People in the Kootenays to benefit from new recreation and job opportunities

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NELSON – New Democrat MLAs Michelle Mungall and Katrine Conroy say that people throughout southern British Columbia will have access to new job opportunities and enhanced outdoor recreation spaces in their backyards, thanks to over $2.6 million in provincial grants to support local recreation and economic development projects.

“Our NDP government understands the importance of investing in rural people and communities,” said Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on rural people and businesses, and these investments will help as our local economies start to build back.”

“People are at the heart of the economy,” said Mungall, MLA for Nelson-Creston. “With these grants, we’re supporting rural economic development by investing in projects that make our communities a great place to live, work, and play.”

A total of $2,639,112 is going to 24 projects across the Kootenay and Boundary regions, ranging from initiatives to support local small businesses and social entrepreneurships, to downtown revitalization projects, to building and improving local bike and walking trails.

These local investments are part of nearly $14 million in grants for over 150 projects that will support economic development and recreational opportunities for British Columbians who live in rural communities throughout the province.

Funding recipients were identified from applications received during the 6th intake of the Rural Dividend Program in summer 2019. Priority was given to economic development projects that have a focus and potential for job creation.

Regional grants include:

  • The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary – Scaling up the Meat Sector in Boundary Country ($500,000).
    • Phase 1 construction of a meat processing facility and initiatives including developing a Boundary meat brand and a grass-fed certification program.
  • Silverton Cowork Society: Lift Cowork: Phase Two – Building Capacity ($100,000).
    • The Lift provides dedicated cowork space for local and seasonal individuals and groups to use for office work, meetings, workshops and trainings. This project will take the Lift from a lean startup to a fully operational facility.
  • Corporation of the Village of Fruitvale: The Village of Fruitvale Economic Development Workplan and Community Re-Branding Project ($100,000).
    • Develop an economic development workplan and complete a branding process for the Village of Fruitvale.
  • Arrow and Slocan Lakes Community Services: Mt. Abriel Trail Network – Destination, Peak to Beach ($100,000).
    • Further develop Upper Polygon Down Hill Destination Trail from the peak of Mt. Abriel to Upper Arrow Lake, showcasing Nakusp and area as a world-renowned mountain biking destination and attraction for tourists and residents.
  • Kootenay-Columbia Trails Society: Millennial Trails Project ($100,000).
    • A partnership between the Society and Red Mountain Resort to create year-round recreational tourism opportunities by developing 8 km of multi-use, year-round, destination trails.
  • Community Futures Central Kootenay: Kootenay Business Transition and Investment Attraction Project ($100,000).
    • Increase regional supports for small business transitions, and continue to grow Imagine Kootenay’s investment attraction initiatives and activities through marketing, succession planning resources, and connecting investors to opportunities.
  • Kootenay Livestock Association: Living Agriculture ($9,970).
    • Research and develop a pilot program to enrich local economy by growing and diversifying local agriculture work force, awareness, and industry capacity.
  • Regional District of Central Kootenay: RDCK Trail Connectivity and Parks Enhancement Project ($163,450).
    • Rehabilitate recreational trail assets, improve connectivity of the existing network and infrastructure at two Community Hubs in RDCK regional parks.
  • Upper Columbia Cooperative Council: UCCC Co-operative and Social Venture Incubation Program ($49,920).
    • Lead a collaboration of agencies to implement a 2-year series of social entrepreneurship programs in Kootenay Boundary. Through mentorship, technical instruction, management and governance supports, workforce and business development training will address a current gap in services in the region.
  • Lower Kootenay Indian Band: yaqan nukiy Food Processing Facility ($92,355).
    • Finalize the business case and infrastructure design to support development of an Indigenous owned ‘on farm’ food processing facility which utilizes second quality fruit, vegetable and overproduction crops, with training for community members.
  • Community Futures Development Corporation of the Boundary: Boundary Business Advisory Outreach Program (BBA) ($98,272).
    • This project will focus on retention and expansion supports for business owners, including assistance re-establishing themselves after the May 2018 flood, training to prepare for potential future disasters, and connecting businesses with mentor support.
  • Town of Princeton: Town of Princeton Marketing Campaign ($100,000).
    • Design and implement an extensive Visit Princeton Marketing campaign, with the end goal of diversifying and growing the local economy, focusing marketing on Princeton’s recent addition as one of Canada’s largest life size bronze sculpture collections.
  • Corporation of the City of Grand Forks: Wayfinding Program Master Plan ($40,000).
    • Plan to connect visitors with community amenities and encourage residents to discover their town through healthy, active means, promoting long term flood recovery, downtown revitalization, active transportation and economic development.
  • Corporation of the Village of Midway: Community Centre Expansion Feasibility Study ($10,000).
    • Engage a business consultant to assess the feasibility,complete a business plan, and provide a better understanding of expected revenues and costs.
  • Skulqalt Forestry Limited Partnership: Smelqmix By Design ($10,000).
    • Develop a website to support the economic development goals of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band.
  • Corporation of the Village of Keremeos: Keremeos River Walk Trail Accessibility and Promotion ($37,055).
    • Improvements and promotion of the Similkameen River Trail as a recreation attraction that is accessible to all ages and abilities.
  • Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen: Similkameen Rail Trail ($112,590).
    • A 3.5-km multi-use trail network along the VVE Rail Trail connecting Keremeos and Cawston.
  • Akisq’nuk First Nation: Akisqnuk Bed & Breakfast Feasibility Study ($10,000).
    • Feasibility study to examine the development and operation of an Indigenous themed bed & breakfast on Akisqnuk First Nation lands.
  • Golden Community Social Services Cooperative: Community Economic Development Strategy, Golden and CSRD Area A ($100,000).
    • Establish a local community economic development strategy and branding for the Town of Golden and CSRD Area A that will inform future economic development activities in the area.
  • Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance: Markin-MacPhail Westside Legacy Trail.  ($500,000).
    • Complete last two of seven segments of the 25-km long multi-use trail connecting Invermere and Fairmont Hotsprings.
  • Revelstoke Cycling Association: Sunnyside Trail Network ($25,500).
    • “Enduro” style trail network where riders will climb on the designated climb trail, and descend on different trails, a different offering from Revelstoke’s existing trails.
  • Kimberley Community Development Society (KCDS): Kootenay Outdoor Recreation Industry Inititiative ($100,000).
    • An economic/business development strategy to attract businesses in the outdoor recreation industry to relocate or startup in the Kootenay Region of British Columbia and to conduct an Outdoor Industry Scan to assess workforce and business support needs and to develop a regional outdoor industry hub.
  • City of Cranbrook: Investment Attraction and Marketing of Industrial Lands ($80,000).
    • An economic approach to explore how the City can develop a green and renewable energy industrial park on 99 acres of recently purchased retired industrial lands.
  • District of Sparwood: Downtown Revitalization and Economic Diversification Strategy ($100,000).
    • Prepare a long term strategy aimed at encouraging business retention, expansion and attraction, and looking for opportunities to connect the community’s two main commercial areas: Centennial Square and Aspen Drive.

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