Cranbrook, BC (September 7, 2021) – The City of Cranbrook is a recipient of $50,000 from the Economic Trust of the Southern Interior (ETSI-BC) for the development of its Tourism Master Plan. One of 27 applicants to the ESTI-BC, the city was successfully awarded the grant funding.

The City also secured $20,000 from Columbia Basin Trust (the Trust) to further fund the Tourism Master Plan and $5,000 from the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK), which along with the City’s investment of $18,500 brings the total project value to $93,500.00.

“We are thankful to ESTI-BC, Columbia Basin Trust and the RDEK for their investment into our community,” said Mayor Lee Pratt. “This funding will allow the city to look ahead and build out a tourism strategy that will best exemplify what the Cranbrook has to offer British Columbia, Canada, and the world.”

“The team at ETSI-BC is delighted to support the City of Cranbrook on this initiative,” says Laurel Douglas, CEO of ETSI-BC. “This project aligns with our strategic pillar of building economic development capacity and supporting regional economic development partnerships in the Southern Interior of BC. We look forward to the outcomes of this tourism strategy initiative.”

“We are pleased to support the City, the Ktunaxa Nation Council, the Cranbrook Chamber and Cranbrook Tourism to develop a plan to further tourism opportunities as an economic driver in the Cranbrook area,” says Will Nixon, Columbia Basin Trust, Senior Manager, Delivery of Benefits. “The community of Cranbrook and Ktunaxa ?amak?is are places of great beauty and history that are full of recreational opportunities. This partnership will ensure that residents and visitors alike benefit from a well-developed plan.”

“We are witnessing an increase in active transportation within our region as our trails and recreational opportunities gain local, provincial, national and international awareness. There are tremendous health and economic benefits that go along with the implementation of a well-designed tourism strategy, and we are proud to support the City of Cranbrook in the development of its Tourism Master Plan,” says RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.

This $50,000 grant from ETSI-BC is the maximum amount of funding per project that ETSI-BC provides in its Building Economic Development Capacity funding stream.

In partnership with Cranbrook Tourism, the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce, and the Ktunaxa Nation Council a Tourism Master Plan will help guide the City’s decision making around tourism initiatives while also providing a clear vision and mission to bolster current tourism assets in in the region. Serving as a “Basecamp for Adventure,” Cranbrook has tremendous recreation opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts and a blossoming downtown scene.

The City’s Downtown Revitalization Master Plan is currently under development and will serve as an important element  to attract investment and promote further tourism opportunities in the heart of our community. 

“This is a watershed moment for our tourism sector. It’s time to polish the unplucked gem,” said Darren Brewer, Business Development Officer at the City of Cranbrook. “We will create an inclusive and bold vision for our city and invite everyone in our community to participate.”

“In a short period of time we worked in collaboration and were able to develop a meaningful relationship with the City of Cranbrook, the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce and Cranbrook Tourism,” added Janice Alpine, Business Development Officer and Tourism Engagement with the Ktunaxa Nation Council. “Our ideals in working together is to develop and understand how Tourism and Heritage Tourism is a tool to help our perspectives merge.”

“Creating this plan is both exciting and critical in setting the future direction for tourism in our region,” said Kristy Jahn-Smith, Executive Director of Cranbrook Tourism. “Hearing what residents and local business want for the future will be key to the process, ensuring we move forward in a productive and sustainable way. The plan will ensure we are inclusive and forward thinking, while also maximizing collaboration between key partners and ensuring businesses and residents benefit from growth of the tourism economy." 

“Cranbrook has been working hard to foster its tourism sector and has made great strides in doing so. The Cranbrook Chamber is pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with the City of Cranbrook, Cranbrook Tourism, and the Ktunaxa Nation to develop a Tourism Master plan to guide us as we continue to grow this important part of our economy,” said Helen Barron, Executive Director of the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce.