The proposed rail trail will follow the disused CP Rail line along the west shore of Mara Lake. The rail trail project is one of 10 in the area which received funding through the Rural Dividend Program. (File Photo)

Rural Dividend Fund supports projects across North Okanagan and Shuswap

The largest funding allotment was $500,000 for project management on the rail trail initiative

Ten projects in the Shuswap, Armstrong and Vernon are receiving their share of a nearly $1.3 million allotment of provincial government funds through the BC Rural Dividend Program.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is receiving a total of $600,000 for two projects. The Secwepmc Landmarks and Trail Sign project, which will involve Secwepmc artists, elders and youth designing and installing sculptures, viewing portals and trailhead signs that showcase Secwepemc values and culture, is receiving $100,000.

The remaining $500,000 is going towards project management and design for the Sicamous to Armstrong rail trail. This phase of the ongoing project to the deactivated railway line into a multi-use trail will include environmental impact assessments, archaeological and cultural assessments, and engineering designs.

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The Okanagan Indian Band will receive $100,000 for a development plan which will guide the band council and holdings board in making informed land development decisions.

“We are looking forward to launching the Real Estate Development Planning Project funded by the BC Rural Dividend program. Our planning will focus on band-owned properties suitable for economic development,” said Okanagan Indian Band Chief Byron Louis. “This initiative will provide assets that will create benefits for the band and the region through the development of commercial and light industrial sites available for leasing opportunities.”

Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band is being awarded grant funds for a feasibility study on and industrial/commercial business park located on Quaaout Reserve 1.

A project with the goal of training 10 to 15 Splatsin Band members to obtain their red-seal carpentry certifications while building on reserve land is receiving $100,000 in funding.

A cheque for $76,500 is being granted to the Township of Spallumcheen which will fund both a retention and development strategy for an industrial park.

Rural dividend funding will help the Shuswap Trail Alliance open up even more areas for hiking, biking and snowshoeing. Funds totalling $100,000 are going towards a trails infrastructure project creating seven new all-season recreational destinations.

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Community Futures Shuswap is receiving $100,000 for a labour market project which involves the hiring of a First Nations co-ordinator. The co-ordinator’s job will be to engage with youth, service providers and local communities to address the needs of four local Secwepemc Nation communities.

The Village of Lumby will be awarded $95,000 for a community investment corporation with a goal to help the community achieve sustained growth and prosperity.

And $10,000 is being given to the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce to fund the second phase of a marketing plan for the community.


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