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Rural Dividend money flows to the North

The province’s Rural Dividend Program is providing $1,207,743 for 10 projects in the North.

These grants help fund projects that support economic development and diversification in rural communities throughout the province. Grants can be up to $100,000 for a single applicant project or up to $500,000 for partnership projects.

“This funding supports the diverse needs of small towns throughout the province and the people who live in them,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Our government is getting results for people in small cities and towns in every region, creating jobs and enhancing everyday services and amenities for families around the province.”

* The Corporation of the Village of Burns Lake is being awarded $100,000 to develop a community brand and marketing strategy. The project builds on an economic diversification project from a previous Rural Dividend intake and includes installing murals and wooden signs to attract visitors.

* The Cheslatta Carrier Nation is being awarded $100,000 to develop a long-term, strategic community land-use plan. The project will consist of four phases and will include land-use designations, identifying policies to guide future land use and development, and community engagement.

* The District of Houston is being awarded $100,000 for We’re Here! Marking Houston’s Place in B.C. This project includes designing and installing signs to draw tourists and residents alike to key locations, features and attractions in the district.

* Houston Link to Learning Society is being awarded $65,283 to develop a community computer lab. The project will provide courses and various workshops on life skills, education and career planning to help participants move towards employment and further education.

* The Innovation Central Society is being awarded $93,888 for the Northern Investment Group. The project will develop a matchmaking service between new companies and local venture capitalists with a focus on financing, and new and existing businesses operating in northern B.C.

* Nak’azdli Whut’en is being awarded $452,416 to complete design and technical and engineering documents, as well as develop a growing strategy for the Mount Pope year-round greenhouse. The project will create jobs and provide fresh vegetables and fruits to communities in northern B.C.

* Stuart Lake Nordic Society is being awarded $71,656 to remediate recreation trails at the Murray Ridge Ski Area in Fort St. James. The project expands the scope of a previous project and will restore the ski trails, making them safe for residents and visitors.

* The District of Vanderhoof is being awarded $52,000 to complete preliminary design work for a new Vanderhoof visitor centre. The project includes site assessments, schematic designs, cost estimates and tender documents.

* Wet’suwt’en First Nation is being awarded $72,500 to develop a tourism strategy to create jobs in the community. The project will create a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis to help identify key opportunities for developing a First Nation tourism industry.

* The Yinka Dene Economic Development Limited Partnership is being awarded $100,000 to train and certify a community-based workforce to install, operate and maintain solar panels. The project includes installing solar panels at the Wet’suwet’en Community Building.

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