The Lift Cowork ~ Expressions of Interest for Pre-memberships

The Silverton Cowork Society recently formed to create and manage the future Lift cowork in the the old Silverton General Store building at 222 Lake Ave.

The space will utilize 1000 square feet for a shared office, board room, small kitchen and lounge space. The Lift will provide workshops, training and networking opportunities to members. We hope to become the home for non-profits, entrepreneurs, online gurus, students, etc. by fostering networking and growth. We also aim to welcome new residents into our community by providing information on local businesses, non-profits, services and events.

Please fill out this form as an expression of interest if you are likely to use the space as a local individual, organization or tourist. This will be critical to accessing grant funding and getting our doors open!

Slocan Valley business receives funding to build batteries for clean energy vehicles

Eagle Graphite will receive $290,000 to further develop B.C.’s clean energy vehicle (CEV) sector, create jobs and support low-carbon innovation.

“Under our CleanBC plan, we are building a low-carbon economy that will reduce climate pollution and create good jobs across our province,” said Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and MLA for Nelson-Creston.

“To get there faster, we are supporting innovative companies like Eagle Graphite to develop made-in-B.C. technology that will put us on the path to a cleaner, better future.”

Eagle Graphite will produce silicon/graphite battery anodes using its quarry in Passmore. This project has the potential to establish B.C. as a global leader in anode production, as well as bringing new jobs to the Kootenays, a government news release said.

Eagle Graphite is one of five B.C. companies receiving a total of $1,190,856 through the province’s advanced research and commercialization (ARC) Program for the CEV sector.

“We’re excited to have our advanced lithium-ion graphite development selected for support under the advanced research and commercialization program,” said Jamie Deith, president and CEO of Eagle Graphite.

“Although transition to a sustainable energy economy is still in its infancy, this will be the change that defines our time. Investments made today will determine who prospers in the new economy and who will fall victim to obsolescence.”

The ARC Program is part of the government’s CleanBC plan. CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. CleanBC was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus and supports the commitment in the confidence and supply agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.


Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Program Funding

Wondering how your community will be determining how funds are distributed?

Here is a complete list including New Denver, Silverton, Slocan and Area H.


Dot Day in Winlaw is Saturday April 6, 2019 from 1-3 pm at Winlaw Hall.

The Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Programs (CIP/AAP) are intended to be flexible and incorporate community-based funding decisions. The programs support local projects that provide additional value to Basin communities, and that benefit the broad community and public good. Program funds are distributed annually to the Trust’s local government partners: the regional districts of East Kootenay, Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary, the City of Revelstoke, Town of Golden, Village of Valemount, and to our Indigenous partners: Ɂaq’am, Ɂakisq’nuk, Lower Kootenay (Yaqan nuɁkiy), Tobacco Plains Indian Band (Ɂakink’umŧasnuqŧiɁit) and the Shuswap Indian Band.


Improved high-speed internet is on the way in the Slocan Valley!

Improved high-speed internet is on the way for 26 communities in the Kootenays, bringing people opportunities to learn, connect and better expand their businesses.

* Communities benefiting from this work include Appledale, Brouse, Crescent Valley, Hills, Lebahdo, Lemon Creek, Nakusp, New Denver, Passmore, Perrys, Playmor Junction, Rosebery, Shoreholme, Silverton, Slocan, Slocan Park, South Slocan, Summit Lake, Vallican and Winlaw and in the east Kootenay... improve services for people in Tobacco Plains, Baynes Lake, Grasmere, Jaffray, Kragmont and Roosville.

Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation (CBBC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Basin Trust, is receiving $4.8 million in provincial funds for two new projects to improve broadband access in rural areas.

"In today's digital age, the internet is part of the foundation for growing good-paying jobs, learning, healthcare and keeping in touch. Our government is committed to a future where everyone in B.C. has access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet," said Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens' Services. "We have incredible tools and resources available to help rural and Indigenous communities form their own digital strategy so they can come forward with applications."

Budget 2019 includes more opportunities to deliver better services to B.C. communities with $50 million in additional new funds to expand access to high-speed internet, the largest provincial commitment to connectivity ever made. Local governments, non-profits, community internet service providers and others will continue to have opportunities to access grants to connect British Columbians with high-speed internet.

CBBC will install fibre-optic infrastructure for the two new projects announced today in the Slocan Valley and to just outside Nakusp, and the South Country near Jaffray. New fibre-optic lines will enable internet service providers to offer faster and more reliable services to people throughout the region.

"The Kootenays are a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family. Bringing high-speed internet to our rural communities ensures people in the region can enjoy the benefits of a rural lifestyle without sacrificing access to modern services," said Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West. "These projects will improve the quality of life for many residents living in more remote locations."

"Residents have told us that increasing high-speed internet connectivity throughout the region is important to them," said Johnny Strilaeff, president and CEO, Columbia Basin Trust. "Our partnership with the Province and local governments will expand affordable broadband availability in the Slocan Valley and South Country area. With a new fibre backbone in place, local internet service providers can greatly improve service to more residents in both areas."

Since July 2017, several Connecting British Columbia projects to improve high-speed internet access are underway or completed, benefiting 443 communities - including 75 Indigenous communities.

Quick Facts:

* The Slocan Valley project will see CBBC install 125 kilometres of fibre-optic infrastructure to service the region between Shoreholme, just north of Nakusp, and the Playmor Junction, at an estimated total cost of $7.2 million.
* Communities benefiting from this work include Appledale, Brouse, Crescent Valley, Hills, Lebahdo, Lemon Creek, Nakusp, New Denver, Passmore, Perrys, Playmor Junction, Rosebery, Shoreholme, Silverton, Slocan, Slocan Park, South Slocan, Summit Lake, Vallican and Winlaw.

* The South Country project involves more than 50 kilometres of fibre-optic infrastructure installed between Jaffray and Roosville at an estimated total cost of $2.9 million.
* This project will help improve services for people in Tobacco Plains, Baynes Lake, Grasmere, Jaffray, Kragmont and Roosville.

* The total value of the Slocan Valley and the South Country projects is approximately $10.2 million and includes $4.4 million from CBBC, $420,000 from the Regional District of East Kootenay and $525,000 from the Regional District of Central Kootenay and communities in the Slocan Valley and Nakusp.

* These two projects are funded through the Connecting British Columbia intake announced in 2018 and are administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust.

Learn More:

Province makes historic investment in rural internet service

CBBC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Columbia Basin Trust created to improve high-speed internet access for people in southeast communities:

Northern Development Initiative Trust administers the Connecting British Columbia program:

BC Government Release - CASTLEGAR March  22/19

Slocan Valley Economic Development update

The following update from Ron LeBlanc, Slocan Valley Economic Development Coordinator, was originally published in the Valley Voice on March 14, 2019.

Valley residents often ask me about my new role of Slocan Valley Economic Development Coordinator.  What does that mean? What is it I do, exactly? Good questions! I usually reply, “A bit of everything” with a smile.  From my perspective, everything is economic development, and economic development affects pretty much everything in valley life.

Small towns and rural areas often get hung up on how to attract big industry or tons of tourists that will create jobs and provide taxes to support local governments. It can be like trying to summon the hero to save the day or hoping the genie will appear out of the bottle. Sometimes magic happens and sometimes it also has consequences. Frankly, times have changed, and so have we. Many of us today operate in the gig economy of contract work, home-based businesses and the wearing of many hats.

We've learned lessons along the way. Many resource-based regions like the Slocan Valley have experienced the legacy left behind after the big company packs up and leaves. We've seen what too much or inappropriate tourism can do to the charm of a place.

These days, when we talk about economic development we keep in mind phrases like “appropriate development” and “community-based approach” when describing it. We first consult with a community and together explore how to encourage its most resilient, healthy and thriving self. We think in terms of people’s livelihood and quality of life, not just jobs. It's a nudge, not a shove.

We are in a curious position here in the valley where the underground Cannabis economy has for decades directly or indirectly supported the way of life for much of the community. The industry is changing now and I know that can feel pretty uncomfortable for some of the people affected. There's no standing still and no going back from here.  The best approach might be to see the opportunity that this budding industry represents. It's a good time for people to stretch,  rise to the challenge that legalization represents and  find a path within it, or discover new ways to explore one's passion and express it in work.

There are fine people out there working on ways to best support the valley during this transition. These things take time though, and we're all just trying to figure it out as the situation evolves.

There are some pretty exciting initiatives coming down the pike in tourism, technology, agriculture, affordable housing and with businesses and the Slocan Chamber of Commerce. Mayors, councils and village staff of Slocan, Silverton and New Denver, as well as their counterparts in RDCK Area H, are all working hard on a variety of exciting projects. In fact, Economic Development is one of their shared projects, and my role as Coordinator exists because of that collaboration and cooperation, along with involvement from the Slocan Valley Economic Development Commission. Watch this space in the Valley Voice for regular updates on economic development in our valley as they continue to unfold.