Home Business & Economy Port Renfrew visitor centre has been popular this summer


Port Renfrew visitor centre has been popular this summer

Two years later - rural economic recovery footprint in Port Renfrew.

Thursday September 14, 2023 | PORT RENFREW, BC [Updated September 15, 2023]

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

As summer winds down, there was evidence of economic recovery success as a result of BC government post-pandemic funding to rural and remote area projects.

This week local MLA Ravi Parmar (Langford-Juan de Fuca) posted in social media about the mobile visitor centre at Port Renfrew, with a photo from when he last visited. He says it’s been a ‘go to’ spot for tourists all summer, located next to the gas station. Setup of the centre was funded two years ago, in 2021.

ravi parmar, port renfrew, worklink
Ravi Parmar at the Port Renfrew Visitor Information Centre. [As posted on X/Twitter, Sept 12, 2023]

With $280,000 in funds issued in 2021 to WorkLink Employment Centre for the mobile information centre at Port Renfrew, the result was a trailer, renovations, landscaping and other services to get the mobile centre launched. WorkLink has administrative offices in the west shore (Colwood/Langford) and Sooke. The centre officially opened in May 2022.

The Port Renfrew Visitor Centre is only open seasonally during the summer, usually May through September/October.

port renfrew, visitor centre
Port Renfrew Visitor Centre (June 2023 photo)

38 rural projects:

Back in February 2021 it was announced that as part of BC’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, grants totalling $20 million for 38 rural projects had been approved. The response also includes StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, which protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.

back to school, monk, creativity

Rural Economic Recovery (RER) program grants was intended to support communities recovering from the economic impacts of COVID-19 and build their economies for the future.

  • The Port Renfrew Visitor Centre was one of those rural projects supported by a RER grant.
  • Also in the Port Renfrew area, the Pacheedaht First Nation received $992,589 for campground expansion, to add serviced and unserviced camp sites, service additional sites, washroom facilities and parking, and to improve access.

Vancouver Island:

In total, 13 projects on Vancouver Island/Coast received funding, including:

  • Town of Comox ($1 million) for construction of indoor and outdoor commercial and retail space at the Comox marina
  • Malahat First Nation ($999,281) for a business park infrastructure expansion
  • Salt Spring Abattoir Society ($222,525) to expand processing capacity to support farmers and meet demand for local meat
MapleLine Business Centre, printing, west shore

Part of larger restart fund:

The RER funding is part of $100 million of restart money administered through the provincially funded Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP). CERIP provides fully funded provincial grants to support economic resilience, tourism, heritage and urban and rural economic development projects in communities impacted by COVID-19.



We take a socioeconomic look at things going on around Vancouver Island, the province of BC, and across Canada. Daily posts online since mid-2020 at IslandSocialTrends.ca and previously in print as West Shore Voice News (2014-2020), and before that Sooke Voice News (2011-2013) and MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010). | Get our curated news digest by email as a Premium Subscriber.