Home Social Trends Fundraising Sooke uses remaining COVID fund to boost community grant allocations

Sooke uses remaining COVID fund to boost community grant allocations

Over $100,000 in grants issued for 2024

district of sooke, council
Community grant application deliberations by Sooke Council at their April 15, 2024 Committee of the Whole. [Zoom livestream]

Monday April 22, 2024 | SOOKE, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

Call it eager or creative use of municipal funds, but over two dozen groups or organizations were approved this evening at District of Sooke Council, to receive funds from the District of Sooke for 2024.

Upon receiving recommendations from the Committee of the Whole that deliberated in detail at their April 15 meeting, tonight District of Sooke council approved the list.

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Council was able to extend past the $65,000 Community Grants in Aid budget by using up most of the remaining $66,000 in the COVID Restart Fund — for grant requests that demonstrated some aspect of social or community recovery following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The total grant support for 2024 tallies to $100,810.

From the 2024 Community Grant budget:

These grants were approved from the Community Grants budget ($53,110):

  • $4,000 to Sooke Country Market [mostly for portable on-site toilets, and some signage]
  • $500 to South Vancouver Island Farmers Institute
  • $7,000 to Sooke Bike Club
  • $425 to Rock Chops
  • $4,000 to Sooke Horseshoe Pitching Association [with some continuing concerns about parking when sporting events are being held across the street]
  • $5,100 to Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society [lauded for their historical education sessions with Sooke School District classes]
  • $5,000 to Scouts Canada 37th Milnes Landing [for equipment to support participants who require disability or accessibility supports]
  • $2,695 to Sooke Community Jazz Band
  • $2,500 to Sooke Community Choir [a long-standing group that presents many community concerts]
  • $7,000 to South Island Performing Arts Society
  • $2,390 to 606 Water Group
  • $5,000 to Sooke Community Radio [a growing community seems ready for its own radio station]
  • $0 to Steps to the Future Childcare Society (Kids Quest)
  • $3,500 to Friends of Sooke Parks Society
  • $4,000 to Sooke Harbour Players  
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From the COVID 19 Safe Restart Reserve Fund:

These grants were approved from the COVID-19 Safe Restart fund ($30,200):

  • $5,000 to Victoria Brain Injury Society [a significant health issue with growing need]
  • $3,500 to Take a Hike Youth Mental Health Foundation
  • $7,000 to KidSport Greater Victoria [a lot of support goes to kids in Sooke]
  • $4,700 to Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCMSAR)
  • $7,000 to Sooke Meals on Wheels [supports seniors and families]
  • $1,000 to Mental Health Society of Greater Victoria
  • $2,000 to Urban Food Resilience Initiatives Society [neighbourhood pod pilot project]
  • $0 to Sooke Region Food Council

Other grant categories:

Other grants were also approved ($17,500):

  • $7,000 to Sooke Region Tourism Association
  • $5,500 to Sooke Classical Boating Society
  • $5,000 to Choral Evolution Society

How grants help the community:

Applying for municipal community grants requires much preparation — not just for the grant presentation meeting but very much ahead of that to build provable worth.

district of sooke

Most municipalities in the Greater Victoria area have grants available to local and regional organizations. The work and labour provided by these groups (for services, projects and events) oftentimes fulfills municipal missions or goals — usually without significant load on the municipal budget or staff time.

As such, most of the time the funds issued through community grants generate additional economic benefits for the broader community.


Some councillors raised a long-standing issue about how various provincial responsibilities are being downloaded onto municipalities.

In particular that would be health care responsibilities including the mental health and brain injury health issues that are being addressed by local organizations with grant funding.


Most municipalities try to organize their grant application process to fit in with the current year’s budget deliberations.

randall garrison

For variations on that theme, see: Knowing a community through the municipal grants process (article from April 17, 2024).


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Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Cert PR.

Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke has covered news of the south Vancouver Island region since 2008. She moved from Oak Bay out to Sooke in 2007 to begin that journey. After 10 years in Sooke, Ms Brooke relocated to Langford in 2017.

Ms Brooke’s series of print publications MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013) and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020) has been archived at the Sooke Region Museum.

Island Social Trends has been online with daily news posts at IslandSocialTrends.ca since 2020. The biweekly print edition of Island Social Trends has been launched in 2024.

News is reported through a socioeconomic lens, with a leaning to political analysis for a progressive forward-thinking society and economy.

In 2023, Mary P Brooke was nominated for a Jack Webster Foundation Award that recognizes a woman’s commitment to community through professional journalism.

Ms Brooke reports on provincial and federal news, in addition to highlights of local news.

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Island Social Trends reports news with socioeconomic insights and analysis. Independent news service on south Vancouver Island, BC. Read free online or get the biweekly PDF by email.