Shealo Blackwell, Senior Outreach Coordinator at the Kootenay Trout Hatchery, is pictured teaching children how to cast with a spinning rod at Wasa Lake. The Kootenay Trout Hatchery’s outreach program is one of many recipients of funding through the Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Program for 2020. (Corey Bullock/Kimberley Bulletin)

Cranbrook, Kimberley organizations benefit from Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Program

Over $1 million in projects have been approved by CBT and RDEK

The Regional District of East Kootenay Board of Directors has approved over $1 million in funding for 110 projects throughout the region through the Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Program.

Many projects in Cranbrook and Kimberley were approved for funding. The programs support local projects that benefit the local community and those who live here.

As the RDEK website explains, the Community Initiatives Program funds projects that are identified as priorities within the communities and rural areas of the RDEK.

The Affected Areas Program is designed to put funds back into the Basin for those communities most affected by dam construction under the Columbia River Treaty.

“The approved 2020/2021 projects represent $1,139,094.69 in funding for everything from youth mental health and education initiatives to recreation programs, equipment purchases and facility upgrades,” said RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay. “When you look at the range of projects and sectors across the region that benefit, it really highlights what a profound difference the Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs make in our communities. We remain deeply grateful to the Trust for its ongoing support.”

READ MORE: Columbia Basin Trust expands programming to support businesses

READ MORE: Columbia Basin Trust announces $11.7 million in COVID-19 support funding

Earlier this year, community involvement meetings were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An online engagement platform was created so that the public could comment on submitted proposals.

The RDEK explained in a press release that the engagement site provided an opportunity for the public to review the proposals and provide comments to specific areas.

“Over 1,100 people visited the project page and 486 comments were received,” says the RDEK. “All comments were forwarded to the areas to assist with their adjudication of the proposals.”

The RDEK board took the public input and recommendations into consideration before approving the funding at their June meeting.

A complete list of the approved funding can be found on the RDEK website at The following local organizations have been approved for various amounts of funding: AIDS Network Outreach and Support Society, Angel Flight, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Blue Lake Forest Education Society, BC SPCA, City of Kimberley, Community Connections Society, Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies, Conrad Kain Centennial Society, Cranbrook Farmer’s Market, Cranbrook and District 4-H Council Association, Cranbrook and District Kennel Club, East Kootenay Performing Arts Society, East Kootenay Regional Science Fair Society, East Kootenay Search and Rescue, Kimberley Elks Lodge, Kootenay Trout Hatchery, Friends of the Kimberley Public Library, Kimberley Arts Council, Kimberley Seniors Wellness in Motion, Kimberley Nordic Club, Kimberley Skating Club, Kimberley Food Recovery, Kimberley Adventure Park, Kootenay Brain Injury Association, Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association, Kootenay Livestock Association, Mainstreams Environmental Society, North Star Rails to Trails, Northern BC Friends of Children (East Kootenay Branch), Rotary Club of Cranbrook, Rotary Club of Kimberley, Sam Steele Society, Scouts Canada Cranbrook, Kimberley Spark Society for Youth, Sullivan Mine & Railway Historical Society, Summit Church, Symphony of the Kootenays, Canadian Red Cross (Cranbrook), Wasa & District Lions Club, and Wildsight.

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