Five-year-old Jesse Rice Jr. performs Lekwungen traditional dance at the Langford Aboriginal Day Festival hosted at the M’akola Housing Society’s parking lot in 2016. The society received a $7,000 grant from the Victoria Foundation to put on the festival again in 2018. (News Gazette file photo)

West Shore organizations receive boost from Victoria Foundation

Wide range of projects received community grant funding

The Victoria Foundation distributed a record-high $2.3 million in community grants last month to benefit 104 non-profit organizations across Vancouver Island, including many on the West Shore.

Locally, the M’akola Housing Society received $7,000 for the annual West Shore Aboriginal Day Festival, which saw more than 1,000 people attend during this year’s event. It is the only one of its kind in the western communities.

The Child Abuse Prevention and Counselling Society of Greater Victoria’s program called Raising Happi Kids Konnect received $15,000. The program builds regional capacity for serving families affected by abuse in the West Shore and Victoria. The Rocky Point Bird Observatory Society also received $25,000 to further monitor migratory bird populations.

A program at William Head Institution called Book Clubs for Inmates received $10,000 to expand its writing program and workshops to help inmates enhance their communication skills for their reintegration back into society. Threshold Housing Society received $40,000 for its life foundations program, which provides at-risk youth with the skills to prepare them for tenancy and other aspects of life.

“Each year, we see such a diversity of amazing projects that apply for our community grants,” said foundation CEO Sandra Richardson in a release. “From tackling the opioid crisis, to supporting single parents, fostering environmental stewardship, to 25 different arts and culture projects, the range is incredible.”

The largest grants went to the Aboriginal and Greater Victoria coalitions to end homelessness societies, who were awarded $100,000 and $104,000 grants, respectively. Our Place Society, the Belfry Theatre Society and the Bridges for Women Society received $40,000 each.

The foundation, which is the largest non-government funder in the region, awarded more than $20 million in grants in 2017 and more than $196 million since it began in 1936.

For the full list of projects that received funding visit

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