Overview: Healthy Canadians and Communities FundĀ 

This invitation to submit an application is now closed. The following is for information purposes only.

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About our program

The Healthy Canadians and Communities Fund is a funding program of the Public Health Agency of Canada. We aim to prevent chronic disease, including:

These chronic diseases have common behavioural risk factors, including:

We fund interventions in the area of primary prevention. This means projects need to address these risk factors.

We also focus on priority populations who face health inequalities and are at greater risk of developing chronic disease. We identify these populations using research, evidence and consultations in the areas of health equity and chronic disease prevention.

The priority populations for our program are:

Our program encourages all sectors of society to participate in supporting healthy living among people living in Canada.

The objectives of the Healthy Canadians and Communities Fund are to:

Learn more about:

Deadline to apply

The deadline for submitting your completed advanced screening form is January 18, 2023 at 3 pm EST.

We will let you know by email if your advanced screening form (first stage) is successful within 120 working days of the application deadline. We will only invite successful applicants from the first stage to then submit a full proposal (second stage). The full proposal application form will then become available through the online portal.

Project requirements

Implement phase

Our approach to project funding has 3 phases: design, implement, and scale. This approach recognizes the importance of supporting projects at various stages:

We are currently only accepting applications for the implement phase.
The implement phase is about project delivery with partners and evaluation of your intervention. You may be at the stage of:

Note that the ongoing delivery of an intervention in an existing geographic location, population and setting is not eligible for the implement phase.

The implement phase supports interventions that are based on evidence, which can be from:

Types of activities that are eligible for funding can include:

Projects in the implement phase must include a strong focus on evaluation. This will generate meaningful information on the impact of the intervention. It will also support establishing "what works" for chronic disease prevention.

Priority populations

Your project must focus on one or more of our program's priority population groups. You do not need to limit yourself to a single group, but focusing on more than one will not increase your chances of receiving funding. The most important thing is that your project meets the particular needs of your priority population(s) in a culturally relevant way. Choose the groups that make sense for your project and organization.

You must engage people with lived experience from your priority population(s) in all aspects of your project, including:

Their involvement will help ensure their perspectives are integrated. In your funding application, you will need to explain how you plan to do this.

Funding details

The total funding amount you can request for your project under the implement phase must be between $200,000 and $3,000,000.

Your project must be between 2 and 4 years.

Refer to the applicant guide for the matched funding requirements of our program.

Solicitation focus

There are 3 funding streams eligible for this solicitation. You must select one stream as the main focus for your project.

However, your project can include more than one environment if it helps to achieve your main objective. For example, if you choose Steam 3 for built environments, your project may also include activities that create inclusive and supportive social environments.

Your project can also address more than one behavioural risk factor if it helps to achieve your main objective. For example, if you choose Stream 2 for healthy eating, you can also include physical activity and/or tobacco cessation activities in your project.

Focusing on more than one behavioural risk factor or environment will not increase your chances of receiving funding. You should do what makes sense for your project.

Stream 1: Creating supportive social environments for tobacco prevention and cessation

Population groups with higher smoking rates are more likely to be in environments where smoking is the norm. Pro-smoking environments contribute to smoking uptake. They can also be a barrier to cessation among the priority populations.

Some examples of types of projects for this stream could include:

  • Fostering a sense of belonging and social cohesion by bringing smokers living on low incomes together to be active and quit smoking.
  • Addressing pro-smoking environments in schools among 2SLGBTQIA+ youth who are known to have higher rates of tobacco use. This could be achieved through student action teams from within the priority population that could encourage tobacco prevention and employ learning strategies to help youth manage high-risk situations and remain smoke free.
  • Addressing tobacco use in underserved and hard to reach racialized communities by providing social supports for smoking reduction and cessation. Community peers with lived experience could be recruited from among the priority population and could be trained to provide peer support and life skills workshops.
Stream 2: Creating food environments that enable access to healthy foods to improve healthy eating

Healthy eating is difficult without access to healthy food. Having available and affordable healthy foods, and environments that support healthy eating, can encourage people to make healthier food choices.

Some examples of types of projects for this stream could include:

  • Engaging Indigenous youth in assessing their food environments (such as storytelling and mapping) and implementing culturally appropriate avenues to access healthy foods within their community. This could include creating partnerships between hunters-gatherers and local food service settings to increase access to healthy foods.
  • Improving healthy eating, food environments and access to healthy foods by creating subsidized fruit and vegetable markets and delivering an intervention to support healthy eating among people living on low incomes.
  • Supporting racialized Black communities to develop a Black food sovereignty plan. This could be done by using a community-informed approach to increase access to healthy foods and Black community ownership over their local food systems.
Stream 3: Creating and/or promoting healthy built environments to increase physical activity

Interventions that increase the health-promoting potential of environments are effective at preventing chronic disease. Healthy built environments can help increase physical activity and provide opportunities for community members to be active where they live, work and play.

Some examples of types of projects for this stream could include:

  • Working with partners such as planners or developers to redesign underutilized green spaces, parking lots, or other vacant spaces within a low income community to increase physical activity and interaction.
  • Designing and implementing 'active design' features within an existing low income residential development. Through a multi-sectoral approach, physical environments could be designed with health and accessibility as integral parts of the community (such as footpaths, parks and trails). These newly created built environment features, along with delivery of an inclusive intervention, could support community members, such as older adults and people with disabilities, to be more active.
  • Partnering with a planned or existing infrastructure project by adding a healthy living component. In a municipality that is building new bike lanes, you could add and evaluate the impact of education campaigns, pro-bike programs, and social marketing as a complementary opportunity to increase ridership among priority populations and leverage the municipality's investment in active transportation.

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