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BC Rural Dividend provides $1.76 million for projects in the Northwest and Nechako

Press Release

Under the BC Rural Dividend Program, the Government of British Columbia is providing $1.76 million for 11 projects in northern B.C., Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, announced today.

The projects include Aboriginal entrepreneurial development in the far north, tourism marketing in the Kitimat-Stikine and Bulkley-Nechako regional districts, a feasibility study for a micro-hydro project near Atlin and studies to support a transloading facility at Terrace.

“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.”

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.

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.

Learn More:

BC Rural Dividend Program:

A backgrounder follows.


Rural Dividend Project awards for Northwest and Nechako

  • Two of the projects provide prospective Aboriginal entrepreneurs with skills, knowledge and mentoring so they can successfully start a business:
    • Tahltan Central Government is being awarded $315,000 to deliver the Tahltan Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs Program (Tahltan-ACE), in partnership with the National Consortium for Indigenous Economic Development (NCIED) and the University of Victoria Peter B. Gustavson School of Business.
    • Gitlaxt’aamiks Village Government is being awarded $288,000 to deliver the Nisga’a Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs Program (Nisga’a-ACE) in the four Nisga’a villages, in partnership with NCIED, the University of Victoria Peter B. Gustavson School of Business and Nisga’a Lisims Government.
    • Both projects received rural dividend funding in an earlier intake.
  • The Northern Young Entrepreneur Leadership Launchpad (YELL) is being awarded $259,390 to start a customized innovation and entrepreneurship program for youth in the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, in partnership with School District 91 (Nechako Lakes) and Futurpreneur.
  • The District of New Hazelton is being awarded $250,000 for a northern B.C. tourism marketing initiative that both promotes the region as a whole and highlights local communities. Partners include Kermodei Tourism (Terrace), the Nisga’a Lisims government, the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine and Tourism Kitimat.
  • Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership is being awarded $100,000 to complete the feasibility phase of expanding a micro-hydro project on Pine Creek, near Atlin. It will also explore the potential for a 100-kilometre transmission line to sell power to the Yukon Territory isolated power grid.
  • The City of Terrace is being awarded $100,000 to identify a preferred location within the city for a transloading and logistics facility to move freight from trains to trucks, and to prepare a business case.
  • Nisga’a Lisims Government is being awarded $100,000 for its Hospitality Art Recreation & Tourism Ambassador program, which is a custom training course aimed at helping members of the Nisga’a community gain entrepreneurial skills and understand how to infuse their culture and traditions into setting up and delivering their own business.
  • The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako is being awarded $98,750 to target the tourism market through four activities: creating a discovery app for residents and tourists, starting a series of virtual reality experiences, joining Canada’s User Generated Content Partner Network and producing an investment readiness package for potential tourism businesses.
  • Upper Skeena Development Centre is being awarded $90,000 for the Senden holistic lands-based program that helps community members, especially youth, grow food sustainably, harvest wild food, and sell locally grown food and preserves on a small scale.
  • Yinka Dene Economic Development Limited in north-central B.C. is being awarded $80,640 to train four community members to operate a tree nursery, starting with a community information session.
  • The Town of Smithers is being awarded $80,000 to develop an active transportation plan that recommends upgrades to existing infrastructure, or opportunities for new projects. It will also upgrade the community’s Perimeter Trail system.


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