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BC Rural Dividend Program drops $1.6 Million into Nelson-Creston riding

Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources Michelle Mungall and Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall (holding sign) was joined by local recipients of the BC Rural Dividend Program during the announcement to invest more than $1.6 million the Nelson-Creston riding. — Submitted photo

It was a great day in the neighbourhood for a variety of organizations in the Nelson-Creston riding after Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall announced on behalf of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development more than $1.6 Million in investments through the BC Rural Dividend Program.

Mungall, the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, made the announcement Tuesday in front of a crowd at the Nelson Civic Theatre.

“Whether it’s promoting partnerships with First Nations at the Nelson Museum, helping the Village of Kaslo develop opportunities for aviation and recreational tourism or building local government capacity to attract new business, these grants will go a long way to boost our rural communities,” Mungall, the MLA for Nelson-Creston, said Tuesday.

The Rural Dividend Program will fund more than 153 applicants with almost $19 Million in investments to eligible local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations.

The BC Government said 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.

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

Some of the recipients in Mungall’s riding of Nelson-Creston include:

  • The Village of Kaslo is being awarded $97,359 to produce development and management plans for two priority areas identified in a Lands Investment Attraction project funded through the Rural Dividend — the aerodrome lands and Kaslo Bay area. This will create opportunities for aviation and recreational tourism.
  • Community Futures Central Kootenay is being awarded $100,000 to hire a manager to co-ordinate operations of the Nelson Innovation Centre, including a technology business mentorship program and membership framework.
  • Nelson Civic Theatre Society is being awarded $336,806 to develop architectural and engineering plans for a three-space venue to house the Kootenay Screen-Based Industry, hire a program co-ordinator to develop and launch the industry, and develop an online portal for screen-based industry professionals in the Kootenay region to buy, sell, lend and trade gear, space and services.
  • Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce is being awarded $32,000 to implement five key actions from the West Kootenay Destination Development Strategy, including a backcountry safety awareness campaign and environmental code of conduct for residents and visitors.
  • Nelson and District Museum, Archives, Art Gallery and Historical Society is being awarded $98,209 to enhance educational and cultural capacity in the city by developing a full-time co-ordinator position to increase offerings at the museum and introduce an Indigenous education position to develop programs in partnership with local First Nations.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay is being awarded $991,324 for three projects:

  • $500,000 to build local government capacity by hiring and providing economic development training to a project co-ordinator and 10 interns, with emphasis on business attraction, land development and disaster resilience.
  • $170,124 to address priority areas of the Kaslo and Area D Economic Development Commission — business and community economic development, and farm innovation.
  • $321,200 to hire an economic development officer, tourism co-ordinator and project co-ordinator to help implement the Stronger Together Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Economic Action Strategy, funded by a previous Rural Dividend intake.