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Grant money gives Lillooet economy almost $1-million boost

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The provincial government is kicking in nearly $1 million to help seven development projects in and around Lillooet, through the Rural Dividend Program.

The $906,306 contribution is part of almost $19 million being distributed to 153 single-applicant and partnership project grants that are being awarded to local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit groups.

“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.”

The Rural Dividend Program money is being distributed as follows:

  • Bridge River Development Corporation - $45,732 to prepare a best-use study to assess and make economic development and land-use recommendations regarding four parcels of land within Xwisten and the District of Lillooet.
  • Bridge River Indian Band - $100,000 to implement Phase 2 of the Xwisten Comprehensive Community Plan and Economic Development Plan. The project includes setting up a new development corporation, creating new businesses and restructuring current band-owned businesses.
  • Lil’wat Nation - $360,574 for a five-part agricultural plan, in partnership with the University of British Columbia. The project includes providing support capital and equipment for an Indigenous farm.
  • Lillooet Rowing Club - $100,000 to develop a competitive rowing program for youth aged 12-17. The project includes training members to compete in regatta events, Rowing Canada instructor certification and hiring a head coach.
  • Lillooet Tribal Council - $100,000 for a pilot community adult learning centre that will deliver education programs to Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Lillooet. Programs include basic adult education and St’at’imc cultural workshops.
  • T’it’q’et administration - $100,000 to complete preliminary designs and cost estimates for a commercial greenhouse development on McCarney’s Flat Indian Reserve 4 in T’it’q’et.
  • Xaxli’p - $100,000 to complete a commercial development report for a food and fuel business on the First Nation’s main reserve along Highway 99. The report will include an assessment of infrastructure site services and a field investigation.

“The Rural Dividend Program will strengthen communities throughout the Lillooet district by making investments that improve opportunities for people,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

“We want to expand access to sport for young people. By helping the Lillooet Rowing Club enhance its programs and capacity, we are working together to support amateur and recreational sports activities and ensure more youth achieve their full athletic potential.”

An additional $4.6 million in grants are being provided to the program’s special circumstances stream to support 23 applicants that are responding to economic challenges resulting from natural disasters of the loss of a major local employer.