This is a step-by-step guide for completing your grant application for an Age-friendly Communities Grant. If you prefer, you can download a PDF version of this Application Guide web page here (the FAQ is online only).

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

1.1 Program Goal

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

In an age-friendly community, older adults are supported to age-in-place where they can have active, socially engaged, and independent lives. The Province of B.C. has advanced the age-friendly agenda since 2007, and the broader Age-friendly BC (AFBC) Program (in collaboration with key partners) engages, strengthens, and supports communities to prepare for an aging population that can age actively in their communities.

The AFC grants are one component of the broader AFBC Program. To help local and Indigenous governments, organizations, and communities achieve the vision of building age-friendly communities, the broader AFBC Program is comprised of three components:

  1. AFC 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 Ministry administers the Age-friendly BC community recognition component of the broader AFBC 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 local and Indigenous governments, organizations, and communities 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 high-level budget indicating how the proposed expenditures align with the plan or project, a high-level workplan, and documentation of formal approval from the local or Indigenous government/organization/community submitting the application. Formal approval can be a council/board resolution, band council resolution, letter from the chief administrative officer (CAO), or equivalent.

A letter of support from your regional health authority (RHA) 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 a local or Indigenous government, organization, or community, that you have read this application guide, and that your proposed activities are eligible for support.

1.3 Grant Streams Summary


STREAM 1
PLANNING

STREAM 2
PROJECTS
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
APPLICATION DUE DATEAugust 26, 2024
ADJUDICATION PERIODApplicants will be notified in September 2024.
PROJECTS STARTOctober 15, 2024
FINAL REPORTS DUE November 2025
LATEST PROJECT END November 2025

What is an Age-friendly Community?

Age-friendly communities allow for healthy, safe, and equitable aging to support 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 B.C. builds on global findings from the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Global Age-friendly Cities Guide and the Canadian Age-friendly Rural and Remote Communities Guide.

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 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, Organizations, and Communities Create Age-friendly Communities?

The benefits of creating age-friendly communities extend beyond individuals and older adults 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, organizations, and communities can act through:

Planning

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

Policy

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

Programs

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

Partnerships

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 local and Indigenous governments, organizations, and communities 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, and/or emergency social services plans;
  • Design guidelines, active transportation planning; food security/food systems planning; and/or
  • Community planning processes related to social determinants of health (e.g., affordable housing, etc.).  
  • Click here to see some examples of past age-friendly assessments and action plans. 

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

The Projects stream provides funding to carry out one or some of the actions (projects) identified in the Planning phase. To be eligible for Stream 2: Projects grant funding, applicants are required to have completed an age-friendly assessment and action plan within the last 10 years­- completed either through the Stream 1: Planning grant or through an existing and current age-friendly assessment and action plan developed by local and Indigenous governments, organizations, and communities. Some examples of age-friendly projects can be found here.

Application Tip

Connect with us to talk about adding an equity lens to 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.2 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.3 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.4

2 City for All Women Initiative, ‘Advancing Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Municipalities.’ 3 BCHC, ‘Applying an Equity Lens in Age-friendly Communities Planning.’ 4 PlanH, ‘Supporting Equity in Planning and Policy Action Guide.’

‘Supporting Equity in Planning and Policy Action Guide.’(opens in a new tab)

Application
Deadline

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 pm Pacific Time on August 26, 2024.

August 26, 2024

Funding Decision
Notification

All applicants will receive notification by September 2024.

September 2024

Project Start/End
Timelines

Projects will start and finish between October 15, 2024 – November 2025.

October 15, 2024 –
November 2025

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); 
  • Demonstrating use of an equity lens (see Program Streams above); 
  • Participation of older adults throughout all phases of planning/projects (a component of equity);
  • 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

Onboarding
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 2025. 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

  1. Outdoor spaces and buildings
  2. Transportation (including road safety)
  3. Housing
  4. Social well-being and participation
  5. Respect, social inclusion and cultural safety
  6. Community engagement and employment
  7. Communications and information
  8. 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 more 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. 

Past Age-friendly Grant Recipients:

Below are some examples of communities which received age-friendly community grants in 2023, sorted by grant stream. For the full list of 2023 AFC Grant recipients please see: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/2023AgeFriendlyGrantRecipients_Nov15.pdf 

STREAM 1: PLANNING

North Island Métis Association- Ketehayak Tasshkinikayen (Elders Sharing)

The purpose of the plan is to provide a place for Métis seniors to have voice about concerns and issues that affect them in their community, such as community support and health and wellness services. The data will impact how the Chartered Community continues to offer programs and service for older adults.

City of Surrey

Create a structured and measurable action plan that aligns with the revised Age-Friendly Strategy for Seniors, focusing on the key outcomes of safety, health and wellness, transportation and mobility, and home, buildings, and outdoor spaces, with an emphasis on fostering an interdisciplinary approach.

Neskonlith Indian band

Conduct an age-friendly assessment that focuses especially on housing, and includes the needs of our Elders in community services planning and public infrastructure, including Band Rental Housing.

Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council

The goal is to evaluate the inclusivity and effectiveness of community food network and food security initiatives for Elders while also creating plans to involve Elders in community gardens and fostering intergenerational connections with children and youth.

STREAM 2: PROJECTS

Town of Oliver

The purpose of this project is to support the health and safety of older adults in Oliver through a series of workshops related to emergency preparedness, and two health and mental health fairs.

City of Maple Ridge

The purpose of the project is to build volunteer engagement, reduce barriers to participation where feasible, and to connect seniors who may not otherwise be able to volunteer for the Maple Ridge 2024 BC summer Games.

The Corporation of the District of Oak Bay

The purpose of the Assistive Listening Project is to introduce technology that will remove barriers to inclusion for older adults with hearing difficulties.

The Village of Harrison Hot Springs

The purpose of the project is to implement ideas identified in the previously developed Age-Friendly Action Plan. The plan focuses on providing an environment for their community to age-in-place while living active, socially engaged, and independent lives.

4.5 Budget & Workplan

A budget and workplan template is available with the application. Please save the file as “COMMUNITY NAME_AFC_WorkplanBudget_2024”. 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);
  • Local and Indigenous government, organization, and community expenses 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 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 grant request could allow for a maximum of $6,000 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 2025. 
  • The final report forms will be sent to communities in the Spring of 2025. 
  • 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: Planning) 

PROJECT
MILESTONE
BRIEF
DESCRIPTION
DATE OF
COMPLETION
WHO IS
RESPONSIBLE
BCHC SUPPORT
ANTICIPATED
Project Initiation
and Relationship
Building
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
Communications
Planning
Develop engagement objectives, strategies and communications plansJanuaryAmina Merjem Review of engagement
plan and communications materials
Community
Engagement
Host four virtual and two
in-person engagement sessions with partners
and stakeholders
MayAngela LeeFacilitation design/
technical support
Share-back and
Best Practice
Research
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: Planning)

ITEM DESCRIPTIONAMOUNTAGE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES
CONTRIBUTION
OTHER SOURCES
(CASH, IN-KIND)
PROJECT
COORDINATION

(PART-TIME)
Part-time role, reporting to steering committee$17,500$17,500 $0
MULTI-SECTORAL
STEERING COMMITTEE
MEETINGS
Quarterly meeting
(venue, refreshments)
$1,000 $0$1,000
HONORARIA FOR
PARTICIPANTS
To support travel, internet,
or other costs
($50 x 50 participants)
$3,000$3,000$0
COMMUNICATIONS &
OUTREACH
Online and radio ads, etc. $1,000$1,000$500
DATA COLLECTION Design, printing, Distribution, analysis
(two surveys)
$3,500 $3,500 $0

TOTAL
$26,000 $25,000 $1,000
EXPECTED SUPPORT
FROM AFC AND OTHER SOURCES
CASH OR IN-KIND?PROJECTED
AMOUNT
NEIGHBOURHOOD HOUSEIN-KIND $1,000

Sample Workplan for Project (Stream 2: Projects)

PROJECT
MILESTONE
BRIEF
DESCRIPTION
DATE OF
COMPLETION
WHO IS
RESPONSIBLE
BCHC SUPPORT
ANTICIPATED
Project Initiation
and Relationship
Building
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
Communications
Planning
Develop engagement objectives, strategies and communications tacticsOctoberAmina Merjem Review of engagement
plan and communications materials
Community
Engagement
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: Projects)

ITEM DESCRIPTIONPROJECTED COSTAGE-FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES
CONTRIBUTION
OTHER SOURCES
(CASH, IN-KIND)
GENERAL COSTS
PROJECT
COORDINATOR
Part-time role, reporting to steering committee$10,000$10,000 $0
MULTI-SECTORAL
STEERING COMMITTEE
MEETINGS
Venue and refreshments for quarterly meetings$1,000 $0$1,000
HONORARIA FOR
PARTICIPANTS
To support travel, internet,
or other costs
($50 x 40 participants)
$2,000$2,000$0
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
CAPITAL COSTS
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
EXPECTED SUPPORT FROM AFC AND OTHER SOURCESCash or in-kindProjected Amount
Age Friendly GrantCash$15,000
Regional DistrictIn-kind$12,500
Neighbourhood HouseIn-kind$1,000

1. Eligibility Criteria and Requirements

2.0 Eligible Projects and Activities

3.0 Deadline and Adjudication process 

4.0 Multiple Applications and Applicants 

5.0 Reporting Obligations and Financial Processes 

6.0 BCHC Supports 

7.0 Help with my application 

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