FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The City of Fort St. John has finalized its agreement with the North Peace Community Foundation.

The two parties are also partnering to launch a “Neighborhood Small Grants” program to support grassroots community projects.

Council finalized the agreement between the NPCF and the city on Monday afternoon. This comes after the $3 million the city used to establish the fund’s operations endowment.

The Legacy Endowment will be built up yearly with the proceeds from the BC Hydro Legacy Agreement, a benefit agreement which recognizes the role communities surrounding the Site C project play with annual payments. The endowment will, eventually, generate revenue on it’s own from interest.

Through the agreement, 75 per cent of the proceeds will go to the legacy endowment, which, in the first year of the agreement, will be $622,620 of the about $830,000 expected. This endowment will also—and has already—see contributions from other groups and businesses in the region. 

The remaining 25 per cent of the annual payment goes towards the partnership agreement with the NPCF and will help fund grants-in-aid that non-profit organizations without charitable status qualify for.

The foundation will, starting this year, be responsible for providing grants-in-aid that had previously been the city’s responsibility.

“This moves the decision making out of the politician’s hands, and from it being a political exercise to community driven exercise,” Susan Adams, executive director of the NPCF, explained. The fund will also generate its own revenue from investment and interest once full and use the market to support a larger and larger portion of the grants given.

Though these big-picture sums are required for the foundation to operate, it is the smaller sums that provide necessary funding for community initiatives—the grants-in-aid it will soon provide—that the foundation operates for.

The NPCF, in partnership with the city, is rolling out a Neighborhood Small Grants program to promote these initiatives on a micro-level. 

The grants in this program can range from $50 to $500.

“It’s for things like movie nights, take-one-leave-one libraries, block parties,” Adams said. “It’s really meant to encourage people to engage with their neighbors and their neighborhood.”

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Grace Giesbrecht

Grace Giesbrecht is a news reporter for who recently graduated from Trinity Western University with a bachelor of arts in Media + Communications. She was born and raised just outside of Fort St. John. She began reporting for her university’s student newspaper and interned with Ottawa Life Magazine where she developed a passion for asking questions, telling stories, and the written word. In her free time, you can find her drinking coffee, snowboarding, or reading novels.