Media Contacts

Bill Anderson

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


Peace River region 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 more than $860,000 for six projects in the Peace River region.

The Dawson’s Creek Community Futures Peace Liard Project will receive $385,000 to develop a program that provides resources and skills training to local residents that will help them start, sustain, and expand a business. The grant will go toward the development of workshops, training sessions, support programs and personal development sessions.

The District of Tumbler Ridge will receive $100,000 to develop strategic action plans to attract new residents, encourage business development and investment, and explore the feasibility of a conference and events centre.

The Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark Society, which runs the UNESCO-certified geopark, will receive $100,000 to be used for the development of educational tool kits, interpretive programs, and improved signage. These investments will help ensure the Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark Society maintains its UNESCO designation, and continues its ongoing contributions to local tourism and economic development.

The Tansi Friendship Centre Society in Chetwynd will receive $79,816 for the Tansi FCS Training to Employment Program. The program will support local residents with job specific training.

West Moberly First Nations will receive $99,300 to develop and promote community-based tourism and support cultural development. The project includes four components: completion of renovations for a heritage conservation and display centre; capacity-building in workforce skills inventory and training; heritage/cultural sector opportunities planning, development and marketing; and strengthened management capabilities.

The Invasive Species Council of B.C. will receive $100,000 for a project to support increased skills training opportunities in the Peace River region with a focus on Aboriginal communities. The program will be delivered through certified local trainers from five communities, including Aboriginal communities, creating new local employment opportunities for local residents.

These are six 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.