Backgrounder: New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP)


The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) is a federal grants and contributions program. The funding supports projects that:

  • empower seniors in their communities; and
  • contribute to improving seniors’ health and well-being.

Seniors lead and inspire projects to make a difference in the lives of others and their communities.

The objectives of the NHSP are:

  • promoting volunteerism among seniors and other generations;
  • engaging seniors in the community through the mentoring of others;
  • expanding awareness of elder abuse, including financial abuse;
  • supporting the social participation and inclusion of seniors; and 
  • providing capital assistance for new and existing community projects and programs for seniors. 

To further support Canadian seniors through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada is providing NHSP funding to senior-serving organizations. The funding will help organizations offer essential services and carry out broader recovery efforts to safely reduce social isolation and promote social participation of seniors in their communities.

Since 2004, the NHSP has funded more than 30,000 projects, including projects related to COVID-19, in hundreds of communities across Canada. The total Government of Canada investment has been more than $600 million. NHSP funding supports community-based projects and pan-Canadian projects.

Community-based projects
Community-based project funding supports activities where seniors are engaged, connected and actively involved in their communities. Organizations are eligible to receive up to $25,000 in grant funding. Small grants of up to $5,000 are available to organizations that have not received funding from the program within the last five years.

As part of the 2020–21 NHSP community-based call for proposals, organizations were able to apply for funding that supports the NHSP national priorities for this cycle:

  1. Supporting healthy ageing
    • Including addressing social isolation, mental health and dementia, and supporting accessible intergenerational housing
  2. Preventing elder abuse and fraud
    • Including measures to reduce crimes and harm against seniors and supporting financial empowerment of seniors
  3. Combatting ageism, celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion
    • Including promoting labour market participation of seniors, particularly members of under-represented or underserved groups, such as, but not limited to, women, Indigenous people, persons with disabilities, members of racialized and newcomer groups and members of LGBTQ2 communities, and promoting intergenerational mentoring and engagement
  4. Improving seniors’ access to government services and benefits
    • Including helping seniors navigate access to government benefits, and providing support to file their taxes
  5. Adapting community-based organizations to a more virtual environment
    • Including by developing and delivering virtual programming, and recruiting and training volunteers to support the social inclusion of seniors

For more information, visit About the New Horizons for Seniors Program – Community-based projects.

Pan-Canadian projects
Pan-Canadian projects test and share best practices across the country and replicate approaches that have worked well in addressing seniors’ issues. Project partners work together to achieve measurable results to increase the social inclusion of seniors. The objectives of collective impact projects funded through the NHSP pan-Canadian stream are to:

  • Build the collective capacity of organizations;
  • Promote improved access to information, programs and services for seniors;
  • Support action research for increasing the level of social inclusion;
  • Develop innovative approaches to engage senior volunteers; and
  • Address systemic barriers that contribute to the social exclusion of seniors.

For more information, visit Funding: Pan-Canadian projects under the New Horizons for Seniors Program.

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