Regional Rundown: Moving toward valley-wide visitor services

The Columbia Valley Community Directed Funds (CVCDF) Committee held its most recent meeting on June 16th.

The Columbia Valley Community Directed Funds (CVCDF) Committee held its most recent meeting on June 16th.  The committee is comprised of the five Columbia Valley Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) directors (three mayors, electoral Area F director and electoral Area G Director). In addition, we have five appointed community members from the Columbia Valley.  Currently,  I am the chair of this committee and Dee Conkin is the vice-chair.

The committee’s mission is to guide the allocation of funding valley-wide (Canal Flats to Spillimacheen). Its priorities are determined through the inclusive community consultation.

The committee completed the Community Priorities Plan in December 2013, which identified the top five priorities: 1. Branding, marketing and promotion; 2. Economic development and business growth; 3. Affordable housing; 4. Recreation; and 5.  Arts and culture.

The CVCDF Program is funded by Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) and administered by the RDEK.  The funding is $200,000 per year for three years and we are currently completing our second year.  The CVCDF program was the first of its kind in the basin. There are now several new directed funds programs in the basin and it can be said that the work and effort the CVCDF committee members have put into this program has paved the way for other communities.  In addition to the regular business of monitoring existing projects we have funded, at our June 16th meeting, the committee received a report about Columbia Valley Visitor Services.  This report outlined the existing funding models for visitors services and provided recommendations for amalgamation of them. The key here is a fair and equitable funding formula that works valley-wide. While the work of the committee is complete at this time, the next step is for me to present the report to the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Radium Chamber of Commerce, the Fairmont Business Association, and municipal councils.

In following our number one priority of “Branding, Marketing and Promotion,” the committee allocated $23,400 to the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce. These funds are to go towards the following projects; Summer Marketing Video for $8,400, Event/Conference Planner Familiarity Trip for $8,000, and $7,000 towards Marketing Co-ordination for Guinness World Record Achievement.

Sadly, we will be losing one of our community members as Andi Dzilums will be leaving the valley at the end of the month.  We wish him and his family all the best.

Wendy Booth is the Regional District of East Kootenay Director for Area F and the RDEK board’s vice chair. Contact her at wndbooth@gmail.com or 250-345-6155.

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