Community sport programs help people on Vancouver Island stay active

Press Release

Feb. 1, 2020

VICTORIA – People of all ages and abilities across Vancouver Island 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.”

On Vancouver Island, some of the programs include:

  • providing beginner gymnastics programming designed to teach children gymnastics, including balance exercises, tumbling and mat work in Saanich;
  • expanding rugby participation in Indigenous communities and schools with high Indigenous populations, as well as increasing coach training in Sooke; and
  • offering culturally sensitive swimming opportunities for women and girls, low-income families and new Canadians in Victoria.

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. On Vancouver Island, there are seven programs receiving a total of $15,450.


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.”

Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake —

“Sports are a great way to develop relationships, build character and stay healthy. By supporting this program our government is providing more opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the benefits that come with greater physical activity.”

John Lyall, director, Thunder Rugby —

“Rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship resonate with those of Indigenous communities. Our philosophy at Thunder Rugby is Num’way’ut, a Kwakwala word for ‘we are all one,’ and we are grateful for this funding that will help us to introduce new Indigenous players to this great game.”

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, to increase 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:


Brian Cotton
Communications Director
Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture
250 818-4233

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:


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