Columbia Basin Trust delivered benefits report

NEWS RELEASEBASIN SEES INCREASED SUPPORT FROM THE TRUST

$57 million in benefits delivered through 65 programs and initiatives last year

(Columbia Basin) – Columbia Basin Trust delivered a record $57 million in funding benefits and commercial investments to residents and communities in the Columbia Basin region, as released in its 2017/18 Annual Service Plan Report recently.

This included $2.7 million in capital investments related to broadband and economic development, $5.3 million in business loans and commercial properties and $49 million to support 1,600 projects and partnerships through 65 active programs and initiatives.

“Being able to deliver this many programs is a testament to how much effort Basin residents, organizations and communities put into making this region the best it can be,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Columbia Basin Trust President and Chief Executive Officer. “While we’re proud to be able to deliver such extensive support, we’re even more proud of how people in the Basin use this support to make a difference.”

In 2017/18, the Trust earned $64 million in revenues—up from the previous year’s $59 million. This was primarily due to the solid performance of its investment in local hydropower facilities which account for 85 per cent of the revenue. Other sources of revenue include business loans, real estate investments and market securities.

“Our continued strong fiscal performance is a result of carefully investing to ensure we generate a predictable, sustainable and growing income stream to support our delivery of benefits to the region,” Strilaeff said. “The performance of our power facilities exceeded our expectations, contributing to a boost in revenue.”

The Trust supports the ideas and efforts of people and communities in the Basin to strengthen the region’s social, economic and environmental well-being. Through extensive consultation, the Trust developed 13 strategic priorities for 2016-2020, and has made significant progress with many new programs and initiatives announced in 2017/18, including:

  • $28-million partnership with BC Housing to create new affordable housing units over three years and $4.5 million to support First Nations communities with affordable housing over three years.
  • $10-million Ecosystem Enhancement Program that will help maintain and improve ecosystem health and native biodiversity over five years.
  • $3.6-million child care support program to maintain and create new child care spaces over three years.
  • A fibre-optic link between Kaslo and Balfour to increase broadband capacity in the area through the deployment of a 36-kilometre underwater optical fibre cable in Kootenay Lake.
  • Expanded support for arts, culture and heritage, with $11.6 million in programs and support over three years.Join staff and the Board of Directors at the Trust’s annual general meeting in Fernie on Friday, September 21 from 4 to 5 p.m. MT at the Best Western Plus Fernie Mountain Lodge. The AGM will be followed by a free, family-friendly community barbeque from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fernie Community Centre that will also feature live, local music. Visit ourtrust.org/ferniebbq for details.

September 13, 2018

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NEWS RELEASE

Read more about the Trust’s fiscal performance in the 2017/18 Annual Service Plan Report atourtrust.org/annualreport.

Learn more about the Trust’s progress on its strategic priorities at ourtrust.org/priorities.
Watch for Our Trust magazine in your mailbox this fall for stories of some of the projects the Trust supported, or sign up for the Trust’s monthly e-newsletter at ourtrust.org/newsletter. -30-

MEDIA CONTACT:

Emily Gilmar Columbia Basin Trust 1.800.505.8998egilmar@cbt.org

Farmers Market Trail

Launch of Kootenay Rockies & Columbia Basin Farmers’ Market Trail will strengthen relationship between farmers, markets, and market-goersBC Association of Farmers’ Markets new online tool connects people to farmers’ marketswww.bcfarmersmarkettrail.com

Sept. 10, 2018, Vancouver, BC – The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) is launching a new online tool connecting locals and tourists in the Kootenay Rockies & Columbia Basin region to markets and farmers offering local, in season foods. The launch is part of the province-wide BC Farmers’ Market Trail initiative, a website and promotional platform supported through partnerships with Destination BC, Columbia Basin Trust, and Kootenay Rockies Tourism. The Kootenay Rockies & Columbia Basin focused website highlights the region’s unique farmers’ markets, foods and farms for locals and visitors to discover when planning their culinary travels through the region.

“We are so proud to showcase the amazing farmers’ markets, farmers and food in the Kootenay Rockies & Columbia Basin on the BC Farmers’ Market Trail website,” says BCAFM Executive Director, Heather O’Hara. “There is exciting potential to build on this platform and support even greater marketing collaboration between farmers’ markets and vendors from the region in the years to come.”

While more than 145 farmers’ markets across BC are currently showcased on the new informative website (23 being in the Kootenay Rockies & Columbia Basin), added investment by regions ensures richer photography, and additional content like unique characteristics of each farmers’ market in the region, what’s currently in season, and features on specific farmers’ markets highlighting what they have to offer.

“Our region is showcased for many reasons, but I believe this is the first time that our farmers’ markets are being placed front and centre,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Columbia Basin Trust president and CEO. “This website will bring attention to our region and its agricultural products, support access to healthy food and enable agricultural producers to expand their markets and grow their businesses.”

Farmers’ markets are the leading distribution channel for farmers’ in the Kootenay Rockies & Columbia Basin region. Farmers in the region say the most significant challenge to come in the next three to five years is distribution, transportation and storage, and say the greatest opportunity is increasing sales and demand at farmers’ markets specifically.

With more than $150 million contributed to the provincial economy each year from farmers’ markets, tapping into BC’s growing tourism economy is hugely important.

“A huge portion of farmers’ markets rely on tourism dollars, but sometimes visitors don’t know where to go,” says Forest McCormack, owner of McCormack Farms, a ‘century farm’ located in West Kootenay region. “With the trail, people now have the ability to plan their vacation around what markets are in the area.”

Key drivers for the launch of the website highlighting the unique food and farm offerings of various British Columbia regions, is for the public to gain insight into where food comes from and how it is produced while appreciating local environmental and regional influences. Additionally, with the growing trend surrounding farm-to-table and in-season products, shopping at farmers’ markets is increasingly becoming an important part of weekly grocery shopping routines.

“Buying local not only tastes good, but it feels good – you can put a face to your food,” says McCormack. “I run an open-door policy at our farm, so people can come see where their food is produced, there are no closed doors.”

Although some may mourn the end of summer, autumn brings harvest season, meaning plenty of fresh, hearty produce to go around, with many farmers’ markets open well into the fall if not year-round. For the Kootenay Rockies & Columbia Basin region, a great variety of foods continue to be in season for September, including blackberries, apples, corn and much more.

The BCAFM anticipates that farmers’ markets in all regions of the province will be highlighted over the next two years, in line with ongoing marketing campaigns and support from regional tourism marketing organizations and Destination BC.

To explore the Kootenay Rockies & Columbia Basin farmers’ markets on the BC Farmers’ Market Trail visit www.bcfarmersmarkettrail.com/region/kootenay-rockies-columbia-basin.

About BC Association Farmers’ Markets

The BC Association of Farmers’ Markets is a non-profit organization committed to developing and strengthening the capacity of farmers’ markets in all regions of British Columbia. The BCAFM educates, engages and inspires people to create a vibrant farming sector in BC, one that nourishes and supports BC’s natural environment and communities. To learn more about the BCAFM and membership, people may visit www.bcfarmersmarket.org. To explore 145 BC farmers’ markets across the province, go towww.bcfarmersmarkettrail.com.

Instagram: @BCFarmersMarket

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BCAFM Twitter: @BCFarmersMarket

Media contacts:

Jenna Hickman, Beattie Tartan: 250-592-3838 or jenna.hickman@onlybeattie.comGeorgia Stanley, BCAFM: 604-734-9797 or georgia@bcfarmersmarket.org

Slocan Integral Forestry Co-operative. Sept 19th

Friends of the Lardeau River invite you to a presentation on wildfire management practices presented by

SIFCO- Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative.

7pm Wednesday September 19th at the Argenta Hall.