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Province commits millions to RMI funding in 2012

$10.5 million for resort communities in B.C.



The province will be doling out $10.5 million to resort communities in B.C. this year in Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) funding.

That's the same funding levels as last year, in which Whistler received the lion's share of the funding at $7.5 million.

It was critical money that helped fund a gamut of projects from the $2.9 million for festivals and events to the $110,000 for the Whistler Spirit Program.

In a statement from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation this week, the province confirmed the news though it is not clear yet how much money Whistler will be getting this year from the $10.5 million.

Minister Pat Bell was in Ottawa and not available for comment, but a statement from the ministry said:

"Individual grants are based on each resort's previous year of business and these figures are still being tabulated."

The province is working to renew a Memorandum of Understanding with resort municipalities based on each community's five-year resort development strategy.

The ministry's statement said: "We will continue to work closely with tourism and community stakeholders to build the resort and tourism industry as a foundation of regional economies. Tourism is one of the key economic sectors identified in "Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan." Our tourism strategy, "Gaining the Edge," builds on the jobs plan, providing a framework for government and industry to work together to attract more visitors and create jobs for British Columbians."

Council will be considering recommendations on the RMI and the Festival Events and Animation program, which are funded by the RMI, at its March 6 meeting.