Popular B.C. tourist attractions including Butchart Gardens, PNE promised up to $1M from the province
Dozens of B.C. tourist attractions will receive grants from the province in an effort to offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourism Minister Melanie Mark announced applicants had been approved Friday, saying more than 80 attractions and tour bus operators will be eligible for the new grant program.
These grants are worth up to $1 million. The program was first announced back in May, and earlier this month, the province said it was in the process of reviewing applications.
Among the recipients announced Friday are:
- Big White Ski Resort;
- Britannia Mine Museum;
- Butchart Gardens;
- HR MacMillan Space Centre;
- Hells Gate Airtram;
- International Dragon Boat Festival;
- Pacific National Exhibition (PNE);
- Richmond Night Market;
- Science World;
- Sea To Sky Gondola; and
- Wilson's Transportation.
According to the tourism ministry, the grants will go to 23 urban "anchor" attractions, 34 rural anchor attractions and 26 tour bus operating companies.
The initiative known as the Major Anchor Attractions Program was first announced in May, and was one of the seven calls to action from a provincial tourism task force.
It will be up to the companies themselves to decide how to spend the cash, with options ranging from rent and utilities to payroll and other restart costs.
While in a statement outlining the announcement, the PNE's president and CEO praised the program, it's a far cry from what the exhibition demanded from the province earlier this month.
At that time, unions representing its workers estimated the 111-year-old fair would be $15 million in debt by fall, and sought $8 million from the Horgan Government.
Mark said at that time the PNE would be eligible for up to $1 million, but would not commit to the much higher amount that unions asked for.
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