Design of the new Castlegar Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre building. Image: Cover Architectural Collaborative Inc.

Design of the new Castlegar Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre building. Image: Cover Architectural Collaborative Inc.

Castlegar Chamber to build $5 million multi-use building

Funding from federal and provincial governments make project possible

A huge funding announcement means that the Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce (CDCC) will finally be able to move ahead with plans for a new building.

CDCC has been developing plans for their dream building for more than eight years now and executive director Tammy Verigin-Burk is thrilled to see all of the hard work come to fruition.

The building will serve as a hub for tourism and economic development. Besides the chamber, the 7,000-square-foot building will house the Visitor Centre, Economic Development office, a satellite branch of Community Futures and Destination Castlegar. It will also include co-working spaces and a large collective space for community events or gatherings, tech charging stations, office spaces for rent and will also be accessible for public use.

The new L-shaped building will be built on the same property as the chamber’s current building. Outdoor park space will be included on the property.

Castlegar’s acting mayor Dan Rye says it is fantastic to see the culmination of so many years of work.

“It’s a really exciting project,” said Rye. “It is good news for the community and will help keep people working in the community. It is a win-win for the entire region.”

The new building will be built to Passive House certified building standards — a leading standard for low-energy efficient buildings.

To meet the standard, construction uses the passive influences in a building — like sunshine, shading and ventilation — instead of heating and cooling systems, coupled with very high levels of insulation and airtightness.

Construction is expected to begin in spring of 2022.

Burke says another exciting feature of the building will be the materials it is constructed with. CDCC is working with Kalesnikoff Lumber to include locally manufactured mass timber products in the building.

Architecture work for the project has also been kept local. Cover Architectural Collaborative out of Nelson has been working with CDCC on the project for more than five years.

The Government of Canada is contributing $1.4 million to the project, $924,000 will come from the province and the remaining $2.7 million will be covered by the Chamber of Commerce.

The funding comes as part of the CleanBC Communities Fund, which is a partnership between the federal and provincial governments. Together, they have committed more than $110 million to the first and second intakes of the fund.

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