News release

Applications Open for Building Vibrant Communities Grants

Community groups that deliver, strengthen or expand programs that help Nova Scotians living on low incomes can now apply for a Building Vibrant Communities grant.

Programs may include those that address workforce attachment, housing, mental health and addictions, food security, youth transition to adulthood or transportation.

This year there will be a stronger focus on projects that:

  • address poverty-related challenges created or worsened by COVID-19
  • align with promising practices that are emerging through the Poverty Reduction Blueprint

“At the Department of Community Services, we’re working to prevent or interrupt the cycle of poverty so Nova Scotians can continue to build the kind of lives they want for decades to come,” said Kelly Regan, Minister of Community Services. “These grants allow organizations to design innovative approaches to reduce poverty and help families create better futures.”

Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, Mi’kmaw communities, registered charities, municipalities and social enterprises.

“These grants strengthen community programs and the non-profit sector that help Nova Scotians struggling to make ends meet,” said Suzanne Lohnes-Croft, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “These programs can change people’s lives and make our province a safer, more caring place to live.”

Funding is available for up to $50,000 per project. Total funding of $792,000 is available for the Building Vibrant Communities grants in 2020-21.

The program is accepting grant applications until midnight on Jan. 15, 2021.


Guysborough County has one of the oldest populations in Nova Scotia, with 50 per cent of our residents over the age of 55. Having access to nutritious food is fundamental to overall health and well-being – this can be challenging for older adults for many reasons, particularly now. Programs like this support older adults who have financial concerns, may be isolated, have difficulty getting to a grocery store due to health or transportation challenges, or are experiencing other barriers to food access. Shaunna Scott, Mulgrave and Area Wellness Hub

Funding through the Building Vibrant Communities grant has been instrumental as LOVE extends and deepens our individualized Succeed and Proceed services to youth living in HRM, Sipekne’katik and Membertou. LOVE works with youth long term, and in our experience older youth (18-30) are looking for one-on-one support around employment, life skills, education, problem-solving, and becoming equipped with the tools they require to transition into adulthood, independence and to reach their goals. Being able to respond to youth’s needs in a flexible way, 24/7, has been especially crucial to LOVE during COVID-19. Dennis Adams, Executive Director, LOVE Nova Scotia

Quick Facts:

  • the Building Vibrant Communities grant is part of the province’s $20 million, five-year investment in the creation of a Poverty Reduction Blueprint
  • this is the fourth year of the grant program, which is part of government’s multi-year poverty reduction commitment
  • last year, 38 projects were funded through these grants

Additional Resources:

The application, program guidelines, list of promising practices and previous grant recipients are available at

Media Contacts:

JoAnn Alberstat
Community Services Cell: 902-225-9707 Email:
Matt Lumley
Communities, Culture and Heritage Cell: 902-229-5671 Email: