Governments of Canada and British Columbia Collaborate to Help Make Sport More Accessible

From: Canadian Heritage

VICTORIA, March 29, 2019

More British Columbians can take part in sports ranging from archery to wheelchair basketball this year thanks to the BC Sport Participation Program (BCSPP), funded equally by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

Together, the governments are investing nearly $1.2 million in 2018–19 to support projects that strengthen physical literacy and the participation of children and youth in sport. This new funding will also improve sport opportunities for Indigenous, under-represented and marginalized populations.

The funding supports more than 400 sport programs and activities involving more than 11,000 children and youth and close to 500 coaches. This will create new opportunities for British Columbians to discover new sports and provide increased access to physical activities tailored to their interests and that promote a healthy lifestyle.

This commitment includes $244,000 to strengthen the capacity and leadership of Indigenous sport organizations and to increase culturally relevant sport programming for Indigenous children and youth, such as supporting athletes from British Columbia training for the North American Indigenous Games.

The BCSPP funding also supports pilot projects, resource development and two application-based grant programs—the Community Sport Development Program (CSDP) and the Provincial Sport Development Program (PSDP)—that help reduce barriers to participating in sport. Both grant programs are administered by viaSport on behalf of the provincial government.

The CSDP offers grants up to $3,000 to support local, community-based sport projects, while the PSDP provides grants up to $30,000 to support sport projects with regional or provincial reach.

These grant programs provided 72 sport and community organizations with $545,000 in 2018–19. Recipients include the BC Wheelchair Basketball Society, the BC Freestyle Ski Association, Special Olympics BC, the Gibsons Curling Club and the Vancouver Quidditch league. See the backgrounder for a list of grant recipients for both programs.

The window for eligible organizations to submit applications for the 2019-20 PSDP will be open from April 2 to May 2, 2019. The application form and grant information can be accessed online.

Since its inception in 2004, the BCSPP has provided more than $14 million to provincial sport and community organizations. This funding has helped train more than 42,000 sports leaders, and allowed more than a million British Columbians to participate in sport.

“We are putting our athletes and children in sport first from the playground to the podium by increasing access to sport. We are proud to partner with the Government of British Columbia to give grants to organizations that are doing work to make sport more inclusive for all British Columbians.”

—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“Participating in sport promotes physical and mental health and helps people connect to their communities. Through our partnership with the Government of Canada, we are proud to enhance sports opportunities in Indigenous communities and provide British Columbians with a wide range of physical activities that will encourage healthy lifestyles.”

—The Honourable Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Government of British Columbia

“Inclusive sport happens when there are increased opportunities for participation. Through collaboration, we can reduce barriers to sport and allow more British Columbians to experience the unique benefits that sport has to offer. viaSport is proud to recommend these organizations and recognize their commitment to providing meaningful opportunities for underserved populations in their communities.”

—Sheila Bouman, CEO, viaSport

Quick facts

  • viaSport emboldens and enables leaders to provide quality sport experiences that are inclusive, safe and meaningful. With the support of the Province of British Columbia, viaSport transforms and scales the impact of sport through social innovation, funding and capacity building.

  • The Provincial Sport Development Fund is open for applications once a year in April. The Community Sport Program Development Fund has two application periods per year (summer/fall and winter/spring). Intake periods, guidelines and application forms are available at www.viasport.ca/grants.

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