Participatory Budgeting Victoria


Participatory Budgeting

Stay tuned to find out which projects will receive Participatory Budgeting funding in this year's initiative.

Members of the public were invited to vote on community-led projects from October 5 until November 6. The projects that receive the most votes will be awarded funds in support of their initiatives.

Proposals cover a wide range of topics - from improving newcomer food security through cooking and gardening, lowering barriers to access health and wellbeing programs, highlighting newcomer storytelling through the arts, to entrepreneurship and financial literacy training for newcomer business owners and much more. 

Special thanks to the Participatory Budgeting Steering Committee, being hosted this year by The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria for giving of their time to support this initiative.

What is Participatory Budgeting?

Watch this video to find out more of what you need to know about this year's initiative benefiting newcomers. Members of the 2020 Participatory Budgeting Steering Committee answer questions including who can apply, how to come up with an idea for a project and more!

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 focuses on engaging people who have not historically been involved in government or budgeting processes. The process is citizen-led and community members directly decide how to spend part of the City’s budget. 

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.


2020 Participatory Budgeting Timeline 

*Please note the following timeline has been adjusted to account for COVID-19 related delays.

January-February: Form Community Steering Community.  
June-July: Generate ideas and submit Project Proposals
September: Community Voting
Late fall: Fund and Implement winning projects

Check out the great projects making a real difference in our community: 

In total, 11 community-led projects have been selected by community members to receive $110,000 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!

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.