SITE PREP Construction on the new Columbia Valley Centre has officially begun, with an expected completion date of spring 2017. Photo by Eric Elliott

SITE PREP Construction on the new Columbia Valley Centre has officially begun, with an expected completion date of spring 2017. Photo by Eric Elliott

On Friday, May 20th, work began on the new community centre in Invermere. Once completed, the new facility will be able to accommodate functions and small conventions of up to 500 people; house the Invermere Public Library; and provide a gathering place for residents. The building is projected to open to the public in fall 2017, replacing the previous Community Hall which first opened in 1946.

The $7.9 million project will receive $2 million through the federal Gas Tax Fund. In addition, the Columbia Basin Trust will provide $500,000; the Regional District of East Kootenay $625,000 over five years; and the District of Invermere will provide approximately $4.8 million.

“The new multi-use centre is going to be an incredible and long term asset and community gathering place for Invermere and the Columbia Valley,” said District of Invermere mayor Gerry Taft. “The new space is going to replace aging structures and expand the size and quality of everything from community dinners, to arts and culture performances, to expanding our potential to host banquets and conventions. Without this funding it would be almost impossible to make this building a reality. As a community hub and an economic driver, this facility will be a game changer for Invermere.”

“(Friday’s) announcement represents a significant investment in infrastructure for Invermere. Through construction of a new community facility to replace the old Community Hall, we are supporting this municipalitys need for increased capacity for functions and conventions, while also providing space for the local library.

This project will have a positive and lasting impact on the quality of life for area residents. Investments like this create jobs, encourage economic growth and provide a gathering place for citizens,” said Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Peter Fassbender.

Each year, the Government of Canada provides over $253 million in indexed funding for local governments. It funds infrastructure projects across British Columbia through the federal Gas Tax Fund. The funding can be spent on any eligible project the community prioritizes across a broad range of eligible project categories; or it can be pooled with other communities for regional projects, banked for later priorities or used to pay for financed projects.

Investing in our communities is not only about creating good jobs and encouraging clean economic growth. It is also about building stronger communities. Through the federal Gas Tax Fund, the Government of Canada is allowing communities in British Columbia, and all across Canada, to make informed decisions about their infrastructure investments. It is thanks to projects like the new community centre in Invermere that Canadian communities will remain among the best places in the world to live, work and raise a family,” said. Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi.

The Union of BC Municipalities administers the Federal Gas Tax Fund in British Columbia in partnership with the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

This project demonstrates the benefits to communities when different levels of government work together to upgrade aging infrastructure. Invermeres new community centre will benefit residents across the region. I appreciate the support provided by the Government of Canada and the Columbia Basin Trust to help make it a reality,” said Union of B.C. Municipalities president Al Richmond.

To learn more about Canadas new infrastructure plan:

To learn more about the federal Gas Tax Fund visit:

For more information about Government of Canada investments in British Columbia, visit: