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Rural Dividend Grants Support Cowichan Valley Communities

Under the BC Rural Dividend Program, the Government of British Columbia is providing $407,746 to local government, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations for six projects in the Cowichan Valley.

“These projects offer a wide range of benefits for residents and businesses,” said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan. “They will lead to more jobs and tourism opportunities by supporting new trail networks, improving wood waste recovery, strengthening Duncan’s business community and developing tech training for youth.”

Almost $19 million in 153 single-applicant and partnership project grants are being awarded to eligible local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations through the Rural Dividend Program.

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 communities 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 every region, creating jobs and enhancing everyday services and amenities for families around the province.”

As well, over $4.6 million in grants are being provided to the program’s special circumstances stream to help 23 applicants responding to economic challenges resulting from the loss of a main employer or the impacts of a natural disaster.

Additionally, $673,124 was awarded through the project development stream to communities around the province to complete preliminary work to support future projects.

The Rural Dividend encourages economic diversification through community capacity building, workforce development, community and economic development, and business sector development.

The Government of British Columbia has 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 commits to making rural communities more resilient.

BC Rural Dividend project awards for the Cowichan Valley
  • Vancouver Island Economic Alliance is being awarded $100,000 to pilot a wood recovery and fuel reduction project in the Cowichan Valley to simplify wood waste management and better meet the needs of buyers and sellers.
  • Downtown Duncan Business Improvement Area Society is being awarded $99,450 to help build the resources, capabilities and capacity of the downtown business community, including updated marketing materials and website enhancements.
  • Community Futures Development Corp. Cowichan is being awarded $86,776 to establish a not-for-profit corporation to lead the vision, planning and development of a destination trail network in the Cowichan Lake region. The project was developed as a result of a tourism action plan funded earlier through the Rural Dividend.
  • Cowichan Valley Regional District is being awarded $16,000 to develop a tech training program for youth in Duncan and Cowichan First Nations communities.
  • O.U.R. ECOVILLAGE Cooperative is being awarded $10,000 to create a best practices document to track and share the accomplishments of this model sustainable village demonstration site and education centre near Shawnigan Lake.
  • Penelakut Tribe is being awarded $95,520 to support development of a trail network on Penelakut Island that will create construction jobs and training, and increase tourism and recreational opportunities.


Learn more about the BC Rural Dividend Program

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