The Town of Golden is one of eight communities in the Kootenay Rockies region to receive funding through the Tourism Dependent Communities Initiative. (Claire Palmer photo)

The Town of Golden is one of eight communities in the Kootenay Rockies region to receive funding through the Tourism Dependent Communities Initiative. (Claire Palmer photo)

Funding grant arrives for Downtown Plaza project

The central downtown plaza was constructed in 1987 as part of a downtown revitalization initiative

The Town of Golden has received $468,750 in funding through the Tourism Dependent Communities Initiative to be used for the Downtown Plaza revitalization project.

“This direct investment in tourism-dependent communities was a call to action from the tourism sector and an integral part of our recovery plan,” said Melanie Mark, B.C. minister of tourism, arts, culture and sport.

“These projects will provide good-paying jobs now, create valuable assets for communities and attract more visitors in the future.”

Golden is one of eight communities in the Kootenay Rockies region to receive funding through the Tourism Dependent Communities Initiative.

Approximately $5 million will be made available in extra funding for communities across the region, with towns like Fernie ($239,813 for installation of electric vehicle charging and $550,750 for tourism and visitor enhancements at their visitor centre), Kimberley ($851,522 for it’s ‘Electrify the Mountains’ initiative for new trails for e-bikes), Invermere ($700,000 for downtown revitalization) and Revelstoke ($838,550 for upgrades to its trail network and new amenities) also receiving funding.

READ MORE: Proposed refreshed look for downtown plaza

Thirty-two communities have received a combined $19.4 million through the Tourism Dependent Communities Initiative – one of three infrastructure investment programs for tourism as part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. The approved projects must be completed by March 2023.

The central downtown plaza (in front of the post office) was constructed in 1987 as part of a downtown revitalization initiative and hasn’t seen an update look in the 34 years since.

According to the town, the plaza represents an important, but underused, public space within Golden’s downtown core.

“This project will transform the plaza into a vibrant public space within Golden’s downtown core,” said Golden Mayor Ron Oszust.

“It will improve the functionality of the plaza, encourage community interaction, and enhance pedestrian amenities helping to connect our residents and visitors to other key attractions in town.”

The downtown revitalization project has been ongoing since 2019, when the Town of Golden and LARCH Landscape Architecture engaged with the community to gather ideas and feedback to inform the creation of conceptual design options for this space.

Jason Jones, owner of LARCH, presented two conceptual designs and cost estimates to town council in late 2019.

LARCH will continue on the project, building out a detailed design and managing the project to its completion.

For more information on the Downtown Plaza revitalization project, including conceptual designs, visit golden.ca/downtownplaza.

–With files contributed by Scott Tibballs

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