New and Improved Public Spaces and Tourism Experiences

The Government of Canada is making investments across British Columbia to refresh community spaces, attract new visitors, and stimulate local economies

Safe and inclusive public spaces and dynamic tourism attractions are key to vibrant communities. They bring together people of all ages and abilities, in turn supporting businesses and boosting economic vitality. Throughout the East Kootenays and across British Columbia’s Southern Interior, communities are ready to welcome residents and visitors alike to enjoy new and improved public spaces and tourism experiences.

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced over $2 million in PacifiCan funding for ten projects throughout the East Kootenays. This includes almost $1.5 million for five projects funded through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund and over $550,000 for five projects funded through the Tourism Relief Fund.

The District of Sparwood is receiving $485,000 in funding through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund to revitalize Centennial Plaza in downtown Sparwood by creating an accessible park environment with added seating and event space. The upgraded plaza will facilitate community gatherings of all sizes, encourage economic development, and be available for use year-round.

Upgrading existing infrastructure and building new public assets will mean British Columbians will have better access to recreational programs and facilities; these projects will grow economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve community wellness. Communities benefiting from today’s announcements include Fernie, Sparwood, Kimberley, Elkford, Radium Hot Springs, Ta Ta Creek, and Cranbrook.

For the full list of projects, please see backgrounder section here.

Today’s funding announcement builds on the recent openings of PacifiCan offices in Kelowna and Cranbrook that will help support local economic development for British Columbians in the Southern Interior. With new officers living and providing service in the Southern Interior, PacifiCan will be more accessible to all communities in the region.


“These investments demonstrate how the Government of Canada is helping to boost economic development in communities across British Columbia. We are here to support small- and medium-sized businesses on the road to recovery. Investing in shared public spaces and tourism experiences will bring communities together and ensure that the Thompson Okanagan region thrives well into the future.” – The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“As we move past the acute phase of the pandemic, Canada’s tourism sector is showing strong signs of growth. The Government of Canada’s investments in tourism over the last two years focused on the survival of our visitor economy. As we move to revival and the growth of the sector, we continue to provide targeted support to tourism businesses so they can keep delivering unforgettable experiences. A fully recovered and robust tourism sector is key to our government’s ongoing work in building an economy that works for all Canadians.”
– The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

“The District of Sparwood would like to thank the federal government for this valuable grant that will go towards beautifying Centennial Plaza. Being able to provide a gathering place for activities and festivals during all seasons is tremendous.  This is another great example of levels of government working together for the betterment of communities across Canada.”
– David Wilks, Mayor, District of Sparwood

Quick facts

  • PacifiCan is the federal economic development agency dedicated to British Columbians. PacifiCan works with partners who are building innovative businesses, creating quality jobs, and supporting inclusive growth throughout British Columbia.
  • PacifiCan opened new offices in Kelowna and Cranbrook, B.C. on November 16, 2022, to better serve businesses and communities across the Southern Interior of B.C.
  • The Canada Community Revitalization Fund and Tourism Relief Fund programs launched in the summer of 2021.
  • The Canada Community Revitalization Fund provides $500 million over two years to help communities build and improve infrastructure, making public spaces safer, greener, and more accessible.
  • The Canada Community Revitalization Fund supports two major streams of activity:
    • adapt community spaces and assets so that they may be used safely in accordance with local public-health guidelines, and
    • build or improve community spaces to encourage Canadians to re-engage in and explore their communities and regions.
  • The Tourism Relief Fund provides $500 million over two years to help tourism businesses and organizations with adapting their operations to meet public health requirements while investing in products and services to facilitate future growth.
  • The Tourism Relief Fund helps position Canada as a destination of choice as domestic and international travel rebounds by:

    empowering tourism businesses to create new or enhance existing tourism experiences and products to attract more local and domestic visitors, and

    helping the sector reposition itself to welcome international visitors, by providing the best Canadian tourism experiences we have to offer the world.

Associated links


Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and Pacific Economic Development Agency (PacifiCan)

Jillian Glover
Communications Manager

Stay connected

Follow PacifiCan on Twitter and LinkedIn

Toll-Free Number: 1-888-338-9378
TTY (telecommunications device for the hearing impaired):