Port Alberni Harbour Quay, Mount Cain and Chemainus Theatre latest funding recipients

COURTENAY, 30 November 2020 – Three new grants have been approved for the City of Port Alberni, Mount Cain Alpine Park Society (MCAPS) and the Chemainus Theatre Society (CTS) to help with business and industry restart activities under the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET)’s Small Capital Restart Funding Program.

The quick response funding program was launched in early June to provide immediate support, of up to $15,000, for urgent and innovative solutions to the operational restrictions and business closures imposed by COVID health and safety restrictions.

The City of Port Alberni’s Harbour Quay Business Enhancement Project will support a cluster of 18 small businesses at the Harbour Quay, one of the city’s most important tourism venues. The project will provide several longer-term response activities to help overcome the challenges faced by restaurants and food service sites, retail operations, Farmers’ and Crafters’ Markets and the Alberni Aquarium. Public space will be reconfigured with covered and heated outdoor eating areas to enable larger seating capacity for restaurants and facilitate outdoor eating in comfort.  The space will be defined and revitalized with beautification elements, including planters, signage and murals. The project will also integrate innovative practices, such as Quick Response (QR) codes for viewing menus from the new tent tables with the option of ordering by phone.

“Creating new opportunities for small businesses to bridge operational restrictions and increase their revenues is essential now, particularly entering the winter months,” says ICET CEO Line Robert. “The Harbour Quay Business Enhancement Project shows a concerted and multipronged approach to helping local business increase their footprint and create longer term vitality and opportunity for the Quay’s businesses, visitors and community.”

Mount Cain is a popular ski area and community recreation asset on Northern Vancouver Island. However, ensuring the safety of both staff and visitors for the 2020/21 season has been a challenge for the community owned, non-profit society, as Mount Cain operations are reliant on live-in staff. This project will support the reconfiguration of lodge space into safe staff accommodations and work areas to ensure proper physical distancing for both public and workers. The changes funded will also include a new covered and heated beer garden, creating a safe space to socialize, eat and drink for the public, improved operational sustainability and continued employment opportunities for the region’s youth.

“Mount Cain is the largest employer of youth on the North Island and plays a key role in the region’s quality of life and winter visitor attraction,” says ICET Board Chair Aaron Stone. “This project will go a long way to increasing confidence and social acceptance of Mount Cain as a safe place to experience outdoor recreation during the pandemic, and will also provide winter tourism activity in North Island and gateway communities, when it is once again safe to travel.”

Chemainus Theatre (CTS) is embarking on a project to capture, record, edit and live-stream broadcast, digital video content of their new “Playbill Presents” series. CTS is a professional theatre showcasing year-round performances and featuring a dining room and art gallery. Project funding will be used to purchase the equipment required for broadcasting, as high demand for this product has exceeded the theatre’ physical, COVID restricted capacity. By presenting events through digital media, the CTS hopes to reach existing audiences that require greater protections from COVID, maintain its connection to its traditional markets and create new events and opportunities to improve sustainability.

The Port Alberni project is currently underway, while the Mount Cain and Chemainus Theatre projects are set to commence shortly.

For more information about the program, 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 $53.8 million in funding for over 230 initiatives. These investments have leveraged over $270 million in new investment into the region creating more than 2550 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)

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