Published On: Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Rural Island Projects Getting Almost $130,000 in Provincial Grants

Rural Island Projects Getting Almost $130,000 in Provincial Grants
Several of the recently approved Rural Dividend Grant Program projects seek to develop economic opportunity from the natural beauty of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

VANCOUVER ISLAND/GULF ISLANDS - Projects throughout Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands will receive almost $130,000 in funding under the province's Rural Dividend Grant Program.

The grants are part of the province's rural development mandate. Nearly $700,000 in project development grants were approved province-wide for eligible local governments, First Nations, and not-for-profit organizations. The grants are intended to help rural communities stabilize their economies and create long-term local employment.

Successful projects demonstrated economic diversification, innovation, sustainability and collaboration, and support the specific needs of individual communities. Assessed criteria were:

  • 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; and
  • Innovation in economic development.

Listed by region, the following 13 projects were approved for funding.

These three projects in the north Island will each receive $10,000:

  1. BC Marine Trails Network Association is to create a planning framework for a marine trail system that connects the communities of Campbell River, Sayward and Lund;
  2. Cortes Island Seniors Society is to complete a preliminary business case regarding creation of a new affordable seniors' housing neighbourhood in Manson’s Landing; and
  3. Village of Gold River is to create a strategic plan for tourism infrastructure and to stimulate tourism sector business opportunities.

For the mid-island area, the govnerment allocated almost $60,000 to support six projects. Recipients and projects were:

  1. Snaw-naw-as (Nanoose) First Nation receives $10,000 to increase the workforce capacity of the Nation, including training, workshops, and one-on-one support and mentoring by management;
  2. Saa’men GP Ltd (Qualicum First Nation) receives $10,000 to produce a five-year economic development strategic plan that builds on projects of interest that have been identified through previous community engagement;
  3. District of Ucluelet receives $10,000 to develop a feasibility study that looks at potential uses and community partnership for the Amphitrite Point lands, including a basic budget and timelines;
  4. Cumberland Lake Wilderness Society was granted $7,550 for a program feasibility study to develop outdoor recreation programming that will increase visits to the Cumberland Lake Park Campground;
  5. Hornby Island Farmland Trust Society was awarded $10,000 to hire a project manager who will develop a strategic plan and feasibility study for full use of all eight acres of Hornby Island Community Garden Project land; and
  6. K’omoks Economic Development Corporation is receiving $10,000 to develop a business case for planning and installation of an independent renewable power microgrid on K’ómoks First Nation traditional territory.

In the Cowichan/southern Gulf Islands, four organizations were selected to share $39,136 in funding. The successful applicants were:

  1. The Capital Regional District will receive $9,869 for a feasibility study to research the potential for shared business services to support Salt Spring Island crafts, artisans, and lifestyle and non-perishable product producers in growing their operations;
  2. The Community Futures Development Corporation – Cowichan Region is being awarded $9,325 to complete a feasibility study for the Duncan Highway Corridor Business Association;
  3. The Thetis Island Community Association is being awarded $10,000 for a feasibility study to determine the viability of upgrading and expanding the Thetis Island Community Centre; and
  4. The Gabriola Arts Council was awarded $9,942 for a feasibility study to determine the best way for residents to collaborate to build a successful local arts community.