Applications are open for a new funding opportunity for local community-led and focused projects in Parry Sound. 

Ontario-based company Commonwell Mutual Insurance Group has kicked off its new philanthropy initiative, the Learning and Engagement Accelerator Fund or LEAF. 

Spokesperson Cassidy Allison says the eligibility for the $1M funding is open to a wide range of community lead projects on purpose. 

“We’re basically looking for any project that builds capacity and resiliency and supports learning or engagement in the community,” she says. 

“What’s we’re looking for in the applications is the impact that its gonna have on the community, we’re looking for a good explanation of how this project, whether it’s an upgrade to an existing facility, build a new facility or creating new programming, how that’s going to impact the broader community, not just specific groups,”

Allison adds that Commonwell is also looking for project readiness, “These grants will be administered by the end of the year so we are looking for projects that are kind of on their way, but just need some funding to get started. They have a project team in place, they have plans to get it done, it doesn’t have to be completed this calendar year or even next calendar year. We just want to see their plans in place to make sure projects are completed,”

She also said that local municipalities are also eligible to apply for this funding, as long as the project is open and available to the public or offered for free.

Examples for projects include but are not limited to a community garden, upgrading skills through programming offered in the community, computer lab for a library, outdoor physical education equipment, a community gathering place (all things required to be taking place in public or free spaces).

Residents can nominate an eligible project through the submission portal at thecommonwell.ca/leaf 

Once projects have been submitted The Commonwell will be looking to those communities to rally support for the project by commenting, sharing photos and sharing the link on social media.

Applications close November 10th and the recipients will be announced in early December.