CBT Board of Directors meeting open to residents of Valemount

Courtney Rupertus

On Friday, May 27 at 4 pm, the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) held their Annual Board of Directors meeting at the Best Western. The public was invited to take in the presentations and ask questions of the board members.

Neil Muth, President and CEO of the Columbia Basin Trust, as well as Rick Jensen, the Board Chair were present at the meeting.

Along with the other CBT board members sat Mayor Jeannette Townsend and Village Councillor Owen Torgerson, as well as presenters Silvio Gislimberti, Craig Pryor, and Curtis Pawliuk.

The CBT’s core function is to invest capital and manage assets of the trust and deliver benefits to those residing within the Basin.

Silvio Gislimberti, Valemount’s Economic Development Officer, brought the first presentation forward. Gislimberti updated and explained the current plans for the Valemount Glacier Destination Resort (VGD). The CBT was excited to hear about this amazing tourism opportunity, as well as how much community support and engagement the project has been fostering.

Gislimberti also explained how much the snowmobiling industry has elevated tourism in the winter months, ensuring that the local hotels and accommodations are able to stay open throughout the year now.

The next presenter was Craig Pryor, Manager of the Valemount Community Forest (VCF). The main focal point of his presentation was to share details about the Valemount Industrial Park that was purchased with a $200,000 grant from the CBT.

Since the purchase of the industrial park, VCF has upgraded the water system, weigh scale, office building, and are going to perform a full power audit to ensure a safe environment.

Pryor noted that Valemount is in the process of rebuilding their manufacturing industry and they have potential tenants lined up for the industrial park.

The VCF also updated the board on the work they are doing for the VGD, as well as the Memorandum of Understanding with Borealis Geothermal.

The one resounding comment was that the CBT was impressed by the scope of work already done and what the VCF had planned for the future.

Lastly, Curtis Pawliuk, General Manager of VARDA (Valemount and Area Recreation Development Association) was there to present the latest progress that they’ve made in the community.

Before delving into the more pressing news about the mountain bike park, Pawliuk reviewed the last big accomplishment – the snowmobile assisted ski hill, the first of its kind – which he says would not have been possible without funding from the CBT.

More presently, the Valemount Bike Park is drawing a lot of attention, including 1,000 visitors to their main trail, Tinfoil Hat, already this season.

The new trail style and infrastructure are making the sport far more accessible to all levels. VARDA has another three trails to create this season.

Pawliuk also told the board members that VARDA has a new, permanent home. They plan to refurbish the building and move in around September.

To conclude, the CBT had nothing but good things to say about the enthusiasm, passion, and drive that the presenters showcased on behalf of the village.