2023 Age-friendly Communities Grants FAQ

Eligibility criteria and requirements

Who is eligible to apply for AFC grants?

The following government organizations and communities are eligible to apply for the grant:

  • First Nations Bands
  • First Nations Tribal Councils
  • Métis Chartered Communities
  • Municipalities
  • Regional Districts
  • Self-governing First Nations

The following organizations are not eligible to apply for the grant as a primary applicant:

  • Community groups
  • For-profit groups
  • Health Authorities
  • Hospital foundations
  • Individuals
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • School districts

BC Healthy Communities encourages partnerships and suggests that ineligible organizations contact eligible organizations (i.e., local and Indigenous governments) to discuss working together. The focus of this fund is to support learning, leadership, and partnership at a governance level in order to create age-friendly communities across B.C.

I understand that the local or Indigenous government must be the primary applicant, but my local or Indigenous government does not currently have the capacity to conduct this work. Is it okay for a non-profit/social planning council to lead the project work?

A partner organization may take a leading role in the day-to-day management of the project. However, the local or Indigenous government applicant remains responsible to fulfill grantee obligations. (See also Reporting obligations and financial processes).

We are looking for meaningful partnership and involvement from the local government. Consider how this work might lead to or inform local or Indigenous government policymaking. Is the local or Indigenous government willing to champion this work moving forward? Is this work aligned with strategic priorities or high-level policy goals of the local or Indigenous government?


Is a resolution from the City Council or Chief and Council needed to apply?

Yes. Applications must include a current local government council resolution, band council resolution, or equivalent. The resolution must demonstrate support for the age-friendly communities initiative described in the grant application.


Council passed a resolution to develop an age-friendly community plan before we saw this grant opportunity. Is our existing resolution acceptable to support this application?

Yes, an existing resolution is acceptable. Stream 1 – Planning applicants may submit a resolution:

  • approving the creation of or update of an age-friendly action plan; or
  • approving the update of an existing policy or plan using an age-friendly lens (e.g., Official Community Plan, Accessibility Plan, Comprehensive Community Plan, etc…)


Council has approved our age-friendly community plan, which includes our proposed project as a recommended action. Is that plan approval motion acceptable for my Stream 2 – Projects application?

Yes, as long as the project is clearly identified in the approved plan. Applicants for Stream 2 (Project) grants may submit:

  • An existing certified resolution approving the age-friendly action plan that is the basis for the proposed project;
  • A certified resolution approving age-friendly recommendations made in an Official Community Plan or other plan or policy.

The meeting to vote on the resolution will happen after the application deadline. What can I do?

The application must be submitted by 11:59 pm Pacific Time on July 28, 2023. However, the application form allows you to specify if the resolution will be sent at a later date and asks you to provide the meeting date. If the meeting will be held later than September 15, 2023, this could affect the adjudication decision.

See above for more details about the type of resolutions accepted.


Is matching funding required for these grants?

No. Matching funds or in-kind support is not required. The budget submitted with your application should list all revenue sources, whether they are confirmed or projected, cash or in-kind.


Are unincorporated communities eligible for the funds?

Yes. The regional district would be the party that applies for funding. There may be exceptions for communities that do not fall under a regional district area. In those cases, please contact us at grants@bchealthycommunities.ca to confirm eligibility before applying.


Are these grants available to entrepreneurs?

No. Please see Who is eligible to apply for AFC grants? above.


Eligible projects and activities

What can grant funds can be spent on?

Please see Section 4.5 Budget & Workplan of the application guide for a list of eligible/ineligible expenses.


Can we use this funding for capital costs?

For Stream 2 – Projects grants, the funding can be used towards capital costs that amount to 40 per cent or less of the project budget. Some examples of capital costs are computer equipment, furnishings, tools, or fixtures. More budget details can be found in Section 4.5 of the application guide.


Can age-friendly communities grants be used to fund consultant fees?

The grant can be used to fund consultant fees. The application should indicate the activities the consultant will undertake in the project plan.


Our planning process started last year. Can the grants fund ongoing work?

Yes. This is eligible, where the grant will fund a discrete component of an ongoing process that has yet to take place. Applicants should specify which aspects of the process will be funded (e.g., community consultation processes, creation of a multi-sectoral committee, involving community partners in an equity assessment).


Can the grants be used to fund work that has already taken place?

No. The grant funds are only eligible for upcoming work that has yet to begin. The work can be ongoing and doesn’t have to be a new project or program, but cannot be used for already-completed work or expenses that have already been incurred.


Will this program be available next year?

Not necessarily. AFC funding is renewed by the Ministry of Health on an annual basis. The best way to stay up to date on news about the AFC grants is to sign up for our BCHC newsletter and follow BCHC on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


Deadline and Adjudication Process

What is the application deadline?

Applications will be accepted until 11:59 PM Pacific Time on July 28, 2023.


What are the criteria for assessing applications?

All applications are screened for eligibility as defined in the grant application guide in Section 4.2. Applications will be assessed by our adjudication committee on the connection between project activities and objectives, as well as proposed expenses. Projects which demonstrate equity, collaboration and incorporate an evaluation plan that uses an equity lens will be favoured.


The application guide says we should describe how we will know the plan or project is successful and show how it will track progress. How can we demonstrate this in our application?

Applicants can approach this in various ways. For example, you could describe how you will collect the feedback of the community members who attend an event. Or, you might have an evaluation plan for the initiative that you can share with us.


Is it possible to meet with BC Healthy Communities prior to submitting an application to ensure that the application has the greatest chance of success?

Yes. While in-person meetings are not possible, communities are encouraged to contact BC Healthy Communities Society to discuss potential ideas prior to applying. This can be done through email, over the phone, or through a video call on Zoom or Teams. For further information, please contact grants@bchealthycommunities.ca.


Will the grants be divided equally amongst the health authority regions?

While we do aim for a balanced representation from communities across the province, we also give priority to the overall quality of each application. The grants will be divided amongst the health authority regions, although it is not certain that each health authority region will have the same number of successful applicants.


What are the chances of a small community getting a grant? We can’t generally compete with larger communities and organizations.

BCHC has a strong history of providing grants to rural, remote, and small communities. We will be considering equity issues such as community size and geographic region when reviewing applications. We encourage all communities that meet the funding criteria for these grants to apply.


Multiple applications and applicants

Can communities apply for both streams of the AFC grants?

Communities are encouraged to apply for a Stream 1 – Planning grant to determine the needs of the community and develop an action plan. Then in a subsequent year, communities can apply for a Stream 2 – Projects grant to implement one or more actions identified in the plan.


Can an applicant apply for more than one Stream 2 –Projects grant?

Applicants may submit multiple, separate applications for separate projects. However, it is very unlikely that more than one project will be funded.


Will you accept multiple applications from regional districts?

Yes. We are supportive of multiple applications from regional districts; however, it is unlikely that more than one project which benefits the same area of the district would be funded in the same year.


We have received AFC funding previously. Are we able to apply again?

Previous grant recipients can apply. Communities who have not yet completed a past project should schedule a consultation call to discuss their situation before applying. To schedule a consultation email grants@bchealthycommunities.ca.


We did not have an Age-friendly Communities – Stream 1 – Planning grant for our age-friendly community plan.  Can we still apply for a Stream 2 – Projects grant to implement a recommendation from an existing plan?

Yes. Applicants in this situation will be asked to provide the existing plan (by sending the file or sharing a public web link) to the plan that is the basis for the Stream 2 project.


We previously had a Stream 1 – Planning grant. Does this mean we are only eligible for a Stream 2 – Project grant in future?

Typically, municipalities who have completed a Stream 1 grant and developed an age-friendly action plan apply for a Stream 2 – Projects grant to implement an action identified in the plan. However, we would accept an application for a Stream 1 – Planning grant if the original plan is out of date, or to add an age-friendly and equity lens to existing plans or policies. Please note that first time applicants are more likely to receive funding.


Reporting obligations and financial processes

Is there a holdback on a portion of the funds we will receive?

Yes. BC Healthy Communities will hold back 20 per cent of the total grant, pending completion of the final report. More information will be provided to successful applicants in the Funding Agreement.


Will I need to submit a final report?

Yes. A final report is required upon completion of your project. Grantees may complete their final report once all received funds have been spent and all activities outlined in the project work plan which are not tied to holdback funds have been completed. The remaining 20 per cent of the grant funding is released once the final report is completed.

Our team is committed to incorporating culturally-safe practices into our evaluation approaches. For example, interview-based final reporting can be arranged upon request.

If you anticipate not being able to submit a final report on time for any reason, please contact grants@bchealthycommunities.ca.


What if there are changes to my project?

To propose any changes to your work plan, timeline or budget, please contact us at grants@bchealthycommunities.ca.


What is the timeline for grant activities?

All grant-funded project activities are expected to take place between October 15, 2023, and October 14, 2024. Please also see Will I need to submit a final report?


How do grant recipients acknowledge funding?

Projects supported by an age-friendly communities grant must include acknowledgment of the partnership between BCHC and the Province, with logos and wording. Guidelines will be provided to successful applicants.



How should my proposal address changing COVID requirements?

We understand that proposed activities—particularly public engagement and social gatherings—require a degree of flexibility in order to adhere to changing public health guidelines and ensure safety in your community.

You do not need to provide a detailed COVID plan with your proposal. However, if changes to your plans are required due to COVID, please email BCHC at grants@bchealthycommunities.ca to discuss the changes. See also Reporting Obligations and Financial Processes: What if there are changes to my project.


BCHC supports

The grant materials mention that successful applicants will receive access to resources/supports from BC Healthy Communities. What is included in this portion of the grant?

These supports are in-kind customized support from our facilitation team at BC Healthy Communities; therefore, they are not paid out in cash. These supports will be personalized to the unique needs of each group and will be provided on a case-by-case basis. Please see section 4.6 of the application guide for more details on the kinds of supports available.


Help with my application

Connect with us to talk about your project

We strongly encourage you to contact us with any questions about the application process or your proposed project before the deadline. Reach us at grants@bchealthycommunities.ca to chat via email or schedule a call with us.


My community sometimes loses internet access. Can I apply by email instead of online?

Yes. Email grants@bchealthycommunities.ca to request an application in word format.

We also post a PDF copy of the application questions so you can prepare your responses offline, and cut and paste them into the webform.


Can I look at some examples of past projects funded by this grant?

Yes. Examples of past projects are on the Age-friendly Communities website here: http://bchealthycommunities.ca/programs/age-friendly-communities/past-projects/#past-afc-assess-actionplans


Can BCHC suggest a consultant who could work with us on this project/application with us?

BCHC does not make recommendations for consultants as we could put ourselves in a conflict of interest. We suggest you seek suggestions and referrals through your contacts in other communities. If you want to speak with communities who have already developed an age-friendly plan, we list some examples here: http://bchealthycommunities.ca/programs/age-friendly-communities/past-projects.

Another resource that might help is the directory of consultants available through the Planning Institute of BC (here).

Finally, the First Nations Health Authority has some resources on planning https://www.fnha.ca/what-we-do/health-system/community-health-and-wellness-planning that may be of interest.

It is not required that you have identified the consultant before you apply for the grant. You can apply and assign a budget line to hiring a consultant and simply state that the specific consultant is to be determined.