BC Rural Dividend grants over $10 million for rural projects—$1.2 million in Kootenays
Successful project grants range from supporting rural and Indigenous young entrepreneurs to a South Kootenay trail project.
VICTORIA – The B.C. government is distributing $10.1 million in new grants to help rural communities stabilize their economies and create long-term local employment, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson announced in mid-October.
Funding is being awarded to 90 local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations around the province for single (up to $100,000) and partnership (up to $500,000) projects.
Under the special circumstances provision of the program, the B.C. government is providing $758,000 to five projects in wildfire-impacted areas. Under the regular program stream, about $1.7 million is going to communities affected by the 2017 wildfires.
Successful project grants range from supporting rural and Indigenous young entrepreneurs in Northern British Columbia, to a South Kootenay historic trail project that will complete the first two phases of a trail system designed to showcase the area, and a Cariboo-based First Nation who are working to expand domestic sales and international exports of an energy drink. Projects were assessed and approved based on the following criteria:
- Rural communities most in need.
- Improved community resiliency and economic strength.
- Partnership building and enhanced shared prosperity.
- Project feasibility and sustainability.
- Economic impact on rural communities.
- Attracting and retaining youth.
- Innovation in economic development.
Here is a list of organizations in the Kootenays (listed most to least amounts received) that received funding, adding up to over $1.24 million:
- Regional District of Central Kootenay (four projects) – $397,755
- Town of Golden – $100,000
- Community Futures Central Kootenay – $100,000
- Community Futures East Kootenay – $100,000
- Kootenay Association for Science & Technology – $100,000
- City of Revelstoke – $100,000
- Ktuanxa Nation Council Society – $100,000
- Kootenay Employment Services Society – $99,840
- Lower Kootenay Band – $99,790
- Fernie Chamber of Commerce – $36,900
- South Kootenay Lake Community Service Society – $10,000