Participatory Budgeting Victoria
Steering Committee Applications Now Open! Apply by February 28.
Got a passion for community art, play spaces, or places for neighbours to connect? Want to build connections and get hands on experience with decision making and community engagement? Apply to be part of the 2021 Participatory Budgeting Steering Committee. This year’s focus is on projects that enhance neighbourhood spaces.
The Greater Victoria Placemaking Network and Building Resilient Neighbourhoods Society will co-host this year’s citizen-led Steering Committee that will develop and oversee the community-led budgeting process to engage and work with community members to develop ideas and proposals. Community voting will determine the top projects for funding.
Participatory Budgeting thrives on the diverse representation of Victoria residents as this will help build a better process. Individuals will be selected based on personal experience and knowledge. Applications from community members who have diverse lived experiences is strongly encouraged. Experience with engagement, community building, grant programs, community foundations, communications and budgeting would also be useful for some Steering Committee members to have. Victoria residents of all ages can apply to be on the Steering Committee.
A virtual Information Session was held on Wednesday, February 17 from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. to learn more about being involved on the Steering Committee and this year's Participatory Budgeting process. A diverse steering committee is an important element of this process of creating neighbourhood spaces inviting to all.
Apply Now - the deadline for applications is Sunday, February 28
What is Participatory Budgeting?
Participatory budgeting is an innovative, democratic process that was first developed in Brazil in 1989. It is now practiced in more than 3,000 cities around the world. Participatory budgeting gives the entire community the opportunity to participate and decide how to invest a portion of the City budget and focuses on engaging people who have not historically been involved in government or budgeting processes. The process is run by a volunteer steering committee who engage with the community to encourage project submissions and ensure the process is transparent, fair and inclusive.
The initiative began in Victoria in 2017 with a successful pilot project. The City followed this up with a commitment for three more years, with a focus on Youth in 2019, on Newcomers in 2020, and on Neighbourhood Spaces in 2021.
This short video provides a snappy introduction to Participatory Budgeting. It was produced by the Participatory Budgeting Project, a not-for-profit organization based in New York.
Check out past projects making a real difference in our community:
In past years, 18 community-led projects have been selected by community members to receive more than $150,000 in City of Victoria Participatory Budgeting funding since the initiative began in 2017. Many more potential project ideas were submitted and voted on by community members. Thanks to everyone who participated!
2020 Participatory Budgeting funding recipients:
- ICA’s Tools for Equity – Bystander Intervention Training - $30,000
This program aims to combat racism and help create safe, inclusive communities by teaching participants practical skills they can use to support people of colour.
- Anti-Racist and Culturally Competent Healthcare App - $10,000
An app focused on improving health outcomes for newcomers.
- Planting Home - $2,000
This program aims to help families and individuals connect to culture & community through the joyful cultivation of food.
- Financial Literacy for YOU (FLY) - $1,580
This program empowers youth through financial literacy training.
- Being Together & Being Here: Newcomer Integration Through Indigenous Partnership and Education - $1,943
This training program for youth promotes learning and builds relationships between newcomers and Indigenous community groups.
- Culturally Safe Intake for Rock Bay Landing Shelter -$1,930
This program enhances emergency shelter intake service to accommodates the needs of our multicultural, non-English speaking population.
- Coming Home to the Garden: Sustainability Workshops and Resources for Newcomers - $1,566
A series of gardening workshops that focus on food security and sustainability.
Find out more about the 2020 Participatory Budgeting recipients. [PDF - 936 KB]
2019 Participatory Budgeting Project Recipients:
- What We Need: Prevention of Youth Homelessness–$27,520 This program will equip at-risk youth with resources to find housing, employment and stability through fostering independence, belonging and empowerment
- Pollinator Partnership Canada –$18,000 This program will empower youth to take the lead in pollinator conservation in Victoria
- Unquiet Minds II –$6,450 This community-based event will celebrate and highlight youth in their efforts to cultivate creativity towards an ongoing and theatrical discussion of mental health
- Nobody’s Perfect Parenting Program for Young Parents –$2,400 This parenting program will provide resources to parents who are young, single, socially or geographically isolated, or who have low income or limited formal education
2018 Participatory Budgeting Project Recipients:
- 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.
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