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Province of British Columbia
For Immediate Release
July 23, 2021
Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport
Funding to get Kootenay sport back into full swing

CASTLEGAR – A total of 22 Kootenay sport organizations are receiving funding to help them recover from the pandemic and welcome a safe return to play.

“As B.C. makes its way through Step 3 of the Province’s restart plan, I want to thank the sport and recreational organizations for the central role they play in bringing people back together and in returning to the activities we love,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Volunteers have done an amazing job adapting to the pandemic. Our government is proud to support these community-based sport organizations as they work to get people back in the game.”

There are more than 4,100 local sports organizations in B.C., many of which have faced financial challenges due to the absence of registration fees, event revenues and sponsorships because of the COVID-19 limits on gatherings for public safety. The Local Sport Relief Fund provides grants of up to $7,500 to non-profit sports organizations to assist with expenses such as insurance, administrative costs, rent, storage costs and equipment essential to providing sports programs.

“Local sports organizations and the people that work and play in them have done their part to protect our communities from COVID-19, and now it’s time to get back to the rink, gym and field,” said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. “By supporting local sport organizations, we are helping the sector be more resilient and making sure people have the opportunity to participate in and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of playing sports.”

This is the second allocation of funds for local sport organizations thanks to additional financial support provided by the Government of Canada. In this round, the Province is disbursing more than $1 million in grants to 214 organizations throughout B.C. In January 2021, the provincial government provided $1.5 million to 288 local sport organizations during the first funding allocation. 

“It’s thrilling to be able to move forward in this province to a careful return to games, competition, and recreational activity,” said Charlene Krepiakevich, CEO, viaSport. “COVID-19 took a tremendous toll on sport organizations across this province. This funding acknowledges the need to financially support local sport organizations to ensure they are ready to help ramp up capacity as sport returns to communities.”

The Province is focused on enhancing opportunities for a more inclusive, diverse and affordable future for sport. Local Sport Relief Fund grants awarded in both rounds prioritized organizations serving under-represented populations, including girls and women, persons with disabilities, underprivileged youth, racially diverse and LGBTQI2S communities.

“We are so grateful for this grant funding,” said Kathleen Zubick, fundraiser, Castlegar Hockey Society. “Now that we can open up our programming to the public again, this financial support will boost the work we are doing to get back on the ice.”

Quick Facts:

  • Local sports organizations exist in every community in B.C. and include activities such as baseball and soccer leagues, gymnastics and swimming.
  • These organizations serve as the foundation for sport in B.C. and provide a valuable outlet for children and adults to be physically active. 
  • The Local Sport Relief Fund is administered by viaSport on behalf of the Province.
  • To date, the Province has provided $11 million in accelerated funding to provincial, disability and multi-sport organizations.

Learn More:

For information about the Local Sport Relief Fund, visit:

Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport
Government Communications and Public Engagement
250 208-4309
Communications and Engagement
778 655-1742
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: