By Breanne Massey

Pioneer Staff

District of Invermere mayor Gerry Taft informed the Multi-Use Facility Advisory Committee there would be two substantial cash injections to help with the projected cost of the Columbia Valley Centre early last week.

The Strategic Priorities Fund, which is administered through the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), has agreed to provide a $2 million grant for the Columbia Valley Community Facility, which will be constructed at the old location of the David Thompson Secondary School that was knocked down more than a year ago. The Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) will also be providing a $500,000 grant.

Were very happy to announce that weve been successful in receiving two grants, Mr. Taft told the Multi-Use Facility Advisory Committee at a Tuesday, April 5th special meeting in District of Invermere council chambers. (The) one is from the CBT was the full ask and there is potentially an opportunity that we may see some more money from CBT, but that is the full amount that were looking at right now when we actually break ground, there will be some more formal announcements, but we thought it was important to let the advisory committee know where were at.

Mr. Taft added that initially they had hoped these grants would mark the end of the fundraising efforts for the new Columbia Valley-wide community centre, but in light of the tender process this may not be the case.

We received six compliant tenders and unfortunately they were all above budget, continued Mr. Taft, noting the bids on the tender for the project came in between 35 and 40 per cent higher than the estimate provided by the Shape Architecture principal architect Alec Smith.

The fundraising committee for the Columbia Valley Centre will be working towards reaching the $8.5 million total cost of the project through a series of fundraisers to acquire items such as improvements for the library, theatre style seating, curtains and lighting, audio-visual equipment, room partitions, a sound system and items for the kitchen.

In addition, Invermere events co-ordinator Theresa Wood updated the Multi-Use Facility Advisory Committee that the Duelling Pianos fundraiser held at the Invermere Community Hall on Saturday, April 2nd raised $5,233.17 after expenses were paid. All of the money raised at the Duelling Pianos event will be put towards the new library, which will be housed in the new Columbia Valley Centre.

There were a lot of great donations from the community last weekend, said Ms. Wood, while providing the final report of the Duelling Pianos event to the group.

Invermere chief administrative officer Chris Prosser is reviewing the tenders and has roughly a fortnight to negotiate a price with one of the bidders before mid-April. If an agreement cant be met, the communitys next steps may need to be re-evaluated, Mr. Prosser explained to the Multi-Use Facility Advisory Committee, which means its possible the worst case scenario would be to postpone the projects anticipated Spring 2016 start.

For more information about the Columbia Valley Community Facility, visit