Minister Ambrose with Jon Close, Executive Director for Community Futures Alberta, and Harry Prummel, Community Futures Alberta Chair
Minister Ambrose announced a federal investment of $4.5 million through Western Economic Diversification Canada to help communities in Alberta further diversify and develop their regions’ economies. Minister Ambrose made the announcement today during a video conference with Community Futures Alberta and the 27 Community Futures organizations around the province.
“Today’s investment will enable rural Alberta communities to take advantage of local opportunities to further diversify and develop their economies,” said Minister Ambrose. “The Government of Canada is proud to support rural communities in leveraging their collective strengths and resources to create a stronger and more sustainable western Canadian economy.”
The Community Futures Rural Diversification Initiative will provide funds to Community Futures offices for rural diversification projects that include activities such as promoting new technologies, products and services; adding value to traditional industries; developing new markets; and supporting initiatives that enhance productivity for industry.
Local Community Futures offices will identify and develop the projects and will be eligible to receive the funds through Community Futures Alberta, which provides support and leadership to the 27-member Community Futures offices. Forty per cent of funding for each project will come from other sources to allow for industry and community partnership in the initiative.
In expressing appreciation to the Government of Canada and Western Economic Diversification, Harry Prummel, Chair of Community Futures Alberta said “today’s announcement will further enhance the capacity of Alberta Community Futures organizations to continue to work on a grass-roots basis to identify and develop projects that will have potential to make a significant impact on our local rural communities.”
Community Futures offices take a grassroots approach to community and economic development outside major cities. Each of the 90 Community Futures across Western Canada delivers a variety of services, ranging from strategic economic planning, technical and advisory services, loans to small- and medium-sized businesses, self-employment assistance programs and services targeted to youth and entrepreneurs with disabilities.
Community Futures, funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada, are non-profit organizations guided by a volunteer board of directors and staffed with business professionals who work with local communities and their agencies and organizations to develop long-term community economic development strategies and plans, and promote the region and its economic opportunities.