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Posted: August 3, 2015

Chamber gets grant for upgrades

Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks announced late last week that the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce will receive $74,530 for upgrades to the parking lot and building.

The project objective is to increase the appeal of this facility and improve accessibility so that all locals can be proud of the entrance to Invermere on the Lake, a community within the Columbia Valley that relies on the success of the tourism based economy in the Columbia Valley.

Located at the southern entrance to Invermere, the property currently lacks aesthetic appeal from a tourist perspective although there is an attractive building and sign; the grounds surrounding the facility are not landscaped nor is the entire parking lot paved. Furthermore when the facility was built in 2000 the building was designed to provide offices for the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce, Visitor Information Centre, public toilets and two community meeting spaces (168 person hall with licensed commercial kitchen and a professional boardroom). The building was built with volunteer labour and a limited budget resulting in the installation of non- commercial and lower quality fixtures.

The project will include updating the reception desk and boardroom; updating the bathrooms and adding baby change stations; installing energy efficient light fixtures and upgrading the sound absorbing foam in the event hall; and repairing and paving the parking lot to increase accessibility to the surrounding picnic grounds.

In 2014 the facility was accessed by approximately 14,000 visitors and the meeting facilities were used by 128 unique groups 340 times with an approximate total of 12,000 attendees. The renovations and improvements will bring the facility up to date and make it more aesthetically pleasing resulting in increased use of the facility for community meetings, a place of worship, weddings, birthdays, memorial services, educational workshops, arts and cultural events, etc.

These numbers continue to grow and the CVCC facility is recognized by the communities of Canal Flats, Fairmont Hot Springs, Windermere, Invermere and Radium Hot Springs as a central meeting location and considered an important community asset. It is used as a landmark reference and as a place for many locals to hold celebrations and gatherings important to the community. The success of this application will allow for the facility to be brought up to a quality and standard that locals can be proud of and visitors from around the world would expect when travelling to the Canadian Rockies.

“We are very pleased to be among the many recipients of funds from the Canada 150 Infrastructure Program and look forward to celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday in 2017. We would also like to thank Al Semple of High Country Builders and Brian Daviduke of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort for assisting us with the application,” said Amanda Robinson, CVCC President.


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