Our Grants program is on hold for the summer! Check back in with us in September.

Support of up to $500 cash or product for projects and initiatives that best align with the Kootenay Co-op’s Vision, Mission and Values.

Community Grants are open to any community organization, school or community program for projects or initiatives demonstrated to be aligned with the Kootenay Co-op’s Vision, Mission, and Values. Our objective is to enhance our communities from an environmental, social and community-building perspective.

The intention of the selection committee is to choose the project that best meets this objective. Applicants are encouraged to answer the questions fully and to attach additional information to support their application.

Application Process:

  1. Complete the Community Grant Application. If you need more space to explain your project, additional materials are welcome.
  2. Submit the completed application to Customer Service or electronically to
  3. A committee of Kootenay Co-op staff members will review applications and make grant awards on a monthly basis, on or about the last working day of each month.

Here are our most recent recipients:

 June 2018: Kootenay Co-operative Radio for Fred Wah Literary Partnership Project

In this project, Fred Wah will partner with the Kootenay Co-op Radio to create, produce, and perform an original radio play based loosely on his iconic book, Diamond Grill, named after his father’s Baker Street restaurant. Wah grew up in the Kootenays of mixed Chinese-Swedish heritage and went on to become an internationally renowned author of more than 20 books of poetry and prose, a Poet Laureate, and Officer of the Order of Canada. He describes the radio drama project this way:

The project will result in a local radio play set in a small-town Chinese-Canadian cafe in the 1950s, where the door between the Chinese cooks in the kitchen and the white customers in the dining room represents a noisy site of racial and cultural hybridity.  The radio play explores how those kitchen doors, hinged to swing both ways, become a metaphor for the dynamics of moving through the strata of local identities and performing what he refers to as “an innate betweenness shared by so many Canadians.”

The recording will be broadcast on KCR, made available as a podcast, and distributed to museums, archives, and libraries throughout the Columbia Basin.

June 2018: Health Arts Society for Concerts in Care

Concerts in Care is a seniors’ quality of life program that offers concerts to residents of the long term care facilities at Mountain Lake and Broader Horizons (with shuttles from Jubilee Manor).  These 20 monthly concerts,  featuring Kootenay professional musicians, connect these isolated audiences with the performance community.  Residents in long term care are in need of stimulation, yet many of them will be unable to access live professional music for the rest of their lives. These concerts offer seniors a sense of participating in ordinary life and provide another way for friends and family to share time with their loved ones.

May 2018: Canadian Mental Health Association for Mad Pride

“Mad Pride” is an annual event to raise community awareness of mental health issues, to reduce the stigma and to celebrate the many ways we can experience life  The CMHA is celebrating this year with an Open Stage on Saturday July 14th, 7-10pm at Expressions Cafe and we are proud to support the event with snacks!

May 2018: Cycling Without Age

Nelson has just recently opened their own chapter of Cycling Without Age and we’re proud to sponsor their program and shiny new “trishaw”.  This volunteer-run international organization offers bike rides to those with limited mobility, especially isolated seniors.  CWA is built around 5 guiding principles:  generosity, slowness and the curiosity it brings, sharing knowledge through storytelling, building relationships and aging in a positive context.


 May 2018: Castlegar Early Childhood Advisory Council for Teddy Bear Picnic

In June we supported the Castlegar Teddy Bear Picnic. This annual event is meant to introduce families to the services that are available in the area, while having a fun day in the park.


April 2018 Grant Recipient: Kootenay Food Strategy Society

Twin Rivers/Castlegar Primary will be using this month’s grant to start a school garden/composting project in partnership with the community garden, Castlegardens. This project so obviously aligns with our vision of “thriving communities with resilient food systems, where all people have access to affordable food that is healthy for our bodies, our communities and the earth” that we were happy to write the cheque for $500 to help make it happen. Not only will the students learn about the science of composting, they will work together to divert waste from our landfills while also feeding nutrients to the nearby community garden! We are pretty excited to see this project move forward and hope to see food literacy in more school curricula in our region and beyond.

“This project will:

  • divert 100kg of waste from the local landfill over the school year
  • teach students about the importance of composting
  • provide leadership opportunities for students to educate other students and citizens about composting practices
  • create soil conditioner for the community garden [Castlegardens]
  • demonstrate grassroots community response to the lack of organic waste management in Castlegar.”

We hope to receive photos and a progress report once the composting project is underway!


March 2018 Grant Recipient: Support Group for Youth with Chronic Pain

This local support group for youth with chronic pain received a $200 donation in the form of gift cards to act as an honorarium for the support group’s guest speakers. Because we at the Co-op are committed to philanthropy, we actively support organizations that enrich our community. The community grant is an example of how we live our values every day. The Kootenay Co-op’s core value of promoting education about health (as well as food, the environment and social justice) has the potential not only to positively impact individuals, but to ripple through those individuals to the broader community and beyond.

“Dear Kootenay Co-op, I’m writing to thank you for your generous donation to the Youth Pain Group. The youth who attended our group had the opportunity to attend four, two-hour long sessions during which they learned about what pain is and various ways to manage it. The youth learned about the science behind pain, the nervous system, medication, meditation and healthy sleep habits from a medical doctor. They also had the opportunity to take part in an hour-long yoga session, try myofascial ball rolling, had a 75-minute art therapy session, and learned about posture and nutrition from various presenters from the community. Throughout the four weeks, I heard much positive feedback from the youth and their parents. A follow-up survey completed after the program showed that the youth and parents were very satisfied with the program and an overwhelming majority would like to see the program return for another round! It has been very rewarding for me, as the parent of one of the children with chronic pain, to be part of this amazing group and to see the youth be so engaged and learn so much in such a short time. So, thank you again for the donation to help make this group happen.”

March 2018 Grant Recipient: Kootenay and Boundary Community Services Co-op

Here is yet another example of Co-operative principle #6: Co-operation among co-ops! The West Kootenay Early Years Conference is put on by the Kootenay and Boundary Community Services Co-operative. This annual conference supports Early Childhood Educators (ECEs), early years program facilitators and service providers, offering a forum for networking and learning opportunities. We decided to support this organization with $400 of March’s Community Grant because, as stated in their grant application, “The health of children and families is one of the pillars and a social indicator of healthy communities.” The programs provided by those who attend the conference “nurture learning, inspiration, healthy development, well-being, creativity […] in children and families.” This is definitely something we at the Kootenay Co-op can get behind!

“This grant supports the local early childhood education (ECE) sector to access high quality professional development right in their own region. It is costly and challenging for ECEs (who are notoriously underpaid and often not funded for professional development registration fees or for their time to attend) to travel for professional development. They are required [to maintain] 40 hours [of pro-d] every 5 years to re-certify. Supporting our local conference allows them to gain these valuable pro-d hours here and thereby supports the children and families that these professionals are working with. Thank you!”

February 2018 Grant Recipient: Upper Columbia Co-op Council (UCCC)

UCCC received half of February’s grant to put toward their Regional Co-operative and Credit Union Impact Study for 2018 (what is that? read the quote below to find out!). All co-operatives operate on 7 principles, and this grant is a great example of principle 6, Co-operation Among Co-operatives and principle 7, Concern for Community. Because our co-op is working toward strengthening the co-operative movement by working in solidarity with other co-ops, and because we are working toward the sustainable development of our community, this was the perfect opportunity to team up with another co-op in order to learn more about how co-ops are impacting on our community.

“As you at the Kootenay Co-op well know, co-operatives and credit unions have a significant impact on both the social landscape and the economy of our region. This impact can be measured quantifiably, through employee numbers and their wages and benefits, a co-op’s assets, and their gross annual sales; it can also be measured in terms of less tangible social and community development impacts — how many members benefit from the services offered by our regional non-profit co-ops? How many members and volunteers feel a sense of worth and belonging through membership in our local co-ops? How do our co-ops and CUs give back to the communities in which they operate? The purpose of this project is to collate all of the answers to these questions in one report that can be used by our regional co-ops and credit unions to better understand what they are a part of, and to tell that story to others.”

February 2018 Grant Recipient: Bee Awareness Society

The second half of February’s grant went to Bee Awareness Society for their School Education Program. The Kootenay Co-op recognizes the importance of pollinators’ health for the food security of our region. That’s why we support the Bee Awareness Society. This local non-profit group teaches what pollination is, why its important, current risks to all pollinators and what students/community can do to reduce risk to pollinators in their own backyard. They do this with observation hives as a live learning tool. Observation hives have been installed in schools and other community gathering places in communities across the Kootenays. This grant will go toward purchasing bees for more hive installations in schools this spring, 2018.

When asked what the purpose of this program is and how it will benefit the community, Linda Martin of Bee Awareness Society responded that “A key part [of the educational program] is how to care for our environment in our communities and home gardens that will benefit bees and other pollinators. We must keep our backyards and wider community free of chemicals, herbicides and insecticides. Without bees and other pollinators such as insects, butterflies and birds, we would lost 35% of our food products. [The School Education Program] instill[s] responsible stewardship at an early age so that our children can make a difference in enabling a healthy environment for humanity and those plants, animals and insects that provide for us and our future.”

January 2018 Grant Recipient: Rotary Club of Nelson – Daybreak

Nelson’s Daybreak Rotary Club received a grant because the support of local food banks is well aligned with our vision of a thriving community with resilient food systems, where all people have access to affordable food that is healthy for our bodies, our communities and the earth. One of our core values is philanthropy and we are committed to supporting local organizations that enrich our community. The Rotary Club’s efforts to promote peace, fight disease, support education, grow local economies, provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene, and save mothers and children are in line with this core value. We, the Kootenay Co-op, are proud to have supported their continued success in making this world a better place with the award of January’s $500 grant.

“We raised 10,820.00 at this year’s International Dinner – this has become our Rotary Daybreak club’s biggest fundraiser. It was a resounding success. This event also gives our Selkirk cooking and hotel management students a chance to shine and they most certainly did.

From those proceeds we are disbursing $6,540.00 for local food security programs (Our Daily Bread, Salvation Army, Nelson Food Cupboard), $3,000 to support a teacher in Haiti, and $1,250.00 to the Rotary End Polio Now Program.

Thank you for supporting us with the beautiful gift basket and the high-value gift cards.”

December 2017 Grant Recipient: Kaslo Food Hub’s Holiday Food Hamper Program

The Kaslo Food Hub received a grant in the form of food donations for their holiday hamper program. The Kootenay Co-op provide $725 worth of teas, cereals, crackers and tofu and Organic Girl donated $400 worth of salad greens. The Food Hamper program is very well aligned with our mission and we are happy to have helped spread cheer and share good organic food with those in need this holiday season.

“The Kaslo Food Hub is proud to announce the delivery of 65 food hampers to people in need of some extra holiday cheer and food over the holidays. The food hampers were full of local vegetables, soaps, Honey Candles, gift certificates, coffee, toys for the
kids, cookies, honey, a turkey and much more! Over 52 kids received gifts, and with the help of Jim from Chore Boys, there was no lack to choose from to find good presents and toys for the whole family! We could not have done it without the support of our dedicated volunteers, donations from local business and the hard work of the people at community services (NKLCSS).”

“The hampers were amazing and brought much happiness to our community. You guys are AWESOME! Thank you Kootenay Co-op”

November 2017 Grant Recipient: The Kootenay Centre for Forestry Alternative’s North Kootenay Lake Water Monitoring Project (NKLWMP)

The Water Monitoring Project is helping our community to learn more about its natural systems. The NKLWMP received a grant to help purchase a field laptop so that they may download and collect data in the field. Their efforts to collect information on climate change in our region is aligned with our value of balancing equally social justice, environmental stewardship and financial responsibility.

“The NKLWMP is busy through the winter.  At the moment the Senior and Jr Hydrologists are analyzing the stream flow, climate and snow course data, and compiling this into a report, which will be available in May.  Once each month (Jan, Feb, March, April, May and June depending on snow pack) volunteers ski into our high-elevation snow course sites at the north end of Kooteany Lake.   There are two snow course sites, and 2 volunteers visit each site once per month.  This is no small task.   One of the sites is a 2 hour sled ride in with a 40 minutes ski tour at the end.  The other site involves a 5 hour ski tour in, up a relatively steep logging road. Once up there, they used specialized snow tubes to determine snow pack depth, density and water equivalent.

Once the snow starts to melt, and the creeks start to increase in flow, the hydrometric monitoring stations on 7 streams will be reestablished.  Once the hydrometric stations are operating again, the laptop will be used to download the data from the data loggers .  The laptop will also be used to collect the data from the two (to be three this summer) NKLWMP climate stations.”

If you can demonstrate alignment with our Vision, Mission, and Values, we want to hear from you! Please fill out the Community Grant Application and email it to