Today Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) Mayor Al Raine, alongside Chief Oliver Arnouse of the Little Shuswap Indian Band and Senator Nancy Greene Raine, announced $6 million in funding secured through the federal gas tax program to expand the existing Sun Peaks Sports Centre taking steps toward a sustainable year round community.

“This is an exciting day for Sun Peaks,” said Raine. “Our challenge is to grow and diversify our year round tourism economy and to be a great home for more families…with this new facility we will be able to grow Sun Peaks into a strong summer mountain resort. That means more year round employment opportunities and a better community for all.”

The outdoor ice rink and existing sports centre will be transformed into a multipurpose facility capable of hosting up to 3,000 participants for concerts, sporting events and trade shows from May to September, allowing Sun Peaks to continue to develop into an all season destination.

The building will also house expanded recreational activities and meeting facilities beside the ice surface which will continue to be in use for the winter period.

The building is estimated to cost $7.2 million and will take approximately three years from design to completion. SPMRM has already committed $1.85 million in the ice making plant, rink and land purchase.

Described by Greene Raine as an “anchor,” the expanded centre will provide opportunities for additional year employment and encourage further growth in the community.

“This will really put Sun Peaks on the map as a major year round destination in British Columbia,” she said. “I have to say I’m really pleased. When we came here over 20 years ago, this was perhaps our wildest dream. And it’s really nice to sit here today and see these dreams become a reality. Not just in terms of tourism but also in terms of the community.”

The building’s operational expenses will be covered by the municipality through the MRDT tax.

The design will have First Nations influence and theme, which Chief Arnouse and his band will assist with in an advisory role to bring Secwepemc history and culture into the facility. Arnouse said they will help identify local artists to work with.

“I think this is going to be an important bridge for us with the band,” said Raine. “We have been talking for a long time and now we will be able to do something concrete.”

Each year, the Government of Canada provides over $278 million in funding for local government infrastructure projects across British Columbia through the Federal Gas Tax Fund. The Union of BC Municipalities administers the Federal Gas Tax Fund in British Columbia in partnership with the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

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