait to donate another $1 million this year.
It all starts with a great idea.
Tie Up with Canada Helps
About the competition
We are proud to announce a new partnership with CanadaHelps a known leader and innovator in the charitable sector.
For the first time ever this year’s Aviva Community Fund Grand Prize Winners will receive free services from CanadaHelps in addition to receiving funding from the competition.
Through CanadaHelps’ extensive network, we have increased our ability to reach Canadian charities of all sizes that are in need of funding. CanadaHelps services aim to build capacity of charities of all sizes by offering online fundraising platforms, resources, training and education. Visit www.canadahelps.org to view full services and offerings.
If you’re involved with a charity or community organization that’s making a local difference, then we want you to submit an idea. Secure enough votes from friends, family and supporters, and your idea could make it to the Finals, where our panel of judges will select the Grand Prize Winners who will share $1 million in funding.
A video announcing the winners 2016
$100,000 winner – Dartmouth North Good Food & Cafe
Dartmouth North Community Food Centre is a project of Dartmouth Family Centre. The Dartmouth Family Centre is located in North Dartmouth, an under-served and high-needs area with a dearth of community gathering spaces. The area is home to significant senior and immigrant populations: 13.5% of the population is aged 65, and many live alone and on a fixed income; 31% of households are single-parent families; and immigrants make up 6.4% of the population, a number that is expected to grow in coming years. Launched in the fall of 2015, Dartmouth North Community Food Centre expands on the existing array of programs to provide a number of new entry points for families with young children, while expanding food access and skill-building opportunities for other community members. Programming includes community action programs, community meals, an affordable produce market, and community kitchens and gardens.
$100,000 Prize – Food Forest
The Seven Layers of a Food Forest. Diagram by Graham Burnett via Wikipedia.
The concept of a food forest has its roots in permaculture, a philosophy that advocates for managing agricultural landscapes in harmony with nature. The practice emphasizes perennial, low-maintenance crops that leverage natural nutrient inputs, drainage patterns and climate to achieve a self-sustaining, food-producing ecosystem. A food forest is quite literally a forest that produces food for people (and, most certainly, forest critters) to eat. Nut and fruit-producing trees and shrubs are planted with herbs, vines and ground flora that produce fruits, vegetables, and edible greens and roots. Urban communities are increasingly taking up the practice as a way to put underutilized city land to work and combine urban agriculture goals with goals for open space, recreation, and community development.
The City of Edmonton is expanding its urban food forest footprint with this 25-species edible ecosystem.
“The food forest is growing into an enchanting place, where community can explore new perspectives on food production, creative land use, and urban sustainability,” Tessa Stiven, Food Forest project supervisor, told the Cowicha Valley Citizen.
$50,000 Prize – Revitalisation of the Hub, Vancouver
First United is on the front lines of the community’s needs in Vancouver’s impoverished Downtown Eastside. Our reception area, named “The Hub”, is our first point of contact for the hundreds of people we see every day seeking help and comfort in the form of our many services and programs; from meals to toiletries, advocacy to tax services, and everything in between.
Many of the people who come to The Hub are in the midst of the worst day of their lives. They are folks who are living without a home or with insecure housing. Many are elders, with physical and mental illnesses, and have faced challenge and adversity all their lives. Having their needs met, or just a listening ear, with respect and kindness can be a pivotal moment for folks who are invisible – or worse – to much of society.
Currently our reception window at The Hub can only assist one person at a time, resulting in long lineups and subsequent wait for services. This can lead to frustration, disappointment and even conflict, and can dissuade those who may benefit from our services from seeking our help. Our goal is to renovate The Hub to expand the service area by 6 linear feet, thereby creating more access points and subsequently more specialized service capability. By opening up the greeting area at the Hub, we will create a more inviting atmosphere and more immediate access to our staff and volunteers. Often the needs of those we serve are required to be met with great urgency, so a large, inviting access point will allow us to offer assistance and one-on-one contact quickly and with undivided attention which goes a long way towards comforting and calming the immediate and sometimes frantic situations that come to our Hub window.
We also plan to build 2 new offices in the reception area for our staff members dedicated to helping shelter residents one-on-one, and 1 office at the chapel for our Community Minister. These new offices will allow our community members the right to privacy while they seek sensitive legal or spiritual assistance; something that is surprisingly hard to come by in this environment.
By allowing for quick and approachable access to services, and private areas for personal and individual counsel, we create an environment of inclusivity and respect which in turn strengthens the resolve and sense of humanity in those we serve here.