The BC government is committed to the Resort Municipality Initiative program as part of its baseline budget. $39 million was earmarked for the RMI program over the next three years.
The City of Fernie is one of 14 designated resort municipalities in the Province. This designation allows the municipality to receive RMI funding through a provincial program managed by the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training to assist small, tourism-based municipalities to support and increase visitation. Many resort municipalities have a small tax base and the demands of tourism activity often strain the resources available to provide infrastructure and event programming. RMI funding allows resort municipalities to dedicate resources to improving tourism-based infrastructure and amenities to attract more visitors and encourage longer stays.
A limited amount of program funding is also available through the Festival and Event Program on an application basis to allow Fernie and area to be responsive to new festival and event opportunities that have the potential to build the tourism economy.
The RMI Festival & Event Development Program is under the direction of City of Fernie Council with input and oversight being provided by the Resort Development Strategy Advisory Working Group (AWG). The AWG is responsible for assessing funding applications and making recommendations to Council regarding the distribution of the RMI funds dedicated to the Festival & Event Development Program. The AWG is comprised of representatives from the accommodation sector, Tourism Fernie, the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, Fernie Alpine Resort, the Fernie Trails Alliance, the Fernie and District Arts Council, the Regional District of East Kootenay and the City of Fernie, as well as a community member at large. At the discretion of the AWG, the party applying may be asked to present their request at a meeting of the AWG or directly to City Council.
Here are the minutes from an earlier Resort Development Strategy Advisory Working Group meeting and the agenda for the last meeting that was held on Tuesday, February 19, 2019. Resort Development Strategy Advisory Working Group – 19 Feb 2019 – Agenda – Pdf