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The 2020-2021 application process for the New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) is now open. Please apply by October 20, 2020 at 12 PM PST.

About the NHSP:

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

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

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

Through the Government of Canada NHSP funding, seniors share their knowledge, skills and experience to benefit others. The objectives of the NHSP are:

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

Since 2004, the NHSP has funded more than 27,400 projects in hundreds of communities across Canada. The total Government of Canada investment has been more than $605.5 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 will be 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, including, 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

Last year, more than 2,800 projects were approved in Canada through community-based funding, and many are still in progress.

For more information, visit The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP – 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
  • Address systemic barriers that contribute to the social exclusion of seniors

For more information, visit Funding: New Horizons for Seniors Program – pan-Canadian projects.

To apply:

Determine if your organization is eligible

Eligible recipients for grant and contribution funding include:

  • Non-profit organizations
  • Coalitions, networks and ad-hoc committees
  • For-profit organizations may be eligible for funding provided that the nature and intent of the activity are non-commercial, do not generate profit, and supports program objectives
  • Municipal governments
  • Research organizations and institutes
  • Educational institutions (i.e. universities, colleges, Cégeps, school boards/school districts)*
  • Public health and social service institutions*
  • Indigenous organizations (including band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities)

*Provincially/territorially funded institutions are eligible with the agreement of the provincial/territorial government. This approval will be sought as part of the assessment of the application.

Determine if your proposed project activities are eligible

Examples of eligible activities:

  • organize weekly online sessions for seniors to provide them with support or training and the opportunity to socialize while social distancing
  • organize financial literacy seminars to local seniors inviting financial experts to give tips on how to manage finances
  • provide sessions on how to manage online banking and on avoiding financial scams
  • design and develop a toolkit that would be distributed by volunteers from all age ranges within the community. For example, a tear away sheet with important phone numbers, list of local information hubs, guidelines to accessing various services, etc.
  • capital assistance for age-friendly exercise equipment that would make it easier for seniors to remain actively engaged
  • teach seniors the tools they need to connect with others online
  • have seniors set up meetings with other seniors, creating an online support network of seniors

Examples of COVID-19 relief activities are those that:

  • provide web based seminars on financial health and management during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, such as how to do online banking or how to manage financial planning during and after the COVID-19 crisis
  • develop and deliver virtual information sessions to local businesses to raise awareness on ageism in the workplace and how to be inclusive when implementing COVID-19 employee safety measures
  • deliver virtual learning and information sessions that identify some of the risk factors that contribute to mental health issues and providing tips on how to address or prevent them
  • organize a virtual volunteer expo for organizations in need of volunteers, to support them to recruit during this period of increased demand for services due to COVID-19
  • recruit senior volunteers to virtually deliver “story time” to young children in the community or to provide academic help while social distancing

Make sure your application is complete 

In order for your application for funding to be considered complete, it is essential that you include all the required documents. If your application is incomplete, we will provide you with notice by email. You will have 10 business days to submit the missing information. If your application is not complete by that time, we may reject it.

A checklist is included in the Application Form.

Obtain a Letter of Support – for $25,000 grant process only

Applications for the $25,000 grant process must include a letter of support from a member of your community in order to be considered complete. The letter of support is also used to help us assess the expected benefits and impacts of your proposed project on your community. It can contribute up to 15% of your total application assessment.

Instructions on how to write a letter of support as well as a template letter and a sample letter are included in the Applicant Guide for the $25,000 grant process.

Read the Applicant Guide

We strongly recommend that you carefully read the Applicant Guide (Applicant Guide for $25,000 or Applicant Guide for $5,000) for the funding process before completing the Application Form, as it describes specific information needed to answer each question of the form.

Ensure your project meets the NHSP’s Objectives and National Priorities

Through the NHSP, seniors are encouraged to share their knowledge, skills and experience to the benefit of others. Projects should clearly meet one of the following five program objectives:

  • 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 or existing community projects and programs for seniors*.

*Note: Projects requiring capital assistance are eligible as long as they will support new or existing community programs and activities for seniors. Therefore, in addition to capital assistance, the project must also meet one more program objective.

Applications for small grants up to $5,000 must meet at least one National Priority.

Applications for grants up to $25,000 do not need to meet a National Priority, however those that do meet a priority will receive extra points during the assessment.

Decide how to apply

Apply online

  1. Read the applicant guide to complete your application form. This guide includes details for each question of the form
  2. Complete your application form online: up to $25,000 or up to $5,000
  3. Email or mail your supporting documents to your nearest New Horizons for Seniors Program office. You must send your documents within 2 days after applying online and include the following:
    • the name of your organization
    • the title of your proposed project
    • your confirmation number

Important notes if you apply online

  • Once you begin completing the online form, it will only be available for 20 hours. If you do not complete it within this timeframe, your session will expire and you will have to start over.
  • The questions in the online form are in the same order as the PDF application form. However, the questions are not numbered online.
  • You cannot save or access your application at a later time.
  • You cannot submit your supporting documents online. You must send your documents by email or mail to your nearest New Horizons for Seniors Program office within 2 days after applying online.
  • Private and public organizations must have a CRA business number to apply online.
  • You can print a copy of your application before submitting your application. This is the only opportunity to print your application.
  • After you print a copy of your online application, click “submit” to complete your application. If you do not click “submit”, your application will not be sent to us.
  • Once you submit your online application, you will receive a confirmation number. You will also receive a confirmation of receipt by email.
  • This confirmation is the acknowledgement of receipt of your application. If you do not receive a confirmation number, we have not received your application.

Apply by email or mail

If you cannot apply online:

  1. Read the applicant guide to complete your application form. This guide includes details for each question of the form
  2. Complete the PDF application form
  3. Send your complete application package by email or by mail to your nearest New Horizons for Seniors Program office.

Apply by Grants and Contributions Online Services (GCOS)

If you already have a GCOS account:

  1. Read the applicant guide to complete your application form. This guide includes details for each question of the form
  2. Apply online using the GCOS