New Funding for 23 Economic Development Projects in the Fall 2021 Funding Intake

Kelowna, BC – December 15, 2021

Communities in the Southern Interior of BC have some much-needed good news to cap off a year which has brought its share of hardship for this part of the province.  The Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC) has just awarded over $620,000 in funding to support 23 projects that will help build and diversify the region`s economy, as part of its Fall Funding Intake.  Project partners include local governments, First Nations and non-profit organizations in the Southern Interior.

“With this latest batch of approved projects, ETSI-BC has provided a record-breaking level of grant funding this year to help grow local economies. Over $3 million has been awarded to projects worth almost $8 million. Over $1.26 million of that total was awarded through three Funding Intakes, another $225K was provided to post-secondary entrepreneurship initiatives, research partnerships and networks of economic development practitioners, and $1.7 million was awarded through the Rural Business & Community Recovery Program, which supports 36 Economic Recovery Advisors working directly with businesses and communities across the region,” notes Laurel Douglas, CEO of ETSI-BC.

The impact of ETSI-BC funding can be felt in all corners of the BC Southern Interior.  Projects approved in this Funding Intake alone are taking place in five First Nations and all Regional Districts in the Southern Interior, including the Thompson-Nicola, Okanagan Similkameen, Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, Central Kootenay, Kootenay Boundary, East Kootenay, the Columbia Shuswap, plus Hope.

“On behalf of the ETSI-BC Board, I am delighted to share this news,” said Chris Pieper, ETSI-BC Board Chair and Mayor of Armstrong. “These projects will help build economic development capacity in our communities, support innovation and help advance key sectors of our region’s economy.”

The projects received endorsement by both ETSI-BC Regional Advisory Committees in a meeting on Friday Dec. 10, which saw record turn-out by the community leaders who are members. “As a new member of the Columbia-Kootenay Regional Advisory Committee, I was really impressed with the progressive and really awesome projects that were approved in this Intake,” said Steve Morrisette, who also serves as an ETSI-BC Board Member and is Mayor of Fruitvale.

“It’s been a really enjoyable experience to be sitting on this Board and to see the organization evolve,” said Terry Rysz, an ETSI-BC Director, member of the Thompson-Okanagan Regional Advisory Committee and Mayor of Sicamous. “It’s exciting to see 23 different projects like this being supported by ETSI-BC, which have a total value of 4 times our investment.  I`ve really enjoyed being part of ETSI-BC’s new direction, and I`m looking forward to 2022.  Chris, Laurel and the ETSI-BC team are making an amazing difference when it comes to helping out economic development in the Southern Interior.”

Here is a list of projects approved in the ETSI-BC Fall Funding Intake:

ETSI-BC Fall 2021 Funding Intake Approved Projects: 

?aqam Community Enterprises Light Industrial Park Project Implementation (St. Mary`s Band)
AdvantageHOPE Hope Downtown Revitalization Strategy
Big White Mountain Chamber of Commerce Business and Economic Development Strategic Analysis
Central Okanagan Ec Dev Commission Okanagan Cleantech Study
Community Connections (Revelstoke) Society Revelstoke Commercial Kitchen Incubator
Community Futures Central Kootenay West Kootenay Rural & Northern Immigration Pilot
Destination Osoyoos Development Society Value and Economics of Tourism Study
Elkford Chamber of Commerce Elkford Co-Working Office and Retail Space Feasibility Study
Interior Logging Association Forestry Sector Business Support
Kaslo and Area Chamber of Commerce Supply Chain and Workforce Attraction & Retention Initiative
Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Southern Interior Regional Economic Summit
Ktunaxa Enterprises Ltd. ʔamakʔis Transport Business Expansion Plan
Nakusp and Area Development Board Local Agriculture Market Access and Branding Initiative
Neskonlith Indian Band Creation of an Economic Development Position
Okanagan Film Commission Film Fundamentals – Skills Training and Job Fair
Okanagan Indian Band Group of Companies Biomass Supply Chain Risk Assessment Study
Penticton and Area Cooperative Enterprise Rusty Springs Recycling Project
Similkameen Valley Planning Society Shoulder and Winter Tourism Experience Opportunities
Skwlax – Little Shuswap Lake Band Concept and Structure – Pespesellkwe Corporate Entity
Tourism Wells Gray Association Clearwater/Wells Gray Visitor Info Centre, Financial & Operations Plan
Town of Oliver Oliver Wine Centre Feasibility Study
Venture Kamloops Economic Development Airport Lands Development Feasibility Study
West Kootenay Permaculture Coop Association Kootenay Food Social Enterprise Pilot Project

For More Information, please contact:

Laurel Douglas, CEO | 236.420.3680 |


ETSI-BC, the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior, was created in 2006 with a $50 million endowment to assist in the growth and diversification of the economy of the Southern Interior of BC. The Trust is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors, receiving input from Regional Advisory Committees made up of elected officials from both the Thompson-Okanagan and Columbia-Kootenay regions. We add value to the economic development ecosystem and provide funding for projects in four key funding streams:
1) Building economic development capacity,
2) Supporting business resilience and growth,
3) Developing human capital and
4) Innovating and advancing key sectors.
For more information about ETSI-BC, visit the Our Story page on our website at

We’d love to hear from you!

201 – 460 Doyle Ave, Kelowna, BC V1Y 0C2
Phone: 236-420-3680 ext. 0

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