Rural Dividend grants support Sea to Sky communities

by ahnationtalk on April 30, 2019177 Views

April 30, 2019

WHISTLER – Under the BC Rural Dividend Program, the Government of British Columbia is providing $502,734 for nine projects in the Sea to Sky corridor.

“This funding supports the diverse needs of small communities throughout the province and the people who live in them,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Our government is getting results for people in every region, creating jobs and enhancing everyday services and amenities for families around the province.”

Almost $19 million in 153 single applicant and partnership project grants are being awarded to eligible local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations through the Rural Dividend Program.

These grants help fund projects that support economic development and diversification in rural communities throughout the province. Grants can be up to $100,000 for a single applicant project or up to $500,000 for partnership projects.

“Visitors to B.C. are drawn to the authentic cultural experiences Indigenous tourism offers. With more than 400 Indigenous tourism operators in our province, our new strategic framework for tourism in B.C. looks at ways we can further partner with communities to grow this sector even more,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Supporting Indigenous tourism is a key way we can drive economic growth in rural areas and celebrate the rich heritage of Indigenous peoples in B.C.”

As well, over $4.6 million in grants are being provided to the program’s special circumstances stream to support 23 applicants responding to economic challenges resulting from the loss of a main employer or the impacts of a natural disaster.

Additionally, $673,124 were awarded through the project development stream to communities around the province to complete preliminary work to support future projects.

The Rural Dividend encourages economic diversification through community capacity building, workforce development, community and economic development, and business sector development.

The Government of British Columbia has committed to extending the $25-million-per-year Rural Dividend to 2021-22.

The Rural Dividend is one aspect of government’s rural development mandate, which commits to making rural communities more resilient.

Learn More:

BC Rural Dividend Program:

A backgrounder follows.


Media Relations
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
250 356-7506


BC Rural Dividend project awards for Sea to Sky communities

  • N’Quatqua First Nation is being awarded $47,522 to conduct a business improvement analysis for the N’Quatqua First Nation convenience store. The project will determine how to improve current business operations and assess how best to expand the store’s operations.
  • The Village of Pemberton is being awarded $100,000 to develop an economic development strategy and plan. The project includes hiring a manager to consult with local communities and Nuk’w7ántal’ regional governance to identify economic development priorities, partnerships and initiatives for the region.
  • Spo7ez Cultural Centre and Community Society is being awarded $92,140 to develop an Indigenous tourism startup program. This project builds on a project funded in a previous Rural Dividend intake and supports new entrepreneurs to create an authentic Indigenous tourism business concept, as well as marketing and business plans.
  • The Squamish Chamber of Commerce is being awarded $39,804 for a two-component project. Component one will update billboards along the Sea to Sky corridor to attract tourists and customers to local businesses. Component two includes developing and delivering brand-ambassador training for Squamish residents and the local workforce.
  • Squamish-Lillooet Regional District is being awarded $56,000 for an affordable housing need-and-demand study. The project will identify immediate housing needs, review current housing stock and its ability to meet present and future demands in the region, and estimate future needs.
  • The Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association is being awarded $10,000 for Phase 1 of a project to rebuild the Half Nelson mountain biking trail. Funds will be used to clear drains, reshape key features and rebuild the top kilometre of the trail.
  • The Tourism Squamish Society is being awarded $17,268 to develop and distribute a new visitor map for the area. This project includes forming a working committee, consulting with the community and local businesses, and integrating geographic information system data.
  • Whistler Arts Council is being awarded $80,000 for its employment diversification and resilience project. This project links arts professionals with local musicians to help them produce marketing and promotional material, host a youth talent show and produce Canadian content music videos.
  • The Resort Municipality of Whistler is being awarded $60,000 to develop, produce, promote and present a series of seminars to educate residents about Whistler’s geodiversity, biodiversity, arts, history and heritage, including the history and heritage of Indigenous peoples, pre- and post-contact.


Media Relations
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
250 356-7506

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