More than 50 new tourism projects throughout B.C. are receiving a total of $21.3 million for shovel-ready infrastructure projects.
These projects are part of the second round of the 2021 Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program’s (CERIP) Destination Development stream.
In February 2021, in response to the pandemic and through StrongerBC, the Province provided $20 million for 54 projects specifically for tourism through the first round of CERIP. The second investment of $21.3 million in 2022 doubles this, providing a total of $41.3 million for the tourism ecosystem for more than 100 projects.
“We know tourism infrastructure is a priority for communities. Today, we are responding to this call to action from the sector that will further support its recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Our investment in tourism creates good-paying jobs that directly support local economies now and will elevate our reputation as a world-class destination for the many visitors looking to return to B.C. for years to come.”
The Province is investing an additional $30 million over the next two years to continue investing in tourism infrastructure throughout the province. By helping communities enhance tourism experiences, B.C. will increase its ability to compete as a premium destination.
These funds will strengthen tourism growth and develop emerging tourism opportunities, stimulating the recovery of B.C.’s post-pandemic visitor economy. Continued investments in destination development will increase employment and job creation, and establish more livable communities while enhancing residents’ quality of life and visitors’ experiences.
These investments in implementation-ready tourism infrastructure projects support the recovery and resilience of tourism by creating jobs and developing infrastructure that will attract visitors to B.C. communities in the near and long term. Examples of approved projects include an Indigenous campground development, trail upgrades to accommodate adapted mountain bikes and wheelchairs, arts and culture event space, and beautification and signage projects.
Projects were chosen for their demonstrated tourism benefits to communities and British Columbians, along with new jobs, many of which will provide employment for apprentices, youth, new Canadians, women and Indigenous Peoples. Eligible applicants included local governments, First Nations and non-profit organizations.
Cormac Hikisch, president, Smithers Ski Club –
“The Smithers Ski and Snowboard Club is beyond thrilled with being awarded a CERIP grant. With this funding announcement, we are poised to establish a winter sports events centre at Hudson Bay Mountain Resort for alpine ski and snowboard competitions. We look forward to enhancing local sports infrastructure for the surrounding communities and inviting competitors from across the region and the province to future events.”
Jane Paterson, president, Red Mountain Racers Society, Rossland –
“This generous investment to construct a new race office and timing facility, International Ski Federation-level T-bar lighting and the expansion of snowmaking to our ski cross course will be a significant improvement, and opens opportunities for night racing and as a sought-after ski cross venue. It will enable us to suitably host the 2026 BC Games and many more large-scale events. We are grateful for the support from the community and Red Mountain Resort as we grow our race venue and host more events in Rossland.”
Malcolm Brodie, mayor, City of Richmond –
“The Richmond Olympic Oval is an enduring legacy venue of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games for Richmond and the country. This $1-million provincial grant will support the development of a planned sport and event plaza in front of the iconic oval that will leverage existing facilities for tourism, sport and fitness. It will expand opportunities for use through programs, public use and events, and bring more vibrancy to the neighbourhood around the Richmond Olympic Oval urban waterfront community.”
Cheryl Beattie, director, Kamloops Performance Cycling Centre –
“Like many other cities across B.C., Kamloops experienced an unprecedented increase in trail users during COVID, from local users to regional and domestic tourists. The CERIP funds are so appreciated and will support our efforts to elevate Kamloops' competitiveness as a premier travel destination, and to provide a more accessible riding experience for bikers of all levels at Harper Mountain and Pineview.”
- The $30-million tourism infrastructure fund will begin accepting applications in fall 2022 and again in fall 2023. More information will be released this summer.
- These new funds will implement actions in response to the Tourism Task Force Recommendations.
- As part of Budget 2021-22, the CERIP investment of $21.3 million more than doubles the tourism infrastructure investments made in February 2021.
- The $21.3 million provided in the second round of funding supports one infrastructure project in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region; nine projects in the Kootenay Rockies region; six in the Northern British Columbia region; 11 in the Thompson Okanagan region; 15 in the Vancouver Coast & Mountains region and 10 in the Vancouver Island region.
For a backgrounder listing approved projects and costs, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/CERIP_Table_2.pdf
For backgrounder listing projects funded in the first round of CERIP funding, visit: http://news.gov.bc.ca/files/2-25-21_CERIP.pdf