Government of Canada Making Investments to Stimulate Local Economies
VANCOUVER ISLAND – The Federal government recently announced over $3.9 million in PacifiCan funding for 21 projects across Vancouver Island and the Coast. This includes $155,000 for two projects funded through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund and over $3.7 million for 19 projects funded through the Tourism Relief Fund.
Throughout Vancouver Island and the Coast of BC, communities are already welcoming back residents and visitors alike to enjoy new and improved public spaces and tourism experiences.
The Southern Gulf Islands Tourism Partnership Society is receiving $517,500 through the Tourism Relief Fund to expand the water taxi system connecting the five main Southern Gulf Islands, including Salt Spring, Galiano, Mayne, Pender and Saturna, and support 12 local Island events. The enhanced service will make it easier for tourists to visit the region year-round.
Upgrading existing infrastructure and building new public assets means British Columbians and visitors have better access to recreational programs and facilities. These projects grow economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve community wellness. Communities benefiting from the announcement include: Victoria, Campbell River, Tofino, Nanaimo, Lantzville, Madeira Park, Mansons Landing and Sechelt.
For the full list of projects, please see backgrounder section below.
This funding announcement builds on the recent opening of PacifiCan offices in Victoria and Campbell River to help support economic development for British Columbians on Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, Central Coast and Sunshine Coast. With new officers living and providing service locally, PacifiCan will be more accessible to all communities in the region.
“The Southern Gulf Islands Tourism Partnership is very pleased to receive support from the Government of Canada through the Tourism Relief Fund. SGITPS has been able to create AquaLink to connect our five small island communities with a scheduled foot passenger water taxi that will support all of our island businesses, especially those providing visitor services,” said Randy Cunningham, President, Southern Gulf Islands Tourism Partnership Society.
The projects include:
Campbell River Band Office
Funding will go towards developing a community park and gathering space in Campbell River. Amenities will include new trails, tables, benches and a fire pit.
The Loon Foundation
Funding will be used to convert a one-acre vacant lot in Madeira Park into the Nature Therapy Gardens, an accessible open-air gathering space featuring a picnic area, fountain, plant gardens and performance stage. The Gardens will celebrate local first Nations heritage and culture.
40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery Inc.
Funding will go towards upgrading 40 Knots’ winery facilities in Comox, including a renovation of the bathroom and bar and grill area.
Bella Coola Heli Sports Inc.
Funding will help expand staff housing facilities to support future business growth of multi-day heli-skiing tours and eco-tourism and bear-viewing in the summer and fall.
Bigfoot Donuts Ltd.
Funding will go towards renovating the company’s bakery in Courtenay. The upgraded bakery will attract more visitors to downtown Courtenay and facilitate ‘experiential baking’ for tourists seeking unique food experiences.
Blackfish Lodge Ltd.
Funding will be used to purchase two boats to facilitate fly-fishing river tours near Baker Island.
Clayoquot Biosphere Trust Society
Funding will support the development of new hands-on and Indigenous experiences for visitors to Tofino. Programming will expand local learning opportunities delivered through the Society’s education tourism branch, West Coast NEST.
Commercial Bear Viewing Association of British Columbia
Funding will be used to create an app that helps bear viewing operators in B.C. provide enhanced experiences for visitors across the province. The app will incorporate Indigenous perspectives and knowledge of bears and their habitats.
Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society
Funding will be used to create a virtual reality experience and enhance the museum’s accessibility to visitors with disabilities.
Firvale Wilderness Lodge Ltd.
Funding will support a new water filtration system and upgraded septic systems for the resort’s glamping domes in Hagensborg.
Greater Victoria Visitors and Convention Bureau
Funding will go towards developing a Greater Victoria tourism strategy, including the creation of an app to customize experiences and upgrades to the Visitor Centre featuring First Nations artwork.
Funding will go towards creating a Nordic spa and upgrading the lodge at the Hollyhock retreat centre on Cortes Island.
Maaqtusiis Hahoulthee Stewardship Society
Funding will go towards building a kiosk and totem in Maquinna Marine Park and helping the Society create online content.
Maple Leaf Adventures Corp.
Funding will go towards upgrading two marine vessels to be used for luxury boat tours along the coast of B.C.
Niche Travel Inc.
Funding will support the launch of year-round, specialized group tours for domestic and international visitors to Vancouver Island. These culinary, Indigenous, and women’s tours will provide experiences that highlight locally owned businesses.
Pacific Northwest Transportation Services Ltd.
Funding will help upgrade sanitization, health and safety practices for Pacific Northwest Transportation Services, a key infrastructure operator servicing cruise ship traffic in Victoria Harbor.
Snaw-Naw-As Campsite Ltd.
Funding will go towards the construction of a new washroom and shower building at the Snaw-Naw-As Campground in Lantzville.
Southern Gulf Islands Tourism Partnership Society
Funding will go towards expanding the water taxi system connecting the five main Southern Gulf Islands, including Salt Spring, Galiano, Mayne, Pender and Saturna, and help support 12 local Island events. The enhanced service will make it easier for tourists to visit the region year-round.
Sunshine Coast Air
Funding will support the development of an Indigenous storytelling audio tour of the Sechelt region for the company’s seaplane fleet.
Tourism Association of Vancouver Island
Funding will support developing recovery plans and other tools to help communities build tourism resilience, including a handbook, workshops, mentoring and coaching.
Wakeman Camp Ltd.
Funding will go towards installing solar panel roofing and other upgrades to the company’s remote wilderness cabins in the Wakeman Valley.