Federal Grants for Community Projects Initiated by Seniors

The New Horizons for Seniors Program

The Canadian Government offers grants of up to $25,000 to projects led or inspired by seniors who want to make a difference in the lives of others and in their communities. Two thirds of grant applications received last year were approved.

Tina Walter, a director in the New Horizons for Seniors Program, describes what they fund:

They support projects that address one or more of the following five objectives:

  • promoting volunteerism among seniors and other generations;
  • engaging seniors in the community through the mentoring of others;
  • expanding awareness of elder abuse, including financial abuse;
  • supporting the social participation and inclusion of seniors; and
  • providing capital assistance for new and existing community projects and/or programs for seniors.

There are no fixed upper or lower age limits. Projects involving participants ranging from 50 to over 80 have been funded.

The program issues a call for applications once a year. Deadline for applications this year (for all of Canada except Quebec): June 29, 2012.

All kinds of organizations can apply for funding. They have to demonstrate community support and that seniors are involved in project planning and implementation. The program web site lists the approved projects each year.

Criteria for funding approval vary from region to region. Applicants should check the program web site to see the priorities for their region.


Ryerson's New Horizons Project

Ryerson University used New Horizons grants to help members of the City of Toronto's Seniors' Forum learn how to become advocates for a senior friendly city. Sandra Kerr of Ryerson Continuing Education describes how a Ryerson senior trainer collaborated with the Act II Studio senior drama team to simulate situations and help seniors in various communities in Toronto understand how to advocate for their needs.