Community sport programs help people in Lower Mainland stay active


February 7, 2020 at 11:40 am - Home, MyChilliwackNews
By John Vosper

People of all ages and abilities in B.C.’s Lower Mainland will have more opportunities to get involved in fun, community-based sport programs through the latest round of grants in the joint federal-provincial Community Sport Development Program (CSDP).

“Our government is committed to helping people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to get involved in sport and explore their athletic potential,” said Lisa Beare, B.C.’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Our local sports leagues, schools and recreation centres are key resources for people who want to take up sport and active living. Through this program, we are supporting community-level initiatives and increasing participation throughout the province.”

The CSDP is part of the BC Sport Participation Program, an application-based grant program funded by the governments of Canada and British Columbia and administered by viaSport. In fiscal year 2019-20, Canada and B.C. are making matched investments totalling more than $1.2 million. These investments are aimed at getting more people of all abilities active in their communities and involved in a variety of sports.

Communities, Indigenous groups and not-for-profit organizations can apply to receive grants that help them buy equipment, train leaders, officials and coaches, and teach participants sport skills.

“Thanks to the work of community organizations, sport and physical activities are now more accessible to many British Columbians,” said Steven Guilbeault, federal Minister of Canadian Heritage. “Our government is proud to partner with the Province of British Columbia to offer better sport opportunities to all British Columbians so they can get moving and realize their full potential.”

In the Lower Mainland, some of the programs include:

  • providing basketball program specifically designed for Indigenous youth living in the Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside;
  • expanding a paddling program to include learn-to-kayak and learn-to-roll lessons in Chilliwack; and
  • offering a beginner curling program aimed at young girls and women that teaches teamwork, self-esteem and body positivity in Maple Ridge.

The CSDP has two intake periods each year. As part of the fall 2019 intake, the program is funding 32 projects with a total value of $80,970. In the Lower Mainland, there are 11 programs receiving a total of $31,300.


Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO, viaSport —

“Positive sport experiences have the power to transform individuals and inspire communities. Through this grant, viaSport supports local organizations to create new opportunities for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities to try organized sport and benefit from that power of sport in their own lives.”

Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale —

“Playing ice hockey and other sports while growing up helped to transform me into the person I am today. I’m so glad these youth will have their lives enriched by these activities. I’m proud to be a part of a government delivering new opportunities to kids who wouldn’t otherwise have them.”

Mackenzie Coyle, community sport services co-ordinator, PacificSport Fraser Valley —

“When you’re new to a place, the chance to learn and play new sports can be a real game changer. This grant allows us to offer newcomers to Canada aged six to 12 a safe environment to be active and social that’s also affordable for their parents. The program introduces kids to physical literacy in a way that acknowledges cultural differences, and exposes them to a variety of sports that are available in their community.”

Quick Facts:

  • Government invests more than $50 million annually to make sure people have equal opportunities to participate in and enjoy the benefits of sport.
  • Recent investments in sport include:
    • $1.46 million to the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council to support Team British Columbia’s participation at the 2020 North American Indigenous Games in July 2020 in Halifax, N.S.
    • $2.5 million to Sport BC over the next three years to expand KidSport, increasing access for kids who have traditionally faced barriers to getting involved in sport and recreation — including under-represented population groups such as girls, Indigenous youth and new Canadians.
  • viaSport is the main service delivery partner for government’s sport investments and works with 70 provincial sport organizations that provide programs and services to more than 660,000 provincial sport organization members.

Learn More:

Read about Sport Canada’s work:

Learn about viaSport and the grant intake period, guidelines and applications:

A backgrounder is available online:



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