More than 50 new tourism projects throughout B.C. are receiving a total of $21.3 million. The funding aims to strengthen tourism growth and develop emerging tourism opportunities, stimulating the recovery of B.C.’s post-pandemic visitor economy.
The Richmond Olympic Oval and the Shipyards in North Vancouver were among the projects to receive funding. Both destinations will receive $1 million.
“The Richmond Olympic Oval is an enduring legacy venue of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games for Richmond and the country,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “This $1-million provincial grant will support the development of a planned sport and event plaza in front of the iconic oval that will leverage existing facilities for tourism, sport and fitness. It will expand opportunities for use through programs, public use and events, and bring more vibrancy to the neighbourhood around the Richmond Olympic Oval urban waterfront community.”
North Vancouver applied for the funding to improve the Shipyards’ capacity to host a variety of year-round programming and attract visitors and tourists in all seasons. The local tourism sector has been significantly affected during COVID-19, and the Shipyards saw a steep decrease in events, programming, site animation and visits to local restaurants and hotels.
The funding will elevate the visitor experience at the Shipyards with newly improved infrastructure such as vending pods, water stations as well as electrical, lighting and traffic-flow improvements. Work on the improvements is scheduled to begin in spring 2022 and the upgrades are anticipated to be completed in early 2023.
“The Shipyards is a vibrant outdoor space that all people have enjoyed, especially over the course of this pandemic,” said North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan. “Our waterfront is of great historical and economic importance to our city. With this grant in hand we will be able to deliver infrastructure and heritage upgrades that will enhance the space for residents while attracting visitors from across the region and beyond. These improvements will also support our local businesses with their recovery efforts.”
Other approved projects include arts and culture event space, an Indigenous campground development, trail upgrades to accommodate adapted mountain bikes and wheelchairs, and beautification and signage projects.