Stettler urged to apply for Badlands tourism funding

Local municipalities that are members of the Canadian Badlands tourism region are being urged to access major funding to develop local tourism.

At its regular meeting Sept. 1, Town of Stettler was informed that Canadian Badlands Ltd. was recently granted $5 million from the Rural Alberta Development Fund to deliver $7.5 million to develop tourism through the Canadian Badlands Tourism Development Centre.

“We’ve got to make sure we get our fair share of the funding,” said Keith Ryder, executive director of Stettler Regional Board of Trade and Community Development, who was appointed last spring to the board of the Rural Alberta Development Fund.

Stettler has been selected as one of several secondary tourism destinations.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re front and centre.”

Council members agreed.

“We really need to push if we’re going to get funding,” said Councillor Leona Thorogood.

Locally, the County of Stettler, the Village of Big Valley and the Village of Halkirk are also members of Canadian Badlands Ltd.

This one-time grant has been designated for 17 programs which include grant writing, a community assessment tool kit, developing the workforce and customer quality initiatives education, small to medium business incubators for tourism businesses and artists, tourism master planning, area development plans and an update of a study in 1990 called the Red Deer River Valley Scenic Route.

To deliver these programs, Badlands will hire two regional development specialists, a grant writer and contracting a number of consultants.

Cemetery appears respectable

Council questioned a concern raised by a local resident about the unsightly appearance of Lake View Cemetery.

Both town manager Rob Stoutenberg and Acting Mayor Redford Peeples toured the cemetery and reported that the grounds were not unsightly as stated in a letter signed by Betty King that also appeared in the Stettler Independent on Sept. 2.

“I thought it is very well kept,” said Peeples.

He noted that while visiting the cemetery, he met some people from Ponoka who commented to him that they were very pleased with the condition of the cemetery.