City of Nelson Receives $10,000 to Develop Cultural Tourism Plan

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The City of Nelson is leading the development of a cultural tourism strategy for the Nelson/Kootenay Lake area. Under the Creative Communities program, 2010 Legacies Now and the Province of British Columbia are providing $10,000 to the City to create a cultural tourism strategy that will bring long-term economic and cultural benefits.

These funds are being matched by the City of Nelson, the Nelson/Kootenay Lake Tourism Society, the Regional District of Central Kootenay areas D, E and F and the Village of Kaslo.

Creative Communities supports local governments and arts organizations to understand their cultural assets and identify strengths and challenges in their arts and cultural sector. The City of Nelson, through its Cultural Development Commission, will bring together artists, businesses, and cultural and tourism organizations in the region to develop a cultural tourism strategy.

"Nelson and Kootenay Lake is a region of great natural beauty, but aside from the obvious draw, we hold an ace in our hands: our incredibly diverse and talented local artists and cultural organizations coupled with well-preserved, historic architecture," said Nelson City Councillor Donna Macdonald. "For those of us who live here, it's obvious. We would like others to discover us as well."

Together with the Province of British Columbia, 2010 Legacies Now has invested more than $300,000 into 40 Creative Communities projects around the province, and $3.9 million in the arts overall through its contribution programs.

"We are working to ensure that legacies from the 2010 Winter Games are being shared by communities right across B.C. through investments in a variety of arts and cultural projects," said Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts. "The Creative Communities program is a wonderful way to support the long-term development of arts and culture in B.C."

This project will build upon several initiatives that resulted from the City's 2006 cultural plan, which was also funded partially by 2010 Legacies Now and the Province of B.C.

"This community has seen many positive changes result from developing and improving arts and cultural services through cultural planning," said Lori Baxter, Director of Arts at 2010 Legacies Now. "Now, it is ready to draw a wider audience to the region through new tourism initiatives."

Creative Communities assisted local governments to take stock of their cultural assets and identify strengths and challenges in their local arts and cultural sector. The program also guided governments through community consultations to determine how and where to expand local arts and cultural programs and projects.

Funding was available for these cultural mapping and cultural planning processes to help communities discover a cultural identity that is unique to them and expand it into a viable part of community life. The program was supported by the Province of British Columbia.