We are not currently accepting grant applications for 2024. Information on this page is for 2023.

This is a step-by-step guide for completing your grant application for an Age-friendly Communities Grant.

There are two grant streams:
1. Planning
2. Projects

1.1 Program Goal

The Age-friendly Communities (AFC) Program is funded by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and delivered by BC Healthy Communities (BCHC) in partnership with the Ministry of Health.    

In an age-friendly community, older adults are supported to age-in-place, living active, socially engaged, independent lives. The province of BC has advanced the age-friendly agenda since 2007, through the Age-friendly BC Strategy, in collaboration with key stakeholders, to engage, strengthen and support communities to prepare for an aging population that can age actively in place. 

To help local and Indigenous governments achieve the vision of building age-friendly communities, the AFC Program is comprised of three components: 

  1. Grants consisting of a) cash funding; and b) facilitated and customized capacity building supports for grantee communities embarking on age-friendly plans and projects; 
  2. Tools and resources developed and curated for age-friendly planning; and 
  3. A community recognition process whereby communities can apply to be formally recognized for their age-friendly accomplishments. The MoH administers the Age-friendly Communities Recognition component of the AFC Program.

The AFC grants offered include two funding streams: Stream 1: Planning and Stream 2: Projects.

Local and Indigenous governments are invited to apply for Stream 1: Planning (maximum $25,000) or Stream 2: Projects (maximum $15,000) funding.  

1.2 Applicant Eligibility

The following government organizations are eligible to apply:

  • First Nations Bands
  • First Nations Tribal Councils
  • Métis Chartered Communities
  • Municipalities
  • Regional Districts
  • Self-Governing First Nations

Applications must be complete and include a proposed budget indicating how the proposed expenditures align with the plan or project, high-level workplan, and letter of support from local/Indigenous government Council/Board resolution or equivalent.

A letter of support from your regional health authority or the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) is recommended but not required. Please be advised that projects demonstrating multi-sectoral collaboration are more likely to be funded. Written letters of support are suggested as a demonstration of existing partnerships. Please contact grants@bchealthycommunities.ca with any questions or to set up a call.

Prior to completing an application, please ensure that you represent an Indigenous or local government, that you have read this application guide, and that your proposed activities are eligible for support.

1.3 Grant Streams Summary


OBJECTIVETo complete an age-friendly assessment and develop an age-friendly action plan.To implement age-friendly action(s)/projects identified in the age-friendly community assessment and action plan. 
MAXIMUM AMOUNT PER GRANTUp to $25,000Up to $15,000
ADJUDICATION PERIODApplicants will be notified in late September 2023.
PROJECTS STARTOctober 15, 2023

Eligible applicants 

Eligible projects and activities

Deadline and Adjudication process 

Multiple applications and applicants 

Reporting obligations and financial processes 

BCHC supports 

Help with my application 

What is an Age-friendly Community?

Age-friendly communities allow for healthy, safe, and equitable aging, allowing older adults to age-in-place. These communities recognize the wide range of capacities and resources of older persons and respond to their needs while removing physical and social barriers to inclusion. Age-friendly communities also benefit all demographics and groups, as safer, more inclusive planning and infrastructure benefits everyone. Establishing age-friendly communities in BC builds on the global findings from the World Health Organization’s Age-friendly cities and the Canadian Age-friendly Rural and Remote Communities projects in 2007. 

2.1 Age-friendly Community
Health & Well-being

In general, British Columbians are among the healthiest people in the world, but not everyone is able to enjoy equitable access to health. We know it’s not enough to encourage people to choose healthy behaviours if the social, economic and physical environments around them are not also designed to support health and well-being.

Evidence shows that between 60 and 75 per cent of factors influencing our health are outside the healthcare system.1 These influences—including transportation, available recreation options, supportive social networks, community design, and access to healthy food—exist in the communities where we live, work, learn and play.

Application Tip

Demonstrate multi-sectoral partnerships.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to demonstrate collaboration with a range of diverse community stakeholders and health authorities through letters of support or written partnership agreements.

Application Tip

Connect with us to talk about your project.

We strongly encourage you to contact us with any questions about the application process or your proposed project before the application deadline. Reach us at grants@bchealthycommunities.ca to chat via email or schedule a call with us.

2.2 How Can Local and Indigenous Governments Create Age-friendly Communities?

The benefits of creating healthy communities extend beyond individuals to affect the greater community. These benefits can include increased physical activity, improved mental health, healthier diets, enhanced social cohesion and more.

Local and Indigenous governments can take action through:


Adopting strategic and land use planning practices that focus on promoting health through the design of healthier places, healthy community engagements and decision-making processes.


Using an age-friendly lens in the objectives, goal setting, and strategies of Official Community Plans, Comprehensive Community Regional Health and Wellness plans, regional growth strategies, municipal plans and zoning by-laws.


Supporting and encouraging neighbourhood-level programs linked
to a broader strategy for creating age-friendly communities.


Building partnerships with health authorities, school districts,
academic institutions and community organizations to develop
collaborative strategies to improve the age-friendliness of the community.

1Canadian Medical Association. Health Equity and the Social
Determinants of Health: A Role for the Medical Profession. 2013.

3.1 Stream 1: Planning
(Up to $25,000)

The Planning grant stream provides Indigenous and local governments with an opportunity to demonstrate an age-friendly focus on all aspects of the planning process, setting a foundation for the success of future Stream 2: Projects grants. Eligible plans include: 

  1. The development of a local age-friendly assessment and action plan; and/or 
  2. Adding an age-friendly and equity lens to existing plans or policies, such as: 
  • Comprehensive Community Plans, Official Community Plans, or community or neighbourhood plans;
  • Reconciliation plans, frameworks, or agreements;
  • Zoning and other bylaws (subdivision, snow removal, parking, etc…);
  • Development permit requirements; Community health and wellness plans;
  • Emergency response, evacuation, an/or emergency social services plans; and/or 
  • Design guidelines, Active transportation planning; Food security/food systems planning; 
  • Community planning processes related to social determinants of health (e.g., affordable housing, homelessness, etc…).  
  • Examples of past age-friendly assessments and action plans. 

3.2 Stream 2: Projects
(Up to $15,000)

The projects stream is for providing funding to carry out one or some of the actions (projects) identified in the Planning phase.  So, typically, to be eligible for Stream 2. Projects grant funding, applicants are required to have completed an age-friendly assessment and action plan with the last 10 years through the Stream 1. Planning grant.  However, applicants can apply directly for Stream 2. Projects funding if they provide an existing and current age-friendly assessment and action plan.  Some examples of Age-friendly projects can be found here

Application Tip

Connect with us to talk about your project

Equity is the fair distribution of opportunities, power and resources to meet the needs of all people, regardless of age, ability, gender or background.1 Age-friendly communities intentionally plan to reduce inequities faced by older adults. The older adult population is a diverse group, and intersecting identities contribute to unique experiences and needs. Policies, programs, and services must be developed in partnership with—and respond to the needs of—population groups most impacted by systemic inequities.2 Applying an equity lens means asking who will benefit from a policy, program, or service, but also who may be excluded from the benefits and why.3

1 City for All Women, ‘Advancing Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Municipalities.’ 2 BCHC, ‘Applying an Equity Lens in Age-friendly Communities Planning.’ 3 PlanH, ‘Supporting Equity in Planning and Policy Action Guide.’


Applications will be accepted until 11:59 pm Pacific Time on July 28, 2023.

July 28, 2023

Funding Decision

All applicants will receive notification by September 2023.

Late September 2023

Project Start/End

Projects will start and finish between October 15, 2023 – November 2023.

October 15, 2023 –
November 2023

4.1 How to Apply

Please note: this is not the application form.
The online application and workplan/budget template can be found here.

4.2 Application Review

Proposals will be assessed on the eligibility of applicant and proposed expenses, and connection between project activities and objectives stated in this application guide. 

As you will see within the application section where you will describe your plan/project, you will be asked about important principles for consideration in AFC planning and projects that are related to: 

  • Being community driven (i.e., based on previous work in your community/based on what is important to people within your community);
  • Being sustainable (to be able to act and continue beyond the funding period/make changes over time); 
  • Demonstrating multi-sectoral partnerships (see Background & Context above); 
  • The use of an equity lens (see Program Streams above); 
  • Participation of older adults throughout all phases of planning/projects (a component of equity);
  • Reflect Provincial Health Promotion Priorities for older adults (See pages 9 – 10 of this guide)
  • How you will know if your plan/project is successful and how you will track progress. For example:
  • You could describe how you will collect the feedback of the community members who attend an event; or
  • You might have an evaluation plan for the initiative that you can share with us. 
  • Note that it is important to apply an equity lens to your evaluation plan.   

To ensure a distribution of grant funding across the province, the Health Authority region of each proposal will be considered as part of the review process, with priority given to communities with no prior AFC funding and small/rural communities, along with the principles outlined above.  

Communities are encouraged to reach out to grants@bchdealthycommunities.ca to learn about the grant-making process and decision criteria or to set up an application consultation call.

4.3 Project Learning & Reflection Process

We will schedule an onboarding call with Stream 1 – Planning grant recipients to introduce ourselves and determine how we can best support your team. This call is not required for Stream 2 – Projects grant recipients, but they may request an onboarding or strategy call at any time.

Final Reports
All grant recipients are required to complete a final report at the end of the project. The questions in the final report are similar to the application form and will be available in the Spring of 2024. Our team is committed to incorporating culturally safe practices into our evaluation approaches. We will strive to co-create relevant learning and reflection tools in partnership with communities whenever possible.

4.4 Application Requirements

  • All Stream 1 and Stream 2 applications must demonstrate a focus on one or more of the eight domains of an age-friendly community. The age-friendly physical and social environment domains, align with the World Health Organizations (WHO) Age-friendly Cities  and the Canadian Age-friendly Rural & Remote Communities projects. Please note that the BC language below has been updated to be more inclusive.
  • Outdoor spaces and buildings
  • Transportation, including traffic safety
  • Housing
  • Social well-being and participation
  • Respect, social inclusion, and cultural safety
  • Community engagement and employment
  • Communications and information
  • Community support and health and
  • wellness services
  • The application must include a budget outlining how the proposed expenditures align with the initiative. (See section 4.5 Budget and Workplan for me details and section 5.0 for samples.)
  • The application must include a workplan detailing key milestones and project leads. (See section 4.5 Budget and Workplan for more details and section 5.0 for samples).  

  • The application must include a local government Council/Board resolution, or Band Council Resolution, supporting the initiative.
  • The application must be submitted using BC Healthy Communities’ online platform here.  If you have any challenges related to submitting online, please contact us at: grants@bchealthycommunities.ca.  Incomplete packages are likely to score lower than complete applications and are less likely to be successful. Applications will be scored by an Adjudication Committee based on a weighted point system. Applications must achieve a minimum score to be approved. 
  • All questions must be answered unless clearly indicated that they are optional. 
  • Stream 2 applications will be asked to indicate any Health Promotion Initiatives for older adults that are reflected in their projects. These are described on page 9 – 10 of this guide.
    (See list starting below for descriptions of the Health Promotion Initiatives for older adults and age-friendly community examples).  

Health Promotion Priorities

Examples of provincial health promotion priorities for 2023/24 that align with age-friendly communities.

Seniors: Home, community and mental health supports for older adults, long-term health promotion and injury prevention initiatives and digital solutions. 

Aging Well is an online resource on HealthLink BC, the Province’s reliable, non-emergency health information and advice topics to encourage British Columbians to make healthier choices. Aging Well has information, tools, and videos on topics including health and wellness (includes healthy eating and physical activity), finance, transportation, housing, and social connection – areas of life that are important and interconnected when it comes to healthy aging. 

Example of an age-friendly planning project for a healthy and independent future. 
Columbia-Shuswap Regional District has engaged the Communities of the South Shuswap in the development of a resource centre to support age-friendly community planning. Services offered through the centre include financial planning, computer literacy training, transportation, and healthy eating programs. 

Better at Home, an innovative non-medical home support program funded by the Province and managed by United Way of the Lower Mainland, helps seniors with day-to-day tasks so that they can continue to live independently in their own homes and remain connected to their communities. 

Example of an age-friendly project incorporating the Better at Home program.
District of Invermere created an age-friendly business directory, companion program, monthly luncheons, and a mentorship program. The companion program matched seniors with volunteers who will assist with everyday living activities such as shoveling the sidewalk, driving to and from the grocery store, or appointments. Business owners and employees offered training on how their operations can be more age-friendly. 

Example of an AFC project that provides access to information and healthcare professionals. 
The Village of Valemount is hosting a Seniors Fair and Wellness Outreach Program to ensure social inclusion and increase the overall health and well-being of older adults in their rural community. They are providing access to information from a variety of healthcare professionals and increasing knowledge of programs within the community. In addition, Valemount is hosting sessions/workshops/a community fair with resources on wellness and health topics such as: a tech café, introduction and signing up for ‘rural personal health records’, vision and audiology clinics, housing support for older adults, and diabetes awareness.

Truth & reconciliation, equity, inclusion and anti-racism

Example of AFC planning that promotes universal access and inclusion. 
The Nisga’a Village of Gitwinksilhkw is creating a Universal Access and Inclusion Strategy through hosting community engagements and meetings to determine community needs and ultimately develop an age-friendly actionable implementation work plan to help everyone safety participate, barrier free in all parts of the community. An age-friendly mentor will be contracted to train a local champion to ensure implementation of the plan.

Example of AFC planning that promotes accessibility and inclusion.
The District of Mackenzie is assessing current services available for older adults as well as all residents with disabilities, across all eight domains of age-friendly communities. This assessment will be used to create a three-year workplan, showcasing specific objectives and action items to be completed within that time frame.

Recovering from COVID-19

Example of an AFC project that brings older adults together, gets them moving and supports local businesses.
The City of White Rock is hosting “Poetry in Motion”, an inclusive and accessible community engagement walk that provides community members an opportunity to engage in culturally diverse poetry while participating in a social physical activity to improve mental well-being. Participants will be given community maps, local business drink vouchers and the opportunity join in group walking tours where they will be able to share in unique poetry on permanent podiums throughout the community.

Housing and safer communities

Example of an AFC project exploring home-sharing options
The City of Williams Lake, through research and engagement with community members is exploring the viability of a program where older adults share their residence with another, potentially much lower income older adult, in exchange for some rental income, companionship, and perhaps assistance with household chores. The plan is to also provide a pathway for matchmaking.  Safety considerations will be a priority and incorporated into this plan.

Climate change and emergency preparedness

Example of AFC planning that supports vulnerable populations in extreme weather events. 
The City of Burnaby is creating an Age-friendly Strategic Plan for Multi-Sectoral Extreme Weather to prepare and support isolated older adults prior to and during emergency situations. The target population includes older adults who live alone in the community, those with chronic health conditions, addictive substance use, financial insecurity, those who may not be proficient in English, and who are precariously housed. These sub-populations are among the most vulnerable to the negative health effects of extreme weather events.

Example of an AFC project that is building emergency and climate resilience in older adults. 
The District of West Vancouver is building seniors’ resilience in the face of emergencies and disasters on the North Shore by providing information, education, and outreach through: flyers/posters in multiple languages; integrating short presentations on emergency preparedness into existing programs; and including emergency preparedness in outreach calls and friendly visiting programs.

4.5 Budget & Workplan

A budget and workplan template is available with the application. Please save the file as “COMMUNITY NAME_AFC_WorkplanBudget_2023”. See Section 5 for examples of how to complete these documents.

The project workplan is a high-level overview of proposed project milestones and responsibilities, and anticipated BCHC supports (see Section 4.6 for a list of potential BCHC Staff Supports). We recognize processes may not be linear; however, this helps our team to better understand your project proposal.

The following costs are eligible:
  • Project staff (e.g., coordination, facilitation, partnership development and student- led research);
  • Communications (e.g., promotional materials, printing and design);
  • Indigenous government and local government and community partner expenses (e.g. venue, travel mileage, food, accommodation and child care) related to attending multi-sectoral partnership meetings and events;
  • Data collection (e.g., asset mapping and environmental audits);
  • Honoraria to reduce barriers to volunteer participations; and
  • (For Stream 2 only). Capital expenditures (e.g. furniture/equipment) that are clearly linked to initiatives and programming for older adults may be included and may be approved; provided they do not exceed 40% of the total requested Stream 2 grant (i.e., 40% of a $15,000.00 grant request could allow for a maximum of $6,000.00 allocated for capital costs).

The following costs are NOT eligible:
  • Expenses for activities that have already taken place;
  • Existing community programs, unless you are working to scale or expand proven impacts;
  • Entertainment or personal expenses;
  • Development of feasibility studies, business cases, architectural, engineering or other design drawings for the construction or renovation of facilities providing services to older adults, including housing and care facilities;
  • Fundraising; 
  • Sidewalk, path, or trail construction or improvements, or other infrastructure projects;
  • One-time events that are not part of a larger healthy community strategy (e.g., community dinners, festivals or community gardens); and,
  • Costs associated with furniture, equipment and other capital expenses over 40% of the project budget.

In addition, past age-friendly communities grant recipients must have completed and fulfilled all past reporting requirements for all types of grant funds previously received.

4.6 BCHC Staff Supports

4.7 Grant Management and
Applicant Responsibilities

The Age-friendly Communities Program includes a cash grant as well as in-kind support from BCHC staff. Support could range from consultation by phone/email/video conference to face-to-face or possibly in-community collaboration. BCHC’s role in building community capacity may include (but is not limited to):

  • Providing input on goal development and policy recommendations;
  • Offering guidance on reflective planning practice;
  • Supporting monitoring and evaluation strategies including the development of indicators, data collection methods and evaluation frameworks;
  • Researching a variety of topics areas ranging from processes (e.g., partnership development, data collection strategies) to content (e.g. housing, food systems, transportation planning, and revisions to Official Community Plans or Regional Health and Wellness plans);
  • Developing in-person and online community engagement processes, including support with planning and design;
  • Connecting local and Indigenous governments to community-based organizations, other local and Indigenous governments and regional health authorities (e.g. introductions, convening meetings, bridge-building);
  • Reviewing documents and advising on best practices;
  • Participating on advisory committees;
  • Sharing resources developed by BC Healthy Communities and others; and
  • Designing and delivering online trainings and webinars specific to your needs.

  • Upon notice of funding awarded, successful grant communities will receive a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) form (to allow transfer of funds) for authorized signatures. Upon receipt of these signed forms, the first 80% of the funding amount will be transferred to the successful communities. The remaining 20% of the funding amount will be transferred upon submission of a complete final report in November 2024. 
  • The final report forms will be sent to communities in the Spring of 2024. 
  • Any changes to plans/projects and any extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis and we do aim to be as flexible as we are able. We want you to be successful!

A sample workplan and budget are displayed below. If you have any questions about how to develop a budget or workplan for your application, please get in touch with us at grants@bchealthycommunities.ca to learn more or to set up a call.

Sample Workplan for Age-friendly Assessment and Action Plan (Stream 1) 

Project Initiation
and Relationship
Reach out to and coordinate with project partners to confirm project plan and outline how we will work togetherNovemberKai CabotConnecting with Regional Health Authority
Engagement and
Develop engagement objectives, strategies and communications plansJanuaryAmina Merjem Review of engagement
plan and communications materials
Host four virtual and two
in-person engagement sessions with partners
and stakeholders
MayAngela LeeFacilitation design/
technical support
Share-back and
Best Practice
Summarize and report back on engagement session info. Research best/wise practice policy optionsJulyEsma DavudNone
Action Planning Co-develop proposed action plan with key partners, prepare final report/action planSeptemberAhmed AdinParticipate as member
of review committee

Sample Budget for Age-friendly Assessment and Action Plan (Stream 1)


Part-time role, reporting to steering committee$17,500$17,500 $0
Quarterly meeting
(venue, refreshments)
$1,000 $0$1,000
To support travel, internet,
or other costs
($50 x 50 participants)
Online and radio ads, etc. $1,000$1,000$500
DATA COLLECTION Design, printing, Distribution, analysis
(two surveys)
$3,500 $3,500 $0

$26,000 $25,000 $1,000

Sample Workplan for Project (Stream 2)

Project Initiation
and Relationship
Reach out to and coordinate with project partners to confirm project plan and outline how we will work togetherSeptemberKai CabotConnecting with other BC communities that have completed similar projects
Engagement and
Develop engagement objectives, strategies and communications tacticsOctoberAmina Merjem Review of engagement
plan and communications materials
Host two virtual and two in- person engagement sessions with impacted community members to determine routes/locations for bench installation during the Summer and winter snow removal First two weeks of November Angela LeeFacilitation design/
technical support
Share-back Summarize and report back on engagement session infoLast two weeks of November Esma DavudNone
Implementation Part 1 (Snow Removal)Determine snow removal companies/volunteers. Snow removal implementation (Schedule for locations and snow clearers)December – MarchAhmed AdinNone
Part 2
(Bench purchase and installation)
Research bench installation companies (March). Source (April), purchase (May), receive benches (June) and install (July – August). March – August Jo Martin None
ReportingCreate reportSeptemberStephen WongNone

Sample Budget for Project (Stream 2)

Part-time role, reporting to steering committee$10,000$10,000 $0
Venue and refreshments for quarterly meetings$1,000 $0$1,000
To support travel, internet,
or other costs
($50 x 40 participants)
DATA COLLECTION Design, printing, Distribution, analysis
(two surveys)
$2,500 $2,000 $500
SNOW CLEARINGSnow clearing company fees$3,000$3,000
GENERAL COSTS SUBTOTAL$18,500$15,000$13,500
TOTAL$28,500 $25,000 $1,000
Benches and installationPurchase and install benches$10,000 $1,000 $9,000
Capital Costs Subtotal$10,000$1,000$9,000
Total Expenses$28,500$15,000$13,500
Regional DistrictIn-kind$12,500
Neighbourhood HouseIn-kind$1,000
Our team is available to support you during the application process by answering any questions you may have about the grant application process, the decision criteria, or anything else about the process. 

Questions? Please feel free to contact our team and/or to set up a consultation regarding the application process: grants@bchealthycommunities.ca