Participatory Budgeting Victoria

Five Youth  Programs Get Funding Thanks to Community Voting

The votes are counted and nearly $55,000 has been awarded to five community-led youth projects in the City of Victoria’s 2019 Participatory Budgeting. The theme this year was initiatives that make life better for youth in Victoria. 

Projects receiving funding include a program to prevent youth homelessness, a music and poetry open mic for youth mental health awareness, a youth-focused parenting program, and a pollinator youth squad training and leadership program. A talent show for youth will also receive funding in the micro-grant category.

Find out more about the 2019 Participatory Budgeting recipients

The City thanks all participants for submitting a project proposal for this year’s Participatory Budgeting. In total, 16 projects were put out for community voting, and nearly 5,000 residents cast their ballot. Although not all projects are awarded funding the efforts to put forward a project idea to improve the lives of youth in our community are appreciated.

Participatory Budgeting is an innovative, democratic process that gives the entire community the opportunity to participate and decide how to invest a portion of the City budget. The process is run by a volunteer steering committee, organized this year by the City of Victoria Youth Council. The committee engaged with the community to encourage project submissions and ensured the process was transparent, fair, and inclusive.

The City’s 2020 Participatory Budgeting will get underway later this fall. The focus for 2020 is newcomers, followed by neighbourhood spaces in 2021.

Curious about the City of Victoria’s inaugural Participatory Budgeting process?

In 2018,  $52,500 in funding was distributed to these community-based projects that all have the common goal of improving life in Victoria.  These projects are all active in our community now.

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] .


2017 Participatory Budgeting Rulebook
The City of Victoria empowered the community to decide what to do with a portion of the City budget. The Steering Committee was brought together to develop 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:

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

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