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For Immediate Release


Dec. 18, 2006

Ministry of Community Services

Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts




VICTORIA – The Province is now making $20 million available for B.C. Spirit Squares, allowing communities across British Columbia to create or enhance outdoor public celebration spaces, announced Community Services Minister Ida Chong and Stan Hagen, Minister of Tourism, Sport and the Arts.


            “This is an exciting opportunity for communities to develop their own unique projects which will allow area residents to gather and share community pride and spirit,” said Chong. “We all want to ensure that our communities are vibrant, connected and sustainable and this program will help support that objective, a key component of our Pacific Leadership Agenda.”


 “We want to make sure communities have a great space to host public celebrations for BC2008 activities and beyond,” said Hagen. “Spirit Squares are a terrific resource for communities to honour the past and celebrate the future and they will provide a legacy for communities to showcase their unique character and history. I encourage communities throughout the province to apply for the matching funds that the Province has put aside to build Spirit Squares.”


The program will provide $20 million for capital projects to create or improve outdoor public meeting and celebration spaces such as traditional town squares or community commons. Funding will be based on a 50/50 cost-sharing with municipalities and regional districts, with a provincial contribution of up to $500,000.


Communities can learn more about the program and apply for funding, by visiting online.


To be considered for the first round of project approvals, applications must be submitted by Feb. 16, 2007. Successful projects will be announced in spring 2007.


B.C. Spirit Squares is one of three new programs, announced by Premier Gordon Campbell at the 2006 Union of B.C. Municipalities annual conference, which began accepting applications today. Also launched were the Towns for Tomorrow program providing infrastructure funding for B.C.’s smaller communities and the LocalMotion Fund, supporting cycling and pedestrian pathways.


Each of these programs builds on B.C.’s Pacific Leadership Agenda and supports ActNow BC, a provincewide health promotion initiative focused on encouraging British Columbians to live healthier lives by being more physically active.





Marc Black

Ministry of Community Services

250 356-6334

Don McDonald

Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts

250 356-9869


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