Participatory Budgeting Victoria

Your Dollars, Your Decisions, Your City

The ballots for the City of Victoria’s inaugural Participatory Budgeting process have been counted!  The top three projects include an employment preparedness training program for Victoria’s most vulnerable citizens, an educational learning garden and a “pop-up native bee apiary.”

 $52,500 in funding will be distributed to these community-based projects that all have the common goal of improving life in Victoria. Project details include:

  • Next Steps Employment Program: ($25,000) A program by Our Place Society that will create pathways to employment for Victoria’s most vulnerable citizens.
  • Urban Alive Pop-Up Native Bee Apiary ($11,500): Border Free Bees, Emily Carr University and Pollinator Partnerships Canada will collaboratively design and build an apiary to house docile native bees and educate the public on the crucial role they play in natural ecosystems.
  • Learning Garden: ($16,000) Food Eco District (FED) and LifeCycles Project Society will build an educational outdoor classroom at the Greater Victoria Public Library’s downtown branch.

You can learn more about the three community projects receiving funding here. [PDF - 356 KB]

Twenty-eight proposals were submitted by individuals and organizations this fall.  The ideas were vetted to ensure they were viable and worked to improve life in Victoria. 

A big thanks to all of the great ideas that were submitted by individuals and organizations in the community.

The shortlisted projects were:

  • Urban Alive Pop-Up Native Bee Apiary: A pop-up garden and native bee art installation with educational workshops - $11,500
  • Closing the Loop at the Compost Education Centre: Solar power and batteries for the aquaponics system at the Compost Education Centre - $2,000
  • Arts & Alzheimer's: An art and music program for seniors with dementia - $1,500
  • Next Steps Employment Program: An employment training program, connecting vulnerable adults with local employers - $25,000
  • Arts Project for Marginalized People: A music, performance, and visual art program for marginalized people in the Victoria area - $20,000
  • One Vital Sign: A new electronic community resource board at Victoria High School to serve the Fernwood community - $22,055
  • Victoria Bicycle Music Festival: A pedal-powered Victoria Bike Music Festival and summer concert series - $4,350
  • FED Learning Garden: A community learning garden in the courtyard by the Downtown Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library - $16,000

 View the eight shortlisted projects here [PDF - 5.5 MB] .

Funding will be distributed in early 2018.  The projects will be rolled out in the community in 2018.

Participatory Budgeting Rulebook
This is the first year the City of Victoria has empowered the community to decide what to do with a portion of the City budget. The Steering Committee was brought together in May and has been developing a model to empower community members in budget decision-making.  Learn more about this model and guiding principles here in the 2017 Participatory Budgeting RuleBook. [PDF - 1.1 MB]

We asked a few community members how they'd like to spend up to $50,000.  This is what they said:


Keep an eye on social media for further details and updates, or email with any questions! 

What is participatory budgeting and how does it work?

(The image above has been used with permission from the Participatory Budgeting Project.)

Participatory budgeting is a democratic process in which the municipality allocates an amount of money for residents to propose and vote upon community projects. The City of Victoria participatory budgeting pilot builds on increased public participation in the City’s budget process over the past two years.

The design of a participatory budgeting process is completed by citizens, which includes reaching out to community members, working with the community to identify projects and voting on the project that the community feels should receive the funds.

 This short video gives a short, snappy introduction to Particpatory Budgeting.  It was produced by the Participatory Budgeting Project, a not-for profit organization based in New York.


How far can $50,000 go?
The following gives some idea of what estimated costs are for various community improvement projects.

Bike Rack: $500
Wall Mural: $500-$1,000
Park Bench: $2,000-$2,500
Community Stage Parklet: $10,000 - $20,000

If you are unsure of what the estimated costs would be for your idea you are welcome to contact us at for advice!

Did you miss the Information Session in August? 
View the powerpoint presentation here. [PDF - 4.4 MB]

News on the City of Victoria Participatory Budgeting Pilot

Stay tuned on our website and social for future updates as this exciting process begins in our community! There will be many opportunities for you to be a part of the process along the way.


  • Projects to be implemented (Within 12 months)


  • Community voting (December- January)
  • The Steering Committee was selected in early May 2017 and began meeting regularly to develop what Participatory Budgeting will look like in Victoria
  • April 2017: A call-out was made for steering committee members
  • January 2017: Introduce process. A kick-off was  held on January 12, 2017, facilitated by the Participatory Budgeting Project. Introductory training on participatory budgeting was provided to community members, adding support to the citizen body that will form. City staff and public sector agencies also received training on how best to support the process.
  • November  2015: Report to Council [PDF - 113 KB] 

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