Public Interest Law Participation Fund

The Law Foundation of BC has established the Public Interest Law Participation Fund, an annual fund of $100,000.


The purpose of the Participation Fund is to enhance public participation in public interest law matters in British Columbia — and particularly to address:

  • The need to support the inclusion in public interest law matters of perspectives and voices not otherwise represented through Law Foundation of BC funding.
  • The need to support the balancing of differing public interests and perspectives, including urban and rural.

Who Can Apply

Any organization or individual resident in British Columbia may apply. Applicants will be given priority if they demonstrate that their participation would not be possible without the requested funding, and that their participation will broaden the diversity, inclusiveness and balance of views being discussed.

For What Kinds of Proceedings

Participation Fund grants are intended to support public participation in proceedings arising in a formal legal process convened by a governmental, regulatory or other public body, and demonstrating the following qualities:

  • Raises an issue or issues concerning the public at large and falling within one of the Law Foundation’s mandate areas (legal education, legal research, legal aid, law reform and law libraries).
  • Provides opportunity for public input.
  • Including public hearings, public inquiries, and public consultation.
  • Including non-public proceedings that raise an issue of public interest (certain Coroner’s inquests).

For What Kinds of Expenses

The following kinds of expenses could be appropriate for Participation Fund grants:

  • Consultants’ and experts’ fees and disbursements for the purpose of preparation to participate in an approved proceeding.
  • Expert witness fees and disbursements for the purpose of providing testimony in an approved proceeding.
  • Legal fees and disbursements for the purposes of preparation and representation in an approved proceeding.
  • Applicants’ out-of-pocket expenses incurred for the purpose of participating in an approved proceeding (including preparation, travel, accommodation and meals), subject to limits on hourly rates and to per diem and per meal limits.
  • See the Participation Fund Tariff Sheet: 2019 Public Interest Law Participation Fund Application – Tariff Rates Sheet (Final)

Grant Size

The maximum amount of any Participation Fund grant is $10,000.

Application Process

The Law Foundation now uses the SmartSimple online grant submission and management system. Future grant applications and grants administration will also be done through this system.  To discuss an application for the Participation Fund:

Applications will be adjudicated periodically, likely three times a year.

Please note that submitting an application is not a guarantee of funding.