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Shuswap Tourism clarifies no favouritism to Sled Sicamous

Misinformation presented by Hunters Range at Enderby council snowballed
Shuswap Tourism sets the record straight after being wrongly accused of pulling financial support from regional snowmobile clubs and focussing solely on a Sled Sicamous advertising campaign. (Shuswap Tourism photo)

Shuswap Tourism is setting the record straight after a funding request submitted to Enderby council contained some misinformation.

In a letter at the June 3 meeting, the Hunters Range Snowmobile Association (HRSA) requested $2,500 to continue participating in an advertising campaign with Let’s Ride BC, which Shuswap Tourism had allegedly covered for area clubs in the past.

“Shuswap Tourism is no longer supporting Enderby, Salmon Arm or Revelstoke with a Let’s Ride BC partnership, as they have decided to create their own marketing campaign for the Eagle Valley Snowmobile Club (EVSC) in Sicamous only,” club administrator Kyra Evans said in the letter.

Shuswap Tourism manager Morgen Matheson, however, stated that is not the case whatsoever, least of which is because Revelstoke was never involved.

In 2021, Shuswap Tourism, Explore Sicamous Tourism and the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society formed a partnership to help winter tourism recover from the impact of COVID. Together they entered into a three-way consortium with Let’s Ride BC to create a marketing campaign called Let’s Ride Shuswap that included all three clubs in the region – Sled Sicamous (EVSC), Salmon Arm Snowblazers and Hunters.

That partnership continued for two years, until the BC Snowmobile Federation, which manages Let’s Ride BC, decided to re-brand and have all the regional consortiums under the single provincial banner.

At that point, the local partnership was no longer seeing the value of their investment and decided to withdraw.

“As a collective, we decided to pull funding because… for us the value wasn’t completely there,” Matheson explained. “And we felt that it was better to re-evaluate how to support them [clubs] in other ways.”

She did, however, say that they saw, and continue to see, the value of sledding in the Shuswap.

“There is tremendous value in supporting our sledding groups and organizations,” she added. “I mean, we all know the tourism value of these groups and we are here to support them as they need.”

In an email to the Observer, Evans said she was under the impression from the EVSC that Shuswap Tourism was going to continue supporting the Sicamous club in the Let’s Ride BC initiative. When asked for clarification, club general manager Steve Horton explained Shuswap Tourism had pulled out of that program, but Sicamous Tourism supported the club’s membership last year and is in discussion to do so again this year. That is completely independent of the consortium, with Sicamous Tourism coordinated by Carly Procyshyn through the district’s Economic Development Corporation.

“Yes, I sponsor Sled Sicamous with their marketing and event efforts throughout the year,” Procyshyn confirmed. “Part of that funding is helping to cover their membership to Let’s Ride BC.”

Matheson confirmed that is an individual initiative.

“There’s no financial support going towards any of the clubs right now, because for us [the consortium] it’s kind of an all or nothing kind of thing because you can’t necessarily support one and not another,” she said, but added that any of the three are completely within their rights to offer funding on behalf of their organization alone.

Additionally, she has since reached out to Hunters Range to explain the situation and continue to offer what assistance she can.

“I’m here to support the clubs however they need supporting, as best as I can.”

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About the Author: Heather Black

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