Accessibility Tools

Community Economic Development Fund (Formerly Invest Nova Scotia Fund)

Department - Organization: NS Dept of Economic Development
Description: Helps communities become more competitive by funding projects that have a broad impact on a sector or region. The fund considers projects that promote cooperation and partnerships. Municipalities or RENs can apply.
Example(s): Lighthouse Arts Center, Halifax Convention Center.
Deadline: Deadline January 31st, 2024. The fund is open for applications 3 times per year.

Festival and Community Event Development

Department - Organization: NS Dept of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage
Description: The objectives of the program are to improve the sustainability and event-hosting capacity of unique community events and to support home-grown events that promote or strengthen the unique character of the community. Up to $10,000. Applicants can apply for one festival or event per fiscal year.
Example(s): Supports major events being hosted in Nova Scotia that align with the Nova Scotia Events Strategy. Major sporting and cultural events are a major focus of the fund, as well as homegrown events like DEVOUR Food Film Festival.
Deadline: February 28th, 2024.
Contact: Stephen MacDougall, Senior Events Advisor,

Community Capacity Fund

Department - Organization: Atlantic Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
Description: To help with planning and assessment of an opportunity (i.e., study-type projects). This fund is not found online, it is accessible through speaking with your regional manager at ACOA.
Deadline: Continuous intake

Innovative Communities Fund

Department - Organization: Atlantic Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
Description: The fund is for economic development projects and initiatives that lead to long-term employment and a stronger local economy. The fund enables communities to: develop thriving industry sectors, strengthen infrastructure in rural areas, invest in projects to help communities overcome economic issues and take advantage of new opportunities.
Example(s): Projects with links to tourism, for example, waterfront development capital projects. Events that bring in a national or international audience. Expansion of municipal services can be eligible if it is linked to economic development in the private sector.
Deadline: Continuous intake

Currently Closed, Next intake TBD:

Beautification and Streetscaping Program

Department - Organization: NS Dept of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Description: Funding to develop beautiful areas that encourage economic development and attract tourists to your municipality. You need to use the funding to beautify, improve or maintain property that the municipality owns or leases. Or the funding needs to be used to pay grants to an organization for beautifying a business district. The program may fund up to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $25,000. The applicant or other sources need to fund the remaining balance of the project.
Example(s): Signage, beautification fixtures like baskets, banners, benches, bike racks, waste receptacles, planters and flowers, planting shrubs and trees, lighting, building façades, kiosks and other amenities directed at a tourism audience, beautification and streetscaping plans, contracted labour (non-staff), professional services.
Deadline: Closed June 2023. Next intake TBD.

Municipal Innovation Program 

Department - Organization: NS Dept of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Description: The goals of the program are to support regional governance, regional economic development, and regional planning by encouraging municipalities to work together.
Deadline: Closed June 2023. Next intake TBD.

Tourism Digital Assistance Program

Department - Organization: Tourism Nova Scotia
Description: The program helps effectively promote local communities as a travel destination, attract visitors and encourage spending. The program will cover up to $15,000 in services and online tools to municipalities, chambers of commerce and community tourism organizations to address their digital needs. 
Example(s): Website Design & Development, Data Analytics, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Digital Marketing (strategy, advertising development and testing), Social Media (strategy, content planning etc.), Copywriting, Audio & Podcast Services, Branding & Design, Ecommerce, Online Booking, Photography & Videography (up to $2,500).
Deadline: Closed September, 2023. 
Contact: Jennifer McKeane, Business Development Advisor,

Digital Content Marketing Program

Department - Organization: Tourism Nova Scotia
Description: The program provides tourism businesses and organizations the opportunity to co-invest with Tourism Nova Scotia (TNS) to create engaging photos and videos) or deliver custom digital advertising campaigns to promote their products and/or services in key markets. TNS matches all partner investments with a minimum of $7,500 plus a 15% media buying fee ($8,625 total investment) for digital marketing and a minimum of $10,000 for content creation. Partners include tourism businesses, tourism organizations, accommodations, campgrounds, parks, communities, and regional destination marketing organizations.
Deadline: Closed December 15 at 4:00 p.m.

Sustainable Development Goals Program

Department - Organization: Employment and Social Development Canada 
Description: In September 2015, Canada and 192 other UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda is a 15-year global framework centred on an ambitious set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This includes areas applicable to municipalities, such as sustainable cities and communities, decent work and economic growth, clean water and sanitation,.
There are two streams to the funding program, 1) Grants, 2) Contributions. The Grants stream of this Call for Proposals will fund projects that increase public awareness, share best practices or lessons learned that support and enhance Canada’s progress on the 2030 Agenda, particularly within equity-deserving groups and groups or individuals in vulnerable situations. Up to $200,000 for a project that is up to 24 months (maximum $100,000 per fiscal year). The Contributions stream of this Call for Proposals will fund projects that aim to localize SDGs in communities. Funded projects will adapt, employ, and monitor progress of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the local level and will measure and report on the SDGs.  Up to $900,000 for a project that is up to 36 months (maximum $300,000 per fiscal year)
Example: By the Governors of Saint-Francis Xavier University: This project addresses the barriers of affordable housing in Nova Scotia. It leads a grassroots community consultation using the SDGs as a blueprint to frame the discussions. It addresses the factors that influence the housing needs of people living on low-incomes and marginalized populations. 
Deadline:  Closed January 22, 2024


If you can't find a grant that suits your needs, please reach out. Similarly, if you are applying to any of the listed opportunities, I am readily available to provide assistance throughout the application process.

Lucy MacLeod

Lucy MacLeod,
Fund Navigator