Media Releases

Second round of ‘A’ Fresh Start Community Initiative grant applications now accepted

The Town of Amherst is seeking to fund bright, innovative community events or initiatives through the second round of its ‘A’ Fresh Start Community Initiative.

Up to $17,500 will be shared by the Top 5 events or initiatives through a competitive process that begins with sending the town an application that will be accepted between now and 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 22, 2021. The applications can be found on the town’s website at or picked up at town hall, located at 98 Victoria St. E.

Completed applications must be returned to town hall, emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., faxed to 902-667-5409 or mailed to the Town of Amherst, P.O. Box 516, Amherst, N.S., B4H 4A1. All applications must be clearly marked: Attention ‘A’ Fresh Start c/o Cheryl Laliberté, community well-being manager.

The name of the organization and/or individual seeking the grant as well as the name, email, phone number and address of a contact person must be included in the application. Details of the event, a budget and the amount of funding requested must also be included.

It is preferred that registered organizations apply for the grant, but non-registered groups or

individuals may also apply.

To qualify, the event or initiative must be new or one that enhances a current program. Those receiving grants will have 12 months after the approval date to plan and execute the event. Normal ongoing operations of an organization do not qualify.

All applications received by the deadline will be reviewed by a staff committee, which will submit the five finalists to Amherst town council’s September committee of the whole session. The names of the organizations and/or individuals who reach the finals will be made public during the Sept. 27, 2021, council session.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic protocols, which restrict the size of gatherings, no public meeting will be held to help determine the rankings of the applications as has happened in past years. Instead, applicants who make the finals must be prepared to make a five-minute video presentation explaining why they should receive the grant, how much money the project requires and how it will be spent. These videos must be received by the town no later than Oct. 7, 2021.

The videos will be placed on the town’s social media between Oct. 10, 2021, and October 14, 2021. Residents will be asked to vote online or via paper ballot on the order in which they believe the awards should be granted. People are encouraged to watch all five videos before voting.

The exact voting procedure will be made public once the five finalists are selected, though all votes must be received by the town no later than noon on Oct. 15, 2021.

The rankings determined by this vote will then be presented to Amherst town council members, who will have also viewed the video presentations. Council will consider those rankings in making the decision on the placing of the awards.

Council has the final say on those rankings and the amounts given to the grant recipients. These will be announced at their Oct. 25, 2021, council meeting. Those receiving grants will receive 80 per cent of the funds up front. The final 20 per cent will be delivered upon a receipt of a report that must be presented to the town following the completion of the event.