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CIRA launches annual $1M+ grants program to help solve Canada’s digital equity problems

By Shehnila Sayeed
Communications Specialist

OTTAWA, MARCH 1, 2022 – Today, CIRA launched its latest call for applications to fund community-led internet projects in Canada. This year, CIRA encourages grant applications for eligible projects in Northern Canada, the Prairies, Quebec and the Maritimes to help ensure funding reaches traditionally underserved communities.

Over $1 million in grants will be awarded to not-for-profits, Indigenous communities, registered charities, and researchers who seek funding for infrastructure, cybersecurity, digital literacy and community leadership projects. CIRA Grants offers Canadians a unique opportunity to support projects that help solve digital skills and connectivity problems at the local level across the country.

CIRA Grants

CIRA Grants are awarded for internet-related projects and are available in amounts of up to $100,000, including one grant of up to $250,000.

The program considers projects that align with its four funding areas:

  1. Infrastructure projects or research to help improve internet access, speed, and affordability.
  2. Digital literacy tools, research, and training programs to develop digital skills.
  3. Cybersecurity projects or research, tools and training that promote online safety.
  4. Community leadership initiatives including events or research that engage Canadians in domestic internet policy issues.

Projects that benefit rural, Northern and Indigenous communities, and students (K-12 and post-secondary) will be prioritized.

Since the program started in 2014, CIRA has funded 185 projects with $9.2 million. Learn more about how to apply for a CIRA Grant by visiting Interested applicants can also join CIRA’s applicant webinar in English on March 8th at 1 p.m. ET or in French on March 9th at 1 p.m. ET.

Executive Quote

“With the pandemic forcing so much of our day-to-day lives online, it’s obvious that many communities are being left behind. To help empower the grassroots, community-level work being done by Canadians across the country we’re encouraging folks to submit applications for eligible projects in traditionally underserved parts of the country, including Northern Canada, the Prairies, Quebec and the Maritimes.”

-Tanya O’Callaghan, vice president of community investment, policy and advocacy

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Organizations recognized by the Canada Revenue Agency as registered charities:
  • Not-for-profit organizations:
  • Indigenous communities; and,
  • Academics and researchers affiliated with a Canadian university or college.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications in advance of the deadline on April 13, at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT.

About CIRA and CIRA Grants

CIRA is the national not-for-profit best known for managing the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians. The organization also offers enterprise-quality registry, DNS, and cybersecurity services to organizations across Canada and around the world. As a member-based, mission-driven not-for-profit, CIRA also has a much broader goal to promote a trusted internet for Canadians. A portion of every .CA domain registered or renewed helps give back to the internet community through CIRA’s Community Investment Program. CIRA Grants is one of our most valuable contributions to this program with millions funded in community-led internet projects that address infrastructure, digital literacy, cybersecurity and community leadership needs.