The Similkameen Country Development Association runs the Information Centre in Keremeos as part of their work to promote tourism and local businesses. (Submitted)

The Similkameen Country Development Association runs the Information Centre in Keremeos as part of their work to promote tourism and local businesses. (Submitted)

Similkameen Country looking for new members

The association has had a challenging and busy year

After a challenging year, the Similkameen Country Development Association is looking to stay busy.

Despite challenges, the SCDA held multiple events including Canada Day, Christmas Light-Up parade, the Community Market in Pocket Park in Keremeos, and now the return of the Similkameen Sizzle.

The SCDA is a non-profit society run by a volunteer board of directors elected from the Society’s members, whose purpose is to increase awareness of the region, highlight tourism assets and business opportunities, maintain Chamber of Commerce services and provide tourism and information services to the South Similkameen.

READ MORE: Almost time for Sizzle Fest in Keremeos

In 2022, the organization saw numerous staff and director changes. Vanessa Schwoegler-Abbott was hired to administer the society’s business, oversee the operations of the Chamber of Commerce as well as the Keremeos Visitor Information Centre.

The SCDA receives funding from Destination BC, the Village of Keremeos and the Regional District’s Areas B and G, Cawston and Rural Keremeos, to operate the info centre and to encourage development of the local tourism industry.

The new team has been working to establish updated and transparent procedures, to increase confidence and trust of our funders, members and community members, and to become more visible and accessible with electronic communications and promotion.

Recently, the SCDA was awarded grant funds to hire a grant writer, to seek additional funding to support core and new activities for members.

The SCDA is holding its annual general meeting on Oc. 3, and is currently looking for new members interested in joining the SDCA Society and for new directors to serve on its board. The more members who join and provide feedback, the better the association can represent the region’s businesses and tourism interests.

Members of the Chamber of Commerce are automatically members of the society, but anyone interested in supporting tourism, local events and visitor services are also invited to join.

Some behind the scenes projects that are currently underway include establishing consistent policies and procedures, consistent Board governance practices, file systems that remain in office as volunteer board members come and go, volunteer recruitment and retention for board, events and activities, and updating important documents.

To stay connected with the SDCA, you can go to their Facebook page @SimilkameenCountry), Instagram (@Similkameen_Country) and or visit the Similkameen Country Visitor Centre in Keremeos during their open hours. Ideas or questions are always welcome.

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