West Kootenay communities receive over $1.2 million to revitalize public spaces and enhance tourism experiences

News release

Image of Victoria Falls near Nakusp B.C. Text reads: West Kootenay communities receive over $1.2M to enhance tourism experiences

The Government of Canada is making investments across British Columbia to refresh community spaces, attract new visitors, and stimulate local economies

March 8, 2023 – Nakusp, British Columbia – PacifiCan

Safe and inclusive public spaces and dynamic tourism attractions are key to vibrant communities. They bring together people of all ages and abilities, in turn supporting businesses and boosting economic vitality. Throughout the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, communities are welcoming residents and visitors alike to enjoy new and improved public spaces and tourism experiences.

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced over $1.2 million in PacifiCan funding for 12 projects across the West Kootenays. This includes over $574,000 for three projects funded through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund and over $643,000 for nine projects funded through the Tourism Relief Fund.

Among these projects, the Village of Nakusp received $499,722 through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund to revitalize the downtown core and create pedestrian-friendly spaces. Project activities included removing the existing streetscape, adding new landscaping and installing lighting, street furniture, accessible sidewalks and wayfinding signage. For the full list of projects, please see the backgrounder here.

Upgrading infrastructure and building new public assets means British Columbians and visitors have better access to recreational programs and facilities. These projects grow economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve community wellness. West Kootenay communities benefiting from today’s announcement include: Christina Lake, Nakusp, Fauquier, New Denver, Rossland, Slocan, Winlaw and Kaslo.

Today’s funding announcement builds on the recent opening of PacifiCan offices in Kelowna and Cranbrook to help support economic development for British Columbians in the Southern Interior. With new officers living and providing service locally, PacifiCan is now more accessible to all communities in the region. 


“Amazing things are happening in the Southern Interior. The region is known for its world-class ski hills, wines and produce and is also home to a thriving tech community and innovative forestry and mining sectors. Investing in shared public spaces and tourism experiences will bring communities together, attract new visitors, and ensure that the West Kootenay region thrives well into the future.”
- The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“As we move past the acute phase of the pandemic, Canada’s tourism sector is showing strong signs of growth. The Government of Canada’s investments in tourism over the last two years focused on the survival of our visitor economy. As we move to revival and the growth of the sector, we continue to provide targeted support to tourism businesses so they can keep delivering unforgettable experiences. A fully recovered and robust tourism sector is key to our government’s ongoing work in building an economy that works for all Canadians.”
- The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

“Nakusp’s downtown revitalization allows for its downtown commercial area to properly reflect the renowned beauty of Nakusp’s adjacent waterfront and surrounding natural environment. This project is key to ensuring Nakusp continues to be an attractive place for businesses to thrive, while meeting the needs of its residents. Funding opportunities from our senior government partners help ensure that our community remains vibrant and competitive by attracting regional, national, and international visitors. This results in increased economic diversity achieved through the tourism industry.”
- Wayne Robinson, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Nakusp

Quick facts

  • PacifiCan is the federal economic development agency dedicated to British Columbians. PacifiCan works with partners who are building innovative businesses, creating quality jobs, and supporting inclusive growth throughout British Columbia.

  • On November 16, 2022, PacifiCan opened new offices in Kelowna and Cranbrook, serving businesses and communities across the Southern Interior of B.C.

  • The Canada Community Revitalization Fund and Tourism Relief Fund programs launched in the summer of 2021.

  • The Canada Community Revitalization Fund provides $500 million over two years to help communities build and improve infrastructure, making public spaces safer, greener and more accessible.

  • The Tourism Relief Fund provides $500 million over two years to help tourism businesses and organizations adapt their operations to meet public health requirements, while investing in products and services to facilitate future growth. 

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Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and Minister Responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

Jillian Glover
Communications Manager

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