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2013 enviroFund™ grant recipients

Vancity grants $250,000 boost to local farmers markets

In 2013 Vancity distributed $250,000 in grants to support 23 farmers markets that bring local and organic food to communities throughout Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Squamish and Vancouver Island.

The granting program, called Growing Farmers’ Markets, allocated funds of up to $10,000 per market to help local farmers markets achieve long-term sustainability. We also gave the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets a $53,000 grant to support the growth and viability of farmers markets through workshops and mentorship.

The 23 farmers' markets to receive a grant are:

  • Abbotsford Farm & Country Market
  • Agassiz Farm Fresh Market
  • Artisan Farmers Market – Burnaby, N. Vancouver & W. Vancouver
  • Canadian Organic Growers - Island Natural Growers – Salt Spring Island
  • Chilliwack Farmer Market
  • Coquitlam's Farmers Market
  • Fairfield Community Market Society
  • Haney Farmers Market Society
  • Langley Community Farmers Market
  • Mission City Farmers Market
  • North Saanich Food for Future Society
  • Oak Street Farmers Market in Vancouver
  • Oaklands Farmers Market – Victoria
  • Pemberton Farmers Market
  • Peninsula Country Market Society
  • Royal City Farmers Market – New Westminster
  • Squamish Farmers Market
  • Surrey Urban Farmers Market
  • UBC Farm, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems
  • Victoria Downtown Public Market Society
  • Whistler Farmers Market Society
  • White Rock Farmers Market
  • Your Local Farmers Market Society Vancouver


Check out the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets website to find the farmers market nearest you.

Vancity grants $750,000 boost to 18 initiatives that provide British Columbians with greater access to local and organic food

A Rocha Canada - Farm to Families – Surrey ($20,000)

A Rocha's “Farm to Families” project addresses the following local concerns: local food scarcity in winter, the prevalence of degraded agricultural lands, families on low income unable to access healthy food, the lack of public knowledge about growing food and sustainable food systems, and the local need for sustainable agriculture training. Building on A Rocha's Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program at its Brooksdale Environmental Centre, the project will expand the CSA to seasonally provide organically grown produce to over 400 people while providing sustainable agriculture learning sessions and workshops reaching over 700 people.

Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC - Scaling Up: Bringing Local to a Global Campus ($60,000)

Scaling up the local food movement to include institutional purchasing is an emerging local challenge. The UBC Farm-to-Institution model can contribute significantly to the regional dialogue and growth of the institutional food procurement movement. The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC will leverage its experience to initiate a farm-to-health-care institution pilot project.

Certified Organic Association of BC - Organic Certification and Public Education ($75,000)

This project’s focus is to increase the number of young farmers involved in organic practices to ensure sustainable food production within our communities. After identifying that cost and paperwork are barriers to organic certification for many urban or small-scale producers, the COABC can now focus on developing new organic certification processes that open organic verification to more growers. The project will also offer workshops on adopting organic practices, and develop a public outreach strategy, resources and training to cultivate a better public understanding of organic practices.

Community Social Planning Council – Capital Region Food & Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable (CRFAIR) - Farmer 2 Farmer Program - Victoria ($25,000)

New farmers face significant challenges related to the high cost of land in the region and access to mentorship and training. The Farmer2Farmer Program provides technical support and business development training for small- to medium-scale growers in the Capital Region. The aim is to build capacity in the agri-food sector through the development of stronger alliances and collaboration within the farm sector; and to invest in current and future generations.

Environmental Youth Alliance Society - Copley Community Orchard Program - Vancouver ($15,000)

The Copley Community Orchard is a 1.2-acre site devoted to engagement in perennial food agriculture - fruit trees, shrubs and vines. The primary goal of the project is to provide an educational demonstration site to teach people about perennial plant care, and to illustrate what is possible with organic, perennial food production and share how it can support our food security. Funding will support the development of a new type of tenure agreement with the City of Vancouver that will offer a new model for land designation, “The Living Lab.” Collaborating with the City of Vancouver and university academics, the Lab will use the land as a tool for research on best practices and uses of under- and unutilized public lands.

Fraser Basin Council Society - Sto:lo Food Project – Fraser Valley ($15,000)

The Sto:lo people are concerned about the future of their food, given that the fish stock is not as plentiful as it once was. Because chicken is the second-highest protein they consume, the Sto:lo people wish to conduct a chicken production pilot with a vision to grow chickens and vegetables in a sustainable, community-involved way. The goal is to provide the Sto:lo people with a healthy, sustainable food source and develop the community’s capacity to manage local food production.

Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society - Growing Neighbours: Community-engaged urban Farms - Vancouver ( $40,000)

Fresh Roots aims to develop the urban agriculture sector and increase access to healthy, sustainably grown food through the establishment of community-engaged urban farms. The organization is working towards financial sustainability by developing an urban farm model that can be sold to organizations wanting to utilize their urban space to produce food and engage local communities.

Island Chefs’ Collaborative - Victoria Community Food Hub - Victoria ($20,000)

The proposed Food Hub will feature a 3000 sq. foot processing kitchen divided into production pods, as well as a large freezer and cooler space. The overarching goal of the facility will be to increase the production and distribution of Island-grown food, both by providing necessary physical infrastructure and by incubating value-added social enterprises. These enterprises will increase the financial viability of the local food system by enabling the production of value-added foods. Funds will be used to assess the feasibility of the project and help develop the business plan.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University Foundation - Sustainable Agriculture Enterprise Budget Series- Metro Vancouver ($75,000)

The enterprise budget series is a critical aspect of Kwantlen’s Bioregional Food System Design and Planning project. Enterprise budgets are important planning and business development tools that support the financial viability, management, and success of new and existing farm businesses. Currently, enterprise budgets do not exist for the emergent small-scale, human-intensive and alternate-market agricultural sector of southwest BC.

Long-term Inmates now in the Community Society - Emma’s Acres: Reintegration, Restoration & Food Security - Mission ($75,000)

The grant will be used to create an urban agricultural social enterprise business on five acres of land leased to the Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society by the District of Mission. The purpose of the project is to enhance food security in Mission and assist peer-support initiatives for survivors of serious crime through the positive reintegration and contributions of long-term and chronic offenders.

Metro Vancouver City Farms Cooperative - Mobilizing Local Food – Richmond, Metro Vancouver ($25,000)

City Farms Co-op is a collaboration of urban farms in the Metro Vancouver region. To meet the growing consumer demand for local produce, City Farms Co-op needs to develop infrastructure that combines distribution, cooling and storage. This enviroFund award will help them purchase a refrigerated truck that will meet their needs for both storage and distribution , increasing their capacity to provide access to locally and sustainably grown produce.

North Shore Neighborhood House - North Shore Public Urban Farms - North Vancouver ( $47,000)

Loutet Farm is the first urban farm on public parkland in the region and it is an essential step toward the development of a sustainable food system in the North Shore community. Project funding will be used to expand this model to an additional site in 2014. The farm will work collaboratively with its partners to develop a farm model that supports environmental, community and economic health, while also being a regional model of innovative land-use practices.

Public Health Association of BC - Farm to School: Scaling Up - Metro Vancouver (Richmond, Langley) ($37,000)

The grant received by The Public Health Association of British Columbia will be used to strengthen and expand Farm to School - an initiative designed to bring fresh, healthy and sustainably-produced foods from nearby farms into Greater Vancouver schools. The funds will be used to establish new programs in Richmond and Langley, and to continue to explore ways to increase local, sustainable and healthy food procurement in schools.

Richmond Food Security Society - Farm Fresh – Incubating Farmers in Richmond ($62,400)

The Farm Fresh Project supports the Richmond Food Security Society’s Richmond Incubator Farm Program, a joint partnership between the City of Richmond, RFSS, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University. By funding on-site mentorship and training, feedback, equipment maintenance, market development, micro-financing and small-scale-farm equipment, the project is able to provide the tools essential to incubate small-scale, sustainable farms. Young and new farmers gain the opportunity to initiate their farming businesses with access to land, equipment, mentorship, and production and business training.

Salt Spring Island Agricultural Alliance - Salt Spring Island Agricultural Infrastructure – Capital Regional District ($75,000)

The SSIAA will work with the Salt Spring Island Farmland Trust to expand agricultural infrastructure on the Island. The intention is to increase the food system capacity with shared community resources that will encourage more local production. The focus over the next three years will be the development of a multi-purpose farm produce centre to build capacity to store, process and distribute local food.

SNEPENEKS Cultural Society - Growing at Home: Organic and Traditional Foods- Capital Regional District ($10,290)

The Coast Salish people have a long history of growing, cultivating and processing indigenous foods. The overall vision for this project is for Tsawout First Nation to become more sustainable and self-sufficient in terms of food security, and become a regional player in the local food economy through agriculture and greenhouse production. This grant will provide assistance to complete construction of their greenhouse, a first step in their food production plans.

Vancouver Food Pedalers Cooperative - Pedaling to a Green Future - Vancouver ($37,262)

After four years of successful seasonal production of microgreens , the Food Pedalers Coop has developed an indoor growing system allowing year-round production. The system will be implemented using a 40' shipping container and moveable, tiered shelving. The addition of this infrastructure to the Food Pedalers system will result in a doubling of production capacity; increase in production yields; additional capacity for winter production; increased hours of employment provided by the Food Pedalers; increased internship opportunities and increased local food production.

Vancouver Urban Farming Society - Room to Grow: Implementing Best Practices - Vancouver ($36,048)

The Vancouver Urban Farming Society will continue its work establishing best management practices for urban agriculture and supporting Vancouver's growing number of urban farmers. By identifying barriers facing urban farmers and addressing these issues, it will help ensure the growth and development of the urban farm sector and improve the quality of locally-grown produce.