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Technology Grants Supporting East Kootenay Communities

The Columbia Basin Trust is distributing its final round of grants from its Community Technology Program, as seven East Kootenay communities will be getting their share of $265,893 for digital literacy programs and equipment at their public facilities.

As part of the final intake, Columbia Basin Trust is distributing nearly $480,000 to 16 projects across the Kootenays. Earlier this year, nine projects were supported to the tune of $613,535, bringing the total support from the Community Technology Program to $1.09 million for 25 various projects.

“We’re really pleased to be supporting the creation of 16 new tech-enabled spaces and these spaces will be located in public facilities like libraries, community centres and community halls where Basin residents can access the latest technologies,” Nicole MacLellan told, Manager of Delivery of Benefits with Columbia Basin Trust. “That might be 3D printers or virtual reality headsets, it might be recording and editing equipment or computers with specialized software and they’ll be able to access all of this technology for free.”

Besides the technology, computers, software and equipment, the grants will also allow the organizations to purchase new furniture to create suitable venues for the public. All of the funding is also supporting digital literacy programming at each facility to help teach residents how to utilize the technologies for the local projects in Cranbrook, Invermere, Sparwood, Elkford, ʔakisq̓nuk, Radium Hot Springs and Yahk.

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Community Technology Program (East Kootenay Projects):

  • ʔakisq̓nuk – $82,731
  • ʔakisq̓nuk First Nation – Columbia Lake Recreation Centre
    • Recording and digitization equipment
      for Indigenous language preservation
      and video production
    • Technology and software to support
      distance training, editing, language
      learning and website development
    • Digital literacy programming
  • Cranbrook – $79,212
  • Cranbrook Public Library
    • Digitization and creation station including 3-D printer and digital canvas
    • Recording and mini-film studio
    • Skills development mobile lab for digital literacy programming
    • Software such as Adobe Creative Suite
  • Invermere – $65,993
  • Invermere Public Library
    • Creation station for photo/video editing
    • Audio recording and editing station
    • Digitization station
    • Laptops and tablets
    • STEAM equipment
    • Digital literacy programming
  • Radium Hot Springs – $14,957
  • Radium Hot Springs Public Library
    • Digitization station
    • Laptops and tablets
    • Mobile charging cart
    • Projection equipment to deliver digital literacy programming
  • Sparwood – $11,900
  • Sparwood Public Library Association
    • Laptops, iPads, mobile charging cart
    • Sound system
    • Portable screen and projector to deliver
      digital literacy programming
    • Software and applications
  • Yahk – $7,473
  • Yahk Kingsgate Recreation Society – Yahk Kingsgate Community Hall
    • Digitization equipment
    • Laptop workstations
    • Videoconference equipment
    • Digital literacy programming
  • Elkford – $3,627
  • Elkford Public Library Association
    • Digitization station, including high-tech scanner, film-to-jpg converter, photo printer, software such as Photoshop
    • Digital literacy programming

“We’re just really pleased to be able to support the creation of these tech-enabled spaces and to supporting communities to really reduce digital inequalities and create greater access for residents to connect and explore and learn using the latest and greatest technologies for free in their communities,” added MacLellan.

This being the final intake of the Community Technology Program, Columbia Basin Trust is in the process of renewing its strategic priorities which could potentially lead to another round of grant funding or continuation of the program. MacLellan said they will soon begin public consultation on their strategic priorities and if access to technology remains a priority for communities through that consultation, that Columbia Basin Trust would explore an appropriate role to support that desire.

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