Through marketing, business attraction packages, improved internet services, and other initiatives, the Village of Canal Flats wants to continue to improve the community's image.
The local government in Canal Flats has received $70,000 from the BC Rural Dividend and $8,750 from Columbia Basin Trust to carry out Phase 2 of their Economic Development Project.
Chief Administrative Officer Adrian Bergles explains that Phase 1 saw them developing new branding through the launching of a new website and preliminary investment attraction initiatives.
He says the initial work was a big success for the small town.
"There's a sense of optimism in the community, there's more real estate transactions, property assessments have increased in the last year, things like this. We'd like to continue some positivity in the community and really work to set the community in a good place."
In that vein, Bergles outlined some of the projects that will be included in Phase 2:
- A marketing campaign to build awareness and opportunities
- Photography and videography
- Supporting the Columbia Lake Technology Centre
- An attraction package to convert recreational property owners into full-time residents
- Articles in the Village of Canal Flats newsletter
- Updating the investment profile information
- A welcome package for new residents
- Showcasing business success stories on the Village of Canal Flats website
- Generate leads on new businesses and investment
- Supporting the creation of a fibre-loop broadband internet connection
- Implement new official community plan and zoning bylaws
Bergels says the ultimate goal is to move the community away from what it was and towards what it will become.
"Moving away from a more industrial community towards more of a technology centre as well as recreational property ownership and a tourism community."
To help with the implementation of Phase 2 of the Economic Development Plan, the Village of Canal Flats has contracted Chris Fields, the Principal of the enterprise setting group Rynic out of Okotoks, Alberta for $96,500.
Bergels hopes to conclude Phase 2 in October 2020.
Audio: Adrian Bergels, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Canal Flats