City of Fernie welcome sign. (File photo)

Fernie nets an extra $750,000 in funds for tourism projects

The city is one of 32 tourism-dependent communities that has received funding for tourism projects

Tourism-dependent communities in the Kootenay Rockies are in line to receive some $5 million in extra funding, with Fernie to receive over $750,000.

$239,813 of the funding from the provincial government will go towards the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure at the Fernie Visitor Information Centre (VIC) and City Hall – otherwise known as the ‘Journey to Iconic Fernie’ initiative which the city applied for funding from at the end of last year.

Four chargers will be installed at the VIC, with another five at City Hall.

Also under the initiative, the city will receive $550,750 for tourism and visitor enhancements at the VIC , trail upgrades and a staging area at City Hall.

Minister for Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, Melanie Mark said that the investment in tourism-dependent communities was a “call to action from the tourism sector and an integral part of our recovery plan.

“These projects will provide good-paying jobs now, create valuable assets for communities and attract more visitors in the future.”

In total, 32 communities around B.C. have received funding through the Tourism Dependent Communities Initiative, with other communities locally including Kimberley ($851,522 for it’s ‘Electrify the Mountains’ initiative for new trails for e-bikes), Invermere ($700,000 for downtown revitalization) and Revelstoke ($838,550 for upgrades to it’s trail network and new amenities).

In total, $19.4 million has been dished out across the province.

According to the City of Fernie’s original application back in November last year (when it applied for $853,063 in funding), it’s plans if fully funded would included multiple charging stations at City Hall and the VIC, a multi-modal connection including bike-share between City Hall and the VIC which would include “interpretive experiences and enhanced way-finding to connect visitors between these destinations” and fund enhancements at the VIC and nearby Fairy Creek Falls trail.

Enhancements at the VIC would include improvements in landscaping and a new wood sculpture by a local artist, and a new sign.

City staff said in a report that new EV charging infrastructure was needed to future proof Fernie as a tourism destination, given the increasing prevalence of EVs.

READ MORE: City of Fernie applies for EV infrastructure funding



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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