Under the BC Rural Dividend Program, the Government of British Columbia is providing $268,600 to the District of Kitimat, Ecotrust Canada and the Kitsumkalum Indian Band for three projects, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice announced today, on behalf of Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
“The rural dividend fund supports people and communities to develop ideas that create healthy, diversified and sustainable economies,” Rice said.
The funding is part of nearly $8 million in 58 project grants being awarded to eligible local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations through the BC Rural Dividend Program. Rural dividend grants help fund projects that that will stabilize rural economies. Grants can be up to $100,000 each, or up to $500,000 each for partnership projects.
- Ecotrust Canada is being awarded $100,000 for the North Coast Innovation Lab in Prince Rupert, a place-based program to generate and implement innovative community-designed and driven ideas for a vibrant and inclusive local economy. It will build on Re:Design Rupert, which received earlier rural dividend funding.
- The District of Kitimat is being awarded $90,000 to work in partnership with the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce to develop a community brand and to market Kitimat to potential residents and tourists through videos, photographs, a tourism website and an attraction guide for residents.
- The Kitsumkalum Indian Band is being awarded $78,600 to complete a feasibility study and business plan for a commercial food processing facility based on the results of an earlier rural dividend project.
“Government is following through on its commitment to help rural communities navigate changes that have impacted local economies, by supporting local business development and creating new partnerships to promote shared prosperity,” Donaldson said. “These rural dividend grants are bringing positive change to rural communities throughout B.C.”
Earlier this month, nearly $5 million was granted to fund 30 projects in wildfire-impacted areas and two communities that were affected by the shutdown of local mills.
The rural dividend encourages economic diversification, innovation, sustainability and collaboration, and recognizes the diverse needs of individual communities.
As part of Budget 2018, the Government of British Columbia committed to extending the $25-million-per-year rural dividend to 2020-21. The rural dividend is one aspect of government’s rural development mandate, which is committed to making rural communities more resilient.
BC Rural Dividend Program: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend