Three Nicola Valley organizations are vying for their share of $1 million in community grants.

Nooaitch Indian Band, Nicola Valley Forgotten and Feral Feline Society and Stonehouse Youth Ranch are part of the Canada-wide contest sponsored by insurance company Aviva.

The first round of voting closes Monday and the organizations will find out if they advanced on Oct. 21.

Nooaitch is bidding for $100,000 to $150,000 for a softball and recreation field.

“Because we have a lot of young children and youth, we want to make sure they have a positive environment and to provide activities that will keep them healthy,” Nooaitch community economic development officer Angela Fountain said.

The area would include an oval track and a baseball diamond, as well as a recreation facility for the community complete with washrooms.

Fountain said the band is looking to the competition to help fund the track and baseball diamond, which would be the beginning of the $850,000 project. She said the idea is to make sports and recreation more accessible for community members with a focus on youth and elders.

“The band looks at the seven generations, not just this generation, so they want this to be a healthy community. The Nooaitch Indian Band feels youth and elders are the ones who are going to carry on traditions and culture, and that’s where we need to start: children and youth.”

The Nicola Valley Forgotten and Feral Feline Society is looking to assist people in the community and curb the stray cat population by offering a low cost spay and neuter program.

If the society gets its maximum $100,000, its program could sterilize about 1,250 cats or 588 dogs. The program includes vaccines, health checks, tattoos, and flea medicines.

Stonehouse Youth Ranch would use the money to combine a horse rescue with youth programs for people aged 13 to 19.

The programs could include caring for the animals and basic trades-applicable skills such as woodwork and metal work.

The working horse ranch is vying for a “large” category prize between $100,000 and $150,000.

The Aviva Community Fund offers $1 million in grants to organizations across Canada that create positive change sponsored by insurance company Aviva Canada Inc. Anyone can submit an idea to the competition.

The grants are divided into three categories: small (up to $50,000), medium ($50,000 to $100,000) and large ($100,000 to $150,000).

Each year, the competition allows Canadians to vote online for ideas across the country in the first two rounds, with 10 ideas from each budget category going to the final round.

Each idea that makes it to the finals gets at least $5,000.

One winner from each category is selected by a panel of judges.

Past winners include a swimming pool for Smiths Falls, Ont.; Happy Valley Goose Bay SPCA in Labrador; a bear rehabilitation sanctuary in Sprucedale, Ont. and a greenhouse for a Vancouver high school.

For more information and to vote, go to avivacommunityfund.org.