From: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcpovertyreduction/community-meetings/

British Columbians are invited to come and talk about how poverty can be reduced in the province. Ideas shared at the in-person community meetings will help inform the Poverty Reduction Strategy. The community meetings will run from the end of November to the end of March.

Supports are available to help you participate, including transportation, child care, disability and health supports, as well as secure storage for belongings. If you need supports to participate, please contact Lara Therrien Boulos by phone at 604 718-8504 or email: ltboulos@sparc.bc.ca All locations are accessible.

Date: Friday, Jan. 19, 2018
Location: Royal Canadian Legion Branch 26, 1380 Bertram St.
Time: Doors open at 5 p.m. The community meeting will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Notes: A hot meal will be provided.

Cranbrook:  Thursday, Feb. 8

Nelson:  Friday, Feb. 9

The Advocacy Centre, with the participation of the Legal Services Society of BC, is having an art contest for secondary school students in our region.

The theme of the contest is Human Rights and the Exercise of Legal Rights.

The winner will receive $100.  See below for Terms and Conditions.

All submissions must be made before 5:00 pm on 15 March 2018.

Students enrolled in LVR, Kootenay Lake Learning Centre, DESK, CHEK-ABC, Self-Design High, Online Learning Centre (Castlegar), Stanley Humphries, JV Humphries (grades 9-12), Salmo Secondary, Mount Sentinal Secondary (grades 9-12), Nakusp Secondary and Lucerne are invited to participate.

Terms and Conditions:

1. All entries must be photographed and emailed to The Advocacy Centre (advocacycentre@nelsoncares.ca) by 5:00 PM on 15 March 2018 to be considered for the contest.

2. Submitted art work must be the artist-student’s original work. No tracing or use of the work of others is permitted.  Sorry!  No digital art.  All pieces must be non-digital (traditional art) in all component parts.

3. The art must focus on human rights and/or the exercise of legal rights in BC.  The artwork should focus on the up-lifting or hopeful aspects of this subject.  A brief paragraph of explanation should accompany the submission.

4. Multiple entries can be made [Maximum of three].

5. All contestants must agree to these Terms and Conditions in order to enter.

6. All contestants must provide their name, age, school they are attending, and reliable method of contact.  This information will be used to administer the contest.  The artist must agree to announcement of his or her name, school and grade in a press release about the results of the contest.  The winning piece of art will be featured in the press release.

7. Contestants must permit contact with their school to confirm current enrollment as a student.

8. The contest will be judged by judges appointed by The Advocacy Centre.  The judges’ decision cannot be appealed.

9. Grand prize is $100.

10. The winning contestant must agree to permit the art work to be displayed at The Advocacy Centre office in the Castlegar Community Services building in Castlegar.  During that year, reasonable care will be made to keep the artwork free from damage.  The Advocacy Centre will not be liable, however, if any damage occurs to the artwork during the year and before it is returned to the artist.

11. The Advocacy Centre is not responsible for errors or omissions in printing or advertising this contest.

12. Submissions must be two-dimensional and of a weight that can readily be hung on an office wall.

13. The art must be a maximum of 1.2 metres in height and width.


Effective October 1, 2017, the Annual Earnings Exemption (AEE) limit will increase by $2,400 for each person receiving Persons with Disabilities (PWD) benefits. This earnings exemption allows people receiving PWD benefits to make money from employment over the calendar year without a reduction of their benefits. The AEE does not apply to money received from most other sources such as Canada Pension Plan benefits or Old Age Security benefits. The new AEE limits will be:

  1. Single person with a disability: $12,000
  2. Couple, one person with a disability: $14,400
  3. Couple, both people with a disability: $24,000

The increase in the AEE rate means that some people who previously exceeded their AEE limit earlier in 2017 may be eligible for a top-up of benefits. They are encouraged to contact the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction for further information.

An advocate from The Advocacy Centre visits Castlegar and Trail every month.

The advocate can discuss income assistance, disability income assistance, landlord/tenant problems (with tenants), family law information, and accessing Legal Services information and resources.

Advocacy Centre schedule for Winter 2018

For a printable copy, click here.

Advocacy Dates till March -18.pdf_page_1.jpg



As some of you know, the Advocacy Centre helps people with applications and appeals for the Persons With Disabilities (PWD) designation.

Due to extremely high demand for this service, we are no longer able to help individual clients with their initial application.   Instead, we are offering group sessions to people who want help with the application process.   We will explain the criteria, the form, and what sort of information the Ministry is looking for in the applications.

We will hold these sessions approximately every three weeks.   The upcoming sessions will be held at the Advocacy Centre, 521 Vernon Street, Nelson on the following dates:

Tues, January 9th – 10am-noon
Tues, January 30th – 10am-noon
Tues, February 27th – 10am-noon
Tues, March 13 – 10am-noon
Tues, April 3 – 10am-noon

Please drop us a line at (250) 352-5777 to reserve your spot.

Looking for housing in the Castlegar area? Here are some tips.


West Kootenay Community TEETH Clinic Society offers low cost dental care to low income individuals and families.

For a pamphlet about TEETH, click here

For an application, please click here.

For fees, click here.