Minister’s Statement on COVID-19 Support for Sport Sector

April 1, 2020 – Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, has released the following statement about immediate responses to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for B.C.’s amateur sport sector:

“Government invests more than $50 million annually to make sure everyone has opportunities to participate in and enjoy the benefits of sport.

“COVID-19 and the need for physical distancing has had a significant impact on everyone, including those in the sport sector. B.C.’s sport leaders responded quickly to the orders, direction and recommendations from the provincial health officer and cancelled tournaments, training schedules and other activities to protect people’s health. We understand this has had a significant impact on the province’s athletes, coaches, officials, sport organization staff and volunteers.

“Starting in April 2020, the Province, through viaSport, will provide provincial, disability and multi-sport organizations with the ability to access $5 million, which represents 50% of their annual 2020-21 provincial funding allocation, to provide these organizations with access to cashflow sooner.

“Sport plays a powerful role in helping people lead healthy, productive lives and contributes to the health and wellness of our communities. These measures are what we can do right away within the existing sport sector budget to help organizations during the pandemic. This is a first step and we will have more to announce regarding additional supports for the sector in the weeks ahead.”

Learn More:

ViaSport’s FAQ for provincially funded sport organizations:

Provincial support for the COVID-19 pandemic:

Supports for B.C.’s small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic:

For information and supports that are not health-related, call 1 888 COVID19 anytime between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week, or visit:

TIABC Submits Key Response and Recovery Recommendations on behalf of 35+ Sectors – Including Golf

Tourism Industry Association of BC

Today’s announcement by Government on measures to assist residents and BC businesses is generally positive. The Province unveiled its $5 billion action plan that includes direct financial support and tax relief for individuals and businesses.

It’s important to acknowledge Minister Beare, Deputy Minister Shauna Brouwer and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture for amplifying our concerns and recommendations at both the cabinet table and to the federal government. The task of determining what, for whom and how much support is required is monumental at best and sobering at worst.

As much as Government is offering today, we’re awaiting further details and will look to work with the Province on tourism and hospitality-specific measures that Minister James alluded to as part of their overall plan.

As we’ve been communicating for several days now, tourism and hospitality has been particularly hard hit by this crisis. Business closures, layoffs or reduced services are occurring daily with no end in sight until this situation is behind us.

Virtually 24/7 senior tourism leaders representing businesses, sectors, destination management organizations, communities and government are actively working together and putting actions in place to help their members and stakeholders get through each day, not to mention the days ahead.

Over the past week, TIABC solicited input from multiple stakeholders ranging from the BC Hotel Association, ABLE BC, and the BC Destination Marketing Organization Association, to the Adventure Tourism Coalition, Craft Brewers Guild, and go2HR to develop a comprehensive list of recommendations for the Province to consider to assist BC’s visitor economy. The brief was submitted on Saturday.

While it isn’t the first or last submission on behalf of BC’s tourism and hospitality sector, it does provide Government with a good foundation on which to introduce tangible actions. Importantly, over 35 sectors supported the recommendations demonstrating the strength and unity within our industry.

As mentioned, in the coming days, TIABC will be looking to work alongside our industry colleagues with Minister Beare, Minister James and other members of Government on key tourism measures that can help BC’s visitor economy immediately and for the foreseeable future.

See TIABC’s submission here.
See TIABC’s news release on today’s announcement here.
See TIABC’s website for regular updates here.
See TIABC’s COVID-19 updates for the tourism industry here.