This release was issued under a previous government.

Communities in North Central Alberta will benefit from $115,083 in funding through the first CARES intake.

Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater MLA Colin Piquette made the announcement today on behalf of Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous.

“So much of Alberta’s economic strength and entrepreneurial drive is centered in our province’s smaller cities and towns. Every region of Alberta brings multiple strengths to our way of life, whether in energy, agriculture, forestry, mining, tourism or in other areas. Last year, we launched the two-year CARES program to help communities with limited resources and common interests tackle economic development projects that they might not be able to individually. Through these projects, local leaders are working together to grow and diversify our economy and make life better for Alberta families.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

The funding includes:

  • $46,245 to the County of Barrhead for its Business Analysis for Risk Mitigation project
  • $25,000 to the Town of Smoky Lake for the Smoky Lake Grows Entrepreneurs project
  • $21,338 to Smoky Lake County for its Tourism Operator Capacity Development project
  • $22,500 to the Town of Mayerthorpe for a Workforce Capacity and Recruitment Study

The successful projects will focus on economic diversification planning, growing and attracting new industry, developing tourism in the region and strengthening entrepreneurial capacity by delivering customized entrepreneurial supports.

“I’m delighted that our government continues to support our rural communities in northern Alberta. The communities here are extraordinarily resilient and it’s great for them to have these opportunities to strengthen and diversify our economy. I congratulate the successful applicants for the work they have put into developing these projects.”

Colin Piquette, MLA for Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater

Following the first CARES application intake in 2016, the program evaluated 88 applications from regions and communities, representing approximately $10.5 million in requested grants. These projects are among many throughout the province planned to receive support through the first intake of the CARES program.

The second intake for the CARES program will run from April 1, 2017 to May 31, 2017. Eligibility criteria and more information on how to apply are available at