Over 150 projects are being supported by the B.C. Government for economic development and recreational opportunities in rural communities across the province.

“As someone who lives in a rural community, I know that rural B.C. is the backbone of our economy,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every region of our province, and I’m glad our government is providing these one-time grants to lend extra help to people, communities and economies in rural B.C.”

The $14-million including about $5-million for 39 trail and recreation projects, and nearly $9-million for 114 other rural community development projects. All of the money is either going to municipalities, First Nations, or non-profit organizations for implementation.

All grant recipients were identified from applications received for the sixth intake of the Rural Dividend Program in summer 2019. The B.C. Government said the priority was given to economic development projects that had a focus on potential job creation.

Here’s a list of many local projects for the southeast corner of B.C. including the East and West Kootenays, as well as Kootenay Boundary:

  • 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 Hot Springs
  • 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
  • Regional District of Central Kootenay
    • RDCK Trail Connectivity and Parks Enhancement Project ($163,450)
    • Rehabilitate recreational trail assets, improve the connectivity of the existing network and infrastructure at two Community Hubs in RDCK regional parks
  • 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
  • Kimberley Community Development Society
    • Kootenay Outdoor Recreation Industry Initiative ($100,000)
    • An economic/business development strategy to attract businesses in the outdoor recreation industry to relocate or start-up 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
  • Kootenay Association for Science and Technology
    • Kootenay Investment Readiness for Tech Start-ups and Angel Investors ($100,000)
    • The Kootenays are experiencing a tech-sector boom, but critical barriers are the availability of capital and investor readiness. Focus on investment readiness training for entrepreneurs and investors and establish key connections to external venture capital through a high-profile investment summit
  • 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
  • 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
  • Corporation of the Village of Fruitvale
    • The Village of Fruitvale Economic Development Workplan and Community Re-Branding Project ($100,000)
    • Develop an economic development work plan and complete a branding process for the Village of Fruitvale
  • 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
  • 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
  • Lower Kootenay Indian Band
    • yaqan nukiy Food Processing Facility ($92,355)
    • Finalize the business case and infrastructure design to support the development of an Indigenous-owned ‘on-farm’ food processing facility which utilizes second quality fruit, vegetable and overproduction crops, with training for community members
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Community Futures Development Corporation of Greater Trail
    • Trail Downtown Revitalization Model Study ($10,000)
    • Study successful downtown revitalization projects in other municipalities to determine the best model for Trail, focusing models that provide incentives for façade improvements, build the foundation for implementation discussions with stakeholders
  • Akisq’nuk First Nation
    • Akisq’nuk Bed & Breakfast Feasibility Study ($10,000)
    • Feasibility study to examine the development and operation of an Indigenous themed bed & breakfast on Akisq’nuk First Nation lands
  • Kootenay Livestock Association
    • Living Agriculture ($9,970)
    • Research and develop a pilot program to enrich the local economy by growing and diversifying local agriculture workforce, awareness, and industry capacity

For a full list of funded projects click below:

MORE: Approved B.C. Rural Community Development Grants (B.C. Government)