Port McNeill’s Gate House Theatre and Cumberland Lake Wilderness Society to launch restart initiatives

The Gate House Community Association and the Cumberland Lake Wilderness Society are the two latest organizations to receive funding through the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET)’s Small Capital Restart Funding Stream.

This new program supports innovative projects that address COVID-related business restart and sustainability opportunities. Initiatives that provide timely solutions to current health and safety related operational restrictions and business closures are eligible for up to $15,000 in funding.  Since early June, 11 communities throughout the region have received funding support, providing unique community-based solutions.

In Port McNeill, the Gate House Theatre will be bringing moveable drive-in theatres to the North Island, including Port McNeill and neighbouring communities. ICET funding will be used to purchase the outdoor theatre equipment package, which includes a projector, inflatable screen, broadcast FM transmitter, webcam and tripod. Movie nights will be delivered in partnership with sponsors and local business, also providing opportunities for farmers’ markets and local food vendors to sell their products. There are ample opportunities to use this technology to deliver new, innovative and safe community events, according to Island Health safety protocols. Such occasions could include local festivals, drive-in concerts or other events in Port McNeill and surrounding areas.

“This new delivery model is an exemplary initiative bringing the arts community, business and vendor communities together,” says ICET CEO Line Robert. “It also demonstrates the community’s ingenuity and support for the viability of the North Island arts scene by showcasing the arts in a way that is affordable, self-sustaining and safe.”

The Cumberland Lake Wilderness Society (CLWS) project will address the closure of a number of Cumberland Lake Park campground sites due to Provincial health and safety requirements by adding new, physically distanced, walk-in sites. Six new tent pads and two new common areas with fire rings, picnic tables and a metal food cache will be situated a 20-metre walk into a forested area overlooking Comox Lake. Increasing the number of guests at the campground will also support local businesses that currently operate at the lake site, as well as other retail and food service businesses in the Village.

“This type of pilot project will help diversify and expand camping opportunities by increasing alternative revenue streams, while encouraging low-impact camping and travel methods,” says ICET Board Chair Josie Osborne. “On a larger scale, adding accommodation in Cumberland is key to ensuring the Village fully captures the additional benefits that overnight visitors can generate for the local economy.”

Both projects are set to get underway in the coming days.

For more information about the Small Capital Restart Funding, please see our guidelines and application form.


About the Island Coastal Economic Trust
Created and capitalized by the Province of BC in 2006, the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) mission is to create a more diverse and globally competitive Island and Coastal economy. In partnership with local and regional government, non-profits and indigenous communities, ICET serves nearly half a million residents. Funding and support for economic infrastructure and other economic diversification initiatives is delivered through a unique community centered decision-making process. Since inception, ICET has approved more than $53 million in funding for over 225 initiatives. These investments have leveraged over $270 million in new investment into the region creating more than 2500 construction phase jobs and 2700 long term permanent jobs.

For further information:
Amanda Fortier, Communications Officer
Island Coastal Economic Trust
Tel. 250-871-7797 (Ext. 232)

Follow ICET on Facebook and Twitter.

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