Media Contacts

Bill Anderson

Communications Director
Minister of State for Rural Economic Development
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 888-3381


Kootenays to benefit from Rural Dividend funding

With the release of B.C.’s rural economic development strategy, the Province is making immediate investments of $14,315,524 through the Rural Dividend Fund to help rural communities diversify and strengthen their economies, including $128,000 for three projects in the Kootenays.

The Ktunaxa Nation Council Society will receive $100,000.00 for the development of a comprehensive market access strategy that will enhance the value of locally produced goods and create new economic opportunities.

The City of Cranbrook  will receive $20,000 for a feasibility analysis of intensive fibre recovery from Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) treated lands. The grant will also support the evaluation of an economically viable model for addressing low-value biomass recovery in the WUI impacting the City of Cranbrook and other interior, rural communities.

The Elkford Women’s Task Force will receive $8,000 to gather information on childcare resources in the Elk Valley and make it available through a brochure and online. This project will benefit families in the Elk Valley area.

These are three of 109 grants being awarded to 42 local governments, 27 First Nations and 40 not-for-profit organizations throughout the province for single and partnership projects.

In February 2017, $756,591 in project development grants was awarded to help successful proponents develop strong single-applicant, or partnerships projects, that create or retain jobs and support economic diversity in their communities.

The $25-million-per-year Rural Dividend Fund was extended for a fourth year in Balanced Budget 2017. Funding is available in four categories:

  • community capacity building;
  • workforce development;
  • community and economic development; and
  • business-sector development.

Through the first two rounds of Rural Dividend funding has provided nearly $24 million to support projects that will diversify and strengthen the economy of rural communities throughout the province.

The third application intake will run from April 3, to May 31, 2017.