Backgrounder: New Horizons for Seniors Program


The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) is a federal grants and contributions program that funds 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 in their communities.

The objectives of the NHSP are to:

  • promote volunteerism among seniors and other generations;
  • engage seniors in the community in mentoring;
  • expand awareness of elder abuse, including financial abuse;
  • support the social participation and inclusion of seniors; and 
  • provide capital assistance for new and existing community projects and programs for seniors. 

The NHSP provides seniors access to important recreational and social programs and initiatives that reflect the current realities of seniors and senior-serving organizations. The program continues to empower and support seniors through curated program parameters, delivery and access to ensure their needs.

Since 2004, the NHSP has funded more than 33,500 projects, including projects related to COVID-19, in hundreds of communities across Canada. The total Government of Canada investment has been more than $720 million. Program funding supports community-based projects and pan-Canadian projects.

Community-based projects

Community-based project funding supports activities in which seniors are engaged, connected and actively involved in their communities. Organizations are eligible to receive up to $25,000 in grant funding.

As part of the 2021–22 NHSP community-based call for proposals, organizations were able to apply for funding that supports the NHSP national priorities for this cycle:

Priority 1: Supporting healthy aging, including:

  • addressing social isolation, including through supporting seniors’ digital literacy;
  • addressing ageism;
  • supporting mental health and dementia; and
  • developing and delivering virtual programming for the above.

Priority 2: Preventing senior abuse, including:

  • helping seniors navigate access to government benefits and providing support to file their taxes;
  • supporting financial empowerment of seniors; and
  • providing measures to reduce crimes and harm against seniors.

Priority 3: Celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion, including:

  • promoting intergenerational mentoring and engagement; and
  • serving members of the following vulnerable groups: Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of racialized and newcomer groups, members of LGBTQ2+ communities, low-income seniors and veterans.

Priority 4: Helping seniors to age in place, including:

  • providing practical supports to seniors to help them remain in their homes longer.

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 this 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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