Kelowna City Hall has launched its Canada 150 program to mark Canada's 150th birthday in 2017.

Kelowna launches program to mark Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017

Canada 150 will include new grants, enhancement of Canada Day, News Year's Eve and Parks Alive! celebrations and community involvement.

The City of Kelowna has launched its new Canada 150 program, which includes two grants, enhanced community celebrations and plenty of opportunities for residents to get involved.

“The goal of the Canada 150 program is to connect, engage and celebrate the community while building local and national pride,” says Jim Gabriel, divisional director of active living and culture.

“Through the various program offerings, we hope that there is something that appeals to each and every resident, motivating them to contribute and participate in their own unique way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of our country in 2017.”

The Canada 150 program is based on five themes:

•  Embrace, preserve and celebrate the natural assets of Kelowna including the lake, trails, landscape and four season recreational opportunities;

•  Celebrate cultural diversity and freedom

•  Empower our youth to shape the community they desire

•  Honour the history of our region and the prominent people and events that connect us

•  Recognize and celebrate the rich history and knowledge of Indigenous nations who continue to be an integral part of our community

•  Lay the groundwork for innovation that will strengthen our community

The two grants that will be available will the Sesquicentennial Grant, available to eligible non-profit organizations as a matching amount up to $15,000, to support community driven projects, and the Incentive Grant, providing the opportunity for  applicants eligible for existing city grants to gain additional funding in 2017 by enhancing their projects or events to include at least one of the Canada 150 themes.

According to the city, some examples could include:

•   A sport tournament that adds a youth component in 2017 could get additional money from the Sport Event Development Grant.

•  A neighbourhood project that adds a component to celebrate our community’s diversity and freedom could receive additional funds through the Neighbourhood Grant.

•  An annual festival could receive additional funding from the Cultural Project Grant to commission a new piece of music or artwork with a Canada 150 theme from a Canadian artist and have it performed or exhibited at the event in 2017.

The deadline to apply for the grants May 31.

The city plans to enhance some of the larger local festivals, such as  Canada Day, New Year’s Eve and Parks Alive! programs produced by Festivals Kelowna, to include higher profile acts and culturally significant programming.

Playing with the country’s birthday number of 150, the city will also initiate web-based challenges to get Kelowna residents using its Active by Nature interactive map, encouraging residents to walk, run, bike or swim at least 150 times in 2017. There will also be a 2017 volunteer challenge, where residents can track 150 hours of volunteer service.

To apply for a grant or for more information about the city’s initiatives and activities for Canada 150, visit kelowna.ca/canada150.