COQUITLAM, B.C., July 13, 2021 – A new volunteer support hub for not-for-profits, free parking in City Centre, pop-up parks and meals for isolated seniors are among the continuing pandemic supports Coquitlam is providing to the community this year.
These and other initiatives make up the $2.9 million in relief the City has provided to date to residents, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and other groups through its COVID-19 Community Support and Recovery Plan (CSRP) since the plan’s launch in spring 2020.
Another $950,000 is earmarked for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022, Council heard yesterday during a progress report from staff.
Helping All Sectors Through the Pandemic
The City launched the multi-phased CSRP to foster short-term and long-term community resilience and recovery, with programs and services directed to all sectors of the community. Most of the investment to date has been funded through existing budgets, reallocating savings found through prudent fiscal management to support at the local level.
As our community continues to recover from the pandemic through the second half of 2021, most CSRP investments are anticipated to wrap up at the end of the year. However, some initiatives will continue into 2022 in some form based on continuing need.
Continuing to Support the Community and Businesses
New and upcoming initiatives in the final phase of the CSRP include the following:
- Community Volunteer Support Hub – Launched this April, this new service is providing targeted support to Coquitlam not-for-profit organizations struggling with service disruptions amid increased service demand, reduced revenue, and navigating grant and emergency program applications. The program will be extended into 2022 and potentially beyond, depending on effectiveness and need.
- Get Connected, Get Active – Planned changes coming to the City’s recreation financial assistance program this fall include streamlined applications and program benefits, and a promotional campaign to increase participation. The program will be extended into 2022 to allow residents to take full advantage of the new benefits, to expand the program’s reach and to collect feedback from participants. .
- Block Parties – The annual Block Party program will continue this summer, with grants doubling to $300 to help neighbourhoods come back together again.
- Maillardville Seasonal Lighting – Coming this winter, this pilot project will leverage new infrastructure to bring decorative lights to the trees along Brunette Avenue and to Mackin Park to support civic pride and neighbourhood beautification.
- Pop-up Parks – With the help of volunteers, temporary public gathering spaces with activities and seating have been set up in City Centre, Austin Heights and Burquitlam over the spring and summer to support businesses and provide space for residents to relax and connect.
- Economic Development – Initiatives in the first half of 2021 included issuing 17 permits for business use of outdoor spaces, a Taste of the Tri-Cities campaign with 55 restaurant participants, promotion of local businesses through 14 published blogs and various other methods, featuring more than 15 businesses through the City’s Canada Day and Summer Concert Series events, and a Capture Coquitlam social media marketing campaign.
Additional CSRP Initiatives
A number of well-received CSRP programs initiated in 2020 have continued into 2021. One such program is Meals for Seniors, a frozen meal delivery and takeout program that has been supporting isolated seniors for more than a year. Although cafeterias in the City’s 50-plus Glen Pine and Dogwood Pavilions are anticipated to reopen during Step 4 of BC’s Restart, the popular meal service will continue into early 2022 as staff assess the ongoing audience for the program.
The reduced drop-in recreation rates – $1 for children, youth and seniors, $2 for adults and $5 for families – initiated last August will continue throughout the summer until Sept. 7, when service levels are anticipated to increase as BC’s Restart moves to Step 4.
The CSRP’s revenue replacement and pandemic response grants, which have distributed approximately $202,000 to date to not-for-profit and community organizations, will wrap up after its summer application intake, based on decreasing participation and the anticipated return to normal operations in the fall. The City will then turn its focus to relaunching the Spirit Grant program in early 2022.
More information about the CSRP can be found at www.coquitlam.ca/csrp.
About Coquitlam’s Community Support and Recovery Plan
Introduced in spring 2020, Coquitlam’s COVID-19 Community Support and Recovery Plan is a multi-phased recovery strategy made up of programs and initiatives to support all facets of the community through the pandemic. It provides targeted immediate and long-term support for businesses, residents and the not-for-profit sector. New initiatives continue to be introduced in 2021 as the program nears its conclusion. Information about the CSRP is posted at www.coquitlam.ca/csrp.
Supporting Our Community During the Pandemic
The City of Coquitlam is here to help, with these resources:
- www.coquitlam.ca/csrp: Details about the City’s Community Support and Recovery Plan, which is supporting non-profits, businesses and residents through the pandemic;
- www.coquitlam.ca/spirit: Free activities for all ages, including fitness, arts and culture, outdoor activities and ways to stay engaged; and
- www.coquitlam.ca/covid19: City service updates and COVID-19 health resources.
Stay up-to-date about City news and service changes by:
Manager, Corporate Planning
City of Coquitlam