A number of Shuswap and North Okanagan tourism projects will benefit from over $2.5 million in funding.
Sixteen projects across the Thompson Okanagan will receive funding from the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced on Feb. 23, 2023 by Minister of International Development Harjit S. Sajjan. The money is to help communities revitalize their tourism attractions and boost economic development.
Alongside the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society receiving nearly $440,000 for music-related tourism events, other Shuswap and North Okanagan projects are getting a substantial boost.
The Canada Community Revitalization Fund is financing two projects out of the fund’s $240,000, one of which is the Eagle Bay Community Association. It has been awarded $117,014 to renovate its community hall, upgrade the kitchen and electrical systems and building a new accessible bathroom. Merritt will receive the other $122,907.
The rest of the North Okanagan-Shuswap projects come from the Tourism Relief Fund, valued at $2.3 million.
Shuswap Water Tours Inc. in Blind Bay will receive $367,500 to build a new floating dock and buy new boats for tours on Shuswap Lake.
The Adams Lake Band will receive $130,000 for the design of an amphitheatre to be used to expand indigenous tourism opportunities and to promote Secwépemc culture.
Bloom Flower Festivals in Armstrong will see $99,999 for the construction of a tiny home to add accommodation options for the festival, further encouraging attendance.
Silver Star Resort gets $50,000 for bike carriers on gondola cabins, with the goal of boosting mountain biking and tourism activity in shoulder seasons.
The Scotch Creek Hub is awarded $61,500 to expand services offered to tourists, like laser tag, a batting cage and e-scooter rentals.
PacifiCan has established offices in Kelowna and Cranbrook to help support economic development and recovery in B.C.’s Southern Interior.
“Amazing things are happening in the southern Interior,” said Sajjan in a media release. “The region is known for its world-class ski hills, wines and produce and is also home to a thriving tech community and innovative forestry and mining sectors. Investing in shared public spaces and tourism experiences will bring communities together, attract new visitors, and ensure that the Thompson Okanagan region thrives well into the future.”