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Province of British Columbia
For Immediate Release
July 23, 2021
Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport
Funding to get Vancouver Island sport back into full swing

VICTORIA – A total of 42 sport organizations on Vancouver Island are receiving funding to help them recover from the pandemic and welcome a safe return to play.

“As B.C. makes its way through Step 3 of the Province’s restart plan, I want to thank the sport and recreational organizations for the central role they play in bringing people back together and in returning to the activities we love,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Volunteers have done an amazing job adapting to the pandemic. Our government is proud to support these community-based sport organizations as they work to get people back in the game.”

There are more than 4,100 local sports organizations in B.C., many of which have faced financial challenges due to the absence of registration fees, event revenues and sponsorships because of the COVID-19 limits on gatherings for public safety. The Local Sport Relief Fund provides grants of up to $7,500 to non-profit sports organizations to assist with expenses such as insurance, administrative costs, rent, storage costs and equipment essential to providing sports programs.

“The Local Sport Relief Fund is helping to protect the resiliency of B.C.’s sport sector,” said Grace Lore, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill. “We know how difficult it has been for local sport organizations during the pandemic. These grants are exactly the type of support they need to offset the absence of registration fees, event revenues and sponsorships and to help meet costs in the return to sport.”

This is the second allocation of funds for local sport organizations, thanks to additional financial support provided by the Government of Canada. In this round, the Province is disbursing more than $1 million in grants to 214 organizations throughout B.C. In January 2021, the provincial government provided $1.5 million to 288 local sport organizations during the first funding allocation. 

“It’s thrilling to be able to move forward in this province to a careful return to games, competition and recreational activity,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO, viaSport. “COVID-19 took a tremendous toll on sport organizations across this province. This funding acknowledges the need to financially support local sport organizations to ensure they are ready to help ramp up capacity as sport returns to communities.”

The Province is focused on enhancing opportunities for a more inclusive, diverse and affordable future for sport. Local Sport Relief Fund grants awarded in both rounds prioritized organizations serving under-represented populations, including girls and women, persons with disabilities, underprivileged youth, racially diverse and LGBTQI2S communities.

“It’s fantastic to be a recipient of this grant funding,” said Larisa Hutcheson, president, board of directors, Tyee Aquatic Club. “The financial challenges brought on by the pandemic were tough, but with this support, we are excited to dive right back into activities as we look forward to welcoming new and familiar members of our club.”

Quick Facts:

  • Local sports organizations exist in every community in B.C. and include activities such as baseball and soccer leagues, gymnastics and swimming.
  • These organizations serve as the foundation for sport in B.C. and provide a valuable outlet for children and adults to be physically active. 
  • The Local Sport Relief Fund is administered by viaSport on behalf of the Province.

Learn More:

For information about the Local Sport Relief Fund, visit:

Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 208-4309
Communications and Engagement
778 655-1742
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