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Fernie, Sparwood, Elkford and Wildsight get federal funding drop

Over $2 million was announced by the Government of Canada for projects in East Kootenays
The City of Fernie received $468,750 from the Canada Community Revitalization Fund in December, 2022 for their downtown parking revitalization project. Photo posted on the City of Fernie Facebook page on Dec. 9, 2022, in a message expressing gratitude for the funding. (Photo from City of Fernie)

Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford along with Wildsight Elk Valley have received cash drops from the federal government in funding announced on Thursday (Dec. 8).

A press release says that the Government of Canada is making investments across B.C. “to refresh community spaces, attract new visitors, and stimulate local economies.”

To that end, over $2 million in funding was announced for ten projects throughout the East Kootenays by Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan).

The funding from PacifiCan includes almost $1.5 million for five projects funded through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund and over $550,000 for five projects funded through the Tourism Relief Fund.

Here is what the Elk Valley received, according to a backgrounder summary of the funding on the Government of Canada website.

The City of Fernie got $468,750, with the funding to be used to upgrade and increase parking areas adjacent to the downtown core.

“New parking layouts will improve efficiency and capacity, and promote a more active visitor experience in downtown Fernie.”

The City of Fernie posted on Facebook about the funding, saying they are grateful to have received it for the downtown parking revitalization project.

“Completed this fall, the project included paving and formalizing existing parking stalls and creating over 50 new parking stalls, including 5 accessible stalls, in three areas: Fernie Railyard Dog Park, Fernie Skatepark,1st Avenue between 4th Street and 6th Street.”

“Thank you to PacifiCan for supporting this important initiative to improve parking availability in the downtown area for residents and visitors to Fernie!” the post reads.

The District of Elkford received $204,000, with the funding to help revitalize the town’s downtown core by constructing new pathways, installing waste bins and park furniture, and improving landscaping.

Wildsight Elk Valley received $252,000, with the funding to be used to construct a Hydroponic Container Farm, which will allow produce to be grown year-round at the Fernie Community EcoGarden.

The District of Sparwood received $485,000 with the funding to be used to revitalize Centennial Plaza in downtown Sparwood by creating an accessible park environment with added seating and event space.

Sparwood Mayor David Wilks said “The District of Sparwood would like to thank the federal government for this valuable grant that will go towards beautifying Centennial Plaza. Being able to provide a gathering place for activities and festivals during all seasons is tremendous.”

“This is another great example of levels of government working together for the betterment of communities across Canada.”

READ MORE: Three sites approved as part of Fernie’s downtown parking revitalization project

READ MORE: Concept design for new Fernie skatepark one step closer to realization


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