Participatory Budgeting Victoria


Community Voting Starts in October!

Our call for proposals closed on August 7. Don't miss your chance to vote on how $50,000 should be used to benefit newcomers in Victoria. Stay tuned for more info!

The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria is hosting this year's Participatory Budgeting Steering Committee. They have $50,000 in City of Victoria funding and will be looking to involve the community in how to invest it in projects that benefit newcomers. The Steering Committee defines newcomers as immigrants/refugees to Canada, and their families, who have settled in Victoria.

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 Neighourhood 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.