Rural Dividend grants support communities in Fraser Valley, Canyon
April 30, 2019
HOPE – Under the BC Rural Dividend Program, the Government of British Columbia is providing $390,500 for four projects to support Indigenous businesses in the Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon.
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.
“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.”
The four projects include:
- Boothroyd Indian Band is being awarded $100,000 to conduct a feasibility study and business strategy for a greenhouse operation on Band property. The project will engage the community, identify business opportunities and determine impacts on food security.
- Peters First Nation is being awarded $100,000 for a five-year economic development strategy. The project will assess market opportunities, engage membership and build a framework to support economic opportunities for local businesses.
- Shxw’owhámel First Nation is being awarded $90,500 for a cultural tourism facilities feasibility study. This project identifies culturally related facilities in the Shxw’owhámél First Nation that could be developed to attract tourists and other guests to the community.
- The Stó:lo Business Association is being awarded $100,000 to promote Indigenous business opportunities in Stó:lo Traditional Territory. The project will hire a director of operations, increase membership and secure resources to create a sustainable business economy.
“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.
BC Rural Dividend Program: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect