Investment for Enhanced Snowmobiling Experience
KENORA – The Ontario government is allocating $76,823 to the Sunset Trail Riders Snowmobile Club in Kenora through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC). This funding aims to prolong the snowmobiling season, contributing to the growth of travel and tourism in Northwestern Ontario.
Extended Season for Snowmobilers
Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and MPP for Kenora-Rainy River, highlighted the significance of this investment. “Nearly $77,000 from our government allows the Sunset Trail Riders Snowmobile Club to groom trails earlier and later in the season. This not only extends the snowmobiling season for locals and tourists but also bolsters tourism and economic development in Kenora,” he stated.
Club Enhancements and Economic Impacts
The non-profit Sunset Trail Riders Snowmobile Club, responsible for maintaining 623 kilometres of groomed trails, will use the NOHFC funds to acquire new equipment and upgrade their storage facility. These improvements will enable the club to safely groom trails with just 10 inches of ice, compared to the 16 inches currently required. This change is anticipated to add approximately two weeks to the region’s snowmobiling season.
Rick Vincent, Director, and Connie Gilbertson, Volunteer of the club, expressed their enthusiasm. “The new lightweight grooming equipment requiring only 10 inches of ice will allow for earlier trail preparation, extending the snowmobile and winter tourism season. This aligns with the City of Kenora’s five-year economic development and tourism strategy and is expected to yield significant benefits, thanks to the provincial government’s support.”
NOHFC’s Role in Northern Development
The NOHFC is dedicated to fostering economic growth across Northern Ontario by funding various projects that encourage job creation and skill development. Since June 2018, the fund has invested over $717 million in 5,875 projects, generating more than $2.3 billion in investment and supporting over 9,260 jobs.
The Ontario government has launched improved NOHFC programs to better support rural northern communities, easing application processes and focusing on market development, Indigenous employment, and addressing the skilled labor shortage in the North.