What’s Your Story? Welcoming Applications for the Heritage Community Investment Program

This February’s relaunch of the Heritage Community Investment Program marks another step towards building a funding program that encourages creative storytelling and welcome a greater diversity of Edmontonians to participate. 

The Heritage Community Investment Program has been under review for almost a year. Last April, EHC gathered to collectively reflect on the program’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. Soon after, we spent several months asking communities the same questions we were asking ourselves. Why is the grants program necessary? Who is accessible to? How can it be more accessible?

We heard from EHC members, past recipients, potential applicants, jury members, and the general public—and they collectively contributed to a number of short- and long-term recommendations that are being implemented with each new run.

Last year, many of the changes were subtle and administrative. They focused on streamlining the existing application process and making the program more inclusive of diverse voices.

With the latest HCIP call for applications, you’ll find many of the more substantial changes taking effect. Here’s an overview: 

  • The new Project Accelerator Grant offers up to $10,000 to individuals and organizations to develop new projects. These projects do not require an applicant contribution; the Project Accelerator can fund the entirety of the project.
  • The Project Grant has increased its maximum investment to $25,000 and 75% of total project expenses. Now, more organizations can launch new projects and eligible projects now include internal organizational projects, like strategic planning and capacity building.
  • The Living Local Community Arts & Heritage Grant has a newly-expanded definition of community; now, any community organization may partner on Living Local Projects. Additionally, individuals involved with the project can now submit as the Primary Applicant.
  • Instead of a single intake each year, many grants now have multiple application deadlines. Project and Living Local grants now have two intakes, while Travel and Project Accelerator are offered quarterly throughout the year.

With these updates, more organizations and individuals are eligible for HCIP funding to undertake creative heritage projects, travel for research or education, or build capacity. In other words, these updates more clearly emphasize that Edmonton’s story rests in all of us, and every Edmontonian should have the opportunity to share their part.

The Heritage Community Investment Program will continue to evolve into 2017 and 2018. We will continue collecting feedback from applicants, recipients, and the community and we welcome any thoughts on how to improve the program moving forward. We’re continue to commit to uniting Edmontonians to make heritage an indispensable part of community and civic life, and the Heritage Community Investment Program is playing a crucial part in that.

So what’s your story? The Edmonton Heritage Council would love to hear about your project or travel idea. For more information, visit edmontonheritage.ca/grants.

Have any questions? Concerns? Suggestions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to grants@edmontonheritage.ca.