by Andru McCracken

The Village of McBride has been awarded $92,014 from the Rural Dividend Program to complete a McBride Tourism Master Plan.

Chief Administrative Officer Sheila McCutcheon said that since its founding in 1913 as a railway town, McBride has been predominantly dependent on a resource-based economy.

“As many BC rural communities, McBride has been struggling to recover from the 2008 recession and downturn in the forestry sector,” said McCutcheon.

“McBride, although a resilient community, has not experienced the re-establishment of industry. This has necessitated a shift towards economic diversification and building on tourism strengths that have yet to be capitalized on.”

McCutcheon said a Tourism Master Plan will let McBride profit on its proximity to mountains, trail systems, its historic connection to the Fraser River and foundation as a historic railway town. She said the community has always factored into regional tourism plans.

“The Tourism Master plan will provide strategic direction to McBride’s growing tourism industry, promoting its many tourism assets,” said McCutcheon.

Village of McBride Mayor, Gene Runtz, says McBride is the best kept secret. “This is huge for us and will open up many other opportunities.”

Village Councillor Rosemary Hruby said the funding will facilitate collaboration between tourism stakeholders.

“We are absolutely delighted to receive funding through the Rural Development grant to develop a McBride Tourism Master Plan,” she said.

She said it will help the community create a made-for-McBride tourism strategy that identifies, develops and supports their growing tourism economy.

“We all know what a jewel we live in, and the development of the Master Plan will ensure that we are ready to invite the rest of the world to enjoy it as well,” she said.