We Value Our Community Partnerships & Projects
Shuswap Economic Recovery Program
Shuswap Economic Development, Shuswap Tourism, Salmon Arm Economic Development Society, Community Futures Shuswap and the Tsuts’weye Women’s Entrepreneur & Innovation Network have come together to develop and implement a Phase I response to the economic impacts currently facing Shuswap businesses and organizations.
The plan is designed to respond directly to the needs expressed by the local business community and stakeholder organizations and invite partnerships and collaboration with other regional business and economic development groups wherever possible.
TOTA is working in partnership with the nine Community Futures offices in the region to assist the tourism industry in overcoming the challenges presented by the current COVID-19 crisis through the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Resiliency Program. In July 2020, a formal agreement was signed in commitment to the development of an active and meaningful relationship on the path to rebuilding a resilient tourism industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Secwepemc Lakes Training and
This two year initiative is funded by BC Rural Dividend Fund, submitted by Community Futures Shuswap on behalf of the local Secwepemc Lakes Communities and regional partners.
The Goal of the Secwepemc Lakes Employment and Training Initiative is to empower and build self-determination among Indigenous youth and their communities. In addition, we will highlight and promote successful youth entrepreneurs. The foundation of the work will be guided by traditional practices, identifying and encouraging the "gifts" they were born with.
This will be achieved by working collaboratively with communities and project partners to provide entrepreneurship, education and training opportunities.
To date we have completed a 4 Band survey and focus groups with Indigenous/Metis youth. Check out the full survey results and monthly newsletter to learn more about this exciting initiative below!
And make sure to follow us on our Facebook site at:
View the Secwepemc Lakes May 2020 Newsletter here.
View the Secwepemc Lakes April 2020 Newsletter here.
View the Secwepemc Lakes March Newsletter here.
View the Secwepemc Lakes Research Report here.
Please email us if you want to receive regular updates and our monthly newsletter.
For more information contact:
Secwepemc Lakes Tourism Project
We are currently seeking an Indigenous Tourism Coordinator to join our team.
For more information, view the Job Posting here.
Reporting to the Executive Director of Community Futures, this contract position is responsible for the implementation of the Indigenous Tourism Strategy for the Lakes Communities of the Shuswap Region.
For more information, view the Position Description here.
The Shuswap Trail Alliance
In November 2004, regional stakeholders in the Shuswap met to consider a proposal by local trail advocates envisioning the creation of an internationally recognized natural trail and waterway network promoting environmental stewardship, sustainable economics, and a reputation of healthy living and recreation.
Under the direction of Community Futures Shuswap, funding was successfully assembled to assist with the cost of conducting a feasibility study to determine the overall economic, recreation, and environmental viability of the trail circuit and to assess regional community support for the concept. Funds were granted through Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s Area E Economic Opportunities Fund to conduct a formal study process between September 2005 and September 2006. As well, additional local resources were leveraged totaling approximately $200,000, including the initiation of a pilot trail project designed to model and assess viability of the rest of the region.
The Trail Alliance has grown into a full development strategic organization that has successfully implemented new trail systems, signage, educational materials, guides, maps, and support services to establish a new driver of sustainable economic opportunities within the region. The Trail Alliance manages annual crews of 20 people and hires a full-time trail operations manager. Community Futures Shuswap has provided business development, project management, and funding development support through various funding programs and partnerships from 2005 to 2009.
Sicamous and the CSRD Area E Labour Market Study
Sicamous Communities Rally Around Labour Market Study - Spring 2016
Excerpt from BC Government News Release: "Sicamous and surrounding communities are ready to turn employment data into action to encourage local economic development after participating in a government-funded labour market study with Community Futures Shuswap.
The nine-month $69,000 study assesses the region’s labour market and identifies key challenges and opportunities for increased economic development in Sicamous and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) Area E. As part of the project, Community Futures conducted a survey and review of labour market statistics and case studies on rural economic development, as well as community consultations with business and community leaders.
The study reveals that the area is currently short on labour and highlights the importance of regional training and skills development opportunities, especially for youth. This will ensure local employers can access a skilled workforce and provide year-long employment opportunities. The Thompson-Okanagan Region is expected to have 98,300 job openings to 2022.
A Labour Market Action Team will be created to implement key priorities, including developing an economic development plan for Sicamous and CSRD Area E by 2017. The action team will also work to address the impact of affordable housing, family services and transportation on the area’s labour market."
Read full news release and/or download the report using these links.
Western Economic Diversification Canada
In October 2002, Western Economic Diversification Canada announced a national funding program known as the Softwood Industry Community Economic Adjustment Initiative (SICEAI), to support forest-dependent communities across Canada that were impacted by the Canada-US Softwood lumber dispute.
Assistance was available in both repayable (for-profit projects) and non-repayable (not-for-profit projects) forms. Recipients included not-for-profit organizations, including municipalities and municipal organizations; crown corporations; corporations; sole proprietorships; community development organizations; associations; and First Nations organizations. Priority areas for SICEAI funding were: innovative and value-added forestry, community capacity building, economic diversification, infrastructure that encourages growth, and First Nations participation.
Community Futures Shuswap played an instrumental role in the achievement of several community projects being successfully funded by the SICEAI program, including 1) The Columbia Shuswap Regional District received $128,769 from SICEAI to upgrade and develop their snowmobiling trails and facilities in the Salmon Arm area. The “Snowmobile Tourism Product Development Project” included trail infrastructure development, signage,
construction of warming huts, purchase of grooming equipment, and product marketing.
The total project cost was $257,539. 2) The Columbia Shuswap Regional District also received $44,350 in SICEAI funding to implement a Shuswap Tourism Marketing Strategy. This integrated marketing communications package included billboard signs on the Trans Canada Highway, touring maps and signage, hiking/biking brochure maps, the Shuswap Bird Watching Guide, the Shuswap Visitor’s Guide, the Shuswap Tourism website, agri-tours/heritage brochures, and a Shuswap CD and video. 3) The City of Salmon Arm received SICEAI funding in the amount of $437,500 to develop a waterfront walkway. The elevated walkway infrastructure project anchors residential and commercial development at either end of the walkway. This initiative also builds on the successful bird watching tourism industry along the shores of Shuswap Lake and is key in expanding the existing trail system in the downtown area. Total project cost was $1,043.170. 4) Austrian Style Woodwork Ltd., in Falkland, BC was the successful recipient of re-payable SICEAI loan funds to complete a 4,000 sq. ft shop expansion and purchase new equipment to expand their custom kitchen cabinet business into a new market with the building of European tilt and turn windows.
The Mary Thomas Cultural And Heritage Sanctuary Project
The Mary Thomas Cultural Centre and Heritage Sanctuary Project will create a hub of economic activity in the Shuswap region, benefiting the Neskonlith Indian Band members and the entire Shuswap region. With stunning natural beauty as a backdrop, and extensive indigenous history and active natural systems as a foundation, the Centre will offer an authentic and extensive range of traditional First Nations culture, art, education, and activities for tourists and the local population interested in the aboriginal and ecological experience.
Local, national, and international visitors will be offered opportunities to experience Secwepemc ceremonies, stories, legends, and their deep understanding of the land. Visitors can participate in activities such as eating traditional food, attend workshops to learn how to make a traditional birch bark basket, native drum or traditional bullrush mat. Guests will also be offered guided interpretive tours through the traditional plant nursery and the trail system in the Salmon River Delta where they will learn about the inherent ecological/natural value of the delta region, including traditional plants, medicines and traditional sustainable resource management practices. Guides and instructors will provide visitors with an intimate knowledge and incomparable insight into local First Nations customs, history and environmental stewardship.
Women's Entrepreneur and Innovation Network
Tsuts'weye supports women entrepreneurs in the Shuswap.
A new project supporting female entrepreneurs has been launched in the Shuswap. Tsuts’weye is a three-year, federally funded initiative through Western Economic Diversification Canada and facilitated locally through Community Futures Shuswap. The project supports women-owned or women led enterprises in the start-up, expansion or ongoing operational phase of business in the Shuswap.
Tsuts’weye means butterfly in Secwepemc and is symbolic of the “butterfly effect”. When one woman is empowered in a community the effects can often be powerful and far-reaching.
The Hub serves as a single, visible and central point of contact, providing a consistent, clear path forward for all Shuswap business clients seeking support services – all at no cost to the individuals accessing these services.
Regardless of your business needs, the Hub can point you to the services that will best help you launch and/or grow your business. Whether you’re registering a new business, developing a business plan, securing financing, creating a marketing strategy or anything in between, our one-stop shop will get you to the right support at the right place at the right time.