Grant applications now being accepted to revitalize downtown storefronts

Campbell River’s Downtown Façade Improvement Program lead to the underwater mural on the Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences building.

And city officials are looking forward to what downtown businesses will come up with from this year’s round of downtown facade grant applications.

For a third year, the city is providing a façade improvement program to help revitalize and attract more people and businesses to the downtown core. This program will provide grants for property owners to refresh the look of buildings with storefront improvements.

Grants of up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs – to a $10,000 maximum – are available for commercial storefronts, restaurants, and offices located within a special revitalization area of downtown Campbell River. See attached map for specific locations.

“A highlight of last year’s program was the Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences receiving a grant for the Discovery Passage mural an eye-catching addition to downtown,” says Amber Zirnhelt, the city’s manager of community planning and development services. “The City is looking forward to another successful program in 2016.”

Grant applications will be accepted starting April 4, and the program will continue to be open while funds remain. Applications will be reviewed by a committee consisting of members of the Chamber of Commerce, Campbell River Arts Council, the City’s Advisory Planning and Environment and Community Services, Recreation and Culture commissions and City staff.

The city has a pattern book available for applicants with visual examples of the types of façade improvements the program supports. City staff will be working with applicants to provide advice on how best to make their project fit with the program guidelines. The program encourages improvement to exterior architectural and decorative details, windows and window openings, exterior lighting and façade painting to name a few.

“With each new project supported by the Downtown Façade Improvement Program our downtown is becoming a more attractive, more vibrant place to shop and visit. This program creates a positive cycle that attracts more people to the area, encourage more businesses to upgrade their storefronts, and contribute to a healthy local economy,” says Councillor Colleen Evans.

Application packages are available at City Hall or online at www.campbellriver.ca. Go to Planning, Building & Development/ Downtown Revitalization/ Façade Improvement. For questions, detailed information, or to discuss a project’s eligibility, please contact the Community Planning and Development Services Department at 250-286-5725 or email planning@campbellriver.ca