Message from the Minister and
The 2006/07–2008/09 Service Plan is a comprehensive strategy for moving forward to maximize the social and economic benefits of three important sectors of our provincial economy: tourism, sport and the arts. The plan also outlines how the ministry will support the Government of British Columbia’s Five Great Goals and strategic cross ministry initiatives.
Our government has already doubled tourism marketing funds, enhanced BC Arts Council funding, and contributed to the expansion of the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre. This initiative alone is expected to boost our provincial economy by $107 million annually. Clearly, we have already begun to lay a strong foundation for growth in an ever-changing global environment.
The 2006/07–2008/09 Service Plan sets out several important initiatives to enhance tourism, including implementation of a cross ministry Charter for Tourism Growth, and long term planning to leverage the benefits of hosting the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. With focused investment and a comprehensive plan, we can take concerted actions to lay the foundation for industry to double tourism revenues by 2015.
We will work closely with our province’s First Nations, the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and other agencies to lay out new opportunities for First Nations in tourism, sport, resorts, recreation, arts and culture.
We will also plan for BC2008 — a celebration to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the colony of British Columbia. This series of province-wide events and programs will provide not only a focus for enhanced tourism but also will create new opportunities for our Aboriginal people to share their history and role in the development of our province.
We will continue the work of implementing the British Columbia Resort Strategy and Action Plan. We will remove obstacles and barriers to development by improving policies and coordinating processes with local governments. This will support and foster new investments, ensuring a vibrant and sustainable resort and outdoor adventure recreation sector, which is so vital to many of our rural communities.
Winning the bid for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games has opened the door for new opportunities in hosting international sport. British Columbia is already lined up to host several major events including the 2007 World Youth Soccer Championships, the 2008 North American Indigenous Games, and the 2009 World Police and Fire Games. We must build on this momentum to solidify our growing reputation as one of the world’s premier locations for hosting sport, to ensure these benefits will continue beyond 2010.
Critical to our sport hosting capacity are our province’s volunteers. With 845,000 citizens filling 1.5 million volunteer positions, B.C. boasts a very strong volunteer force. Their contribution to British Columbians’ quality of life and to our arts, culture and amateur sport sectors is immeasurable. It is this ministry’s commitment to recognize and build the capacity of that force.
In 2006/07–2008/09, we will develop an arts, culture and heritage strategy to foster the growth of B.C.’s creative economy, celebrate our heritage and cultural diversity, and create stronger linkages to tourism. This includes exploring options to support the development of new infrastructure in sport, arts and culture. We will also work to ensure that our film production industry — the third-largest in North America — remains as strong and competitive as ever.
Our provincial forests draw more than 40 million visits each year. In coming years we will make targeted improvements to our recreational sites and trails to support tourism and improved health and fitness for all British Columbians. We will work with other ministries and agencies to support our government’s ActNow BC initiative, so that British Columbians will lead the way in healthy living and physical activity, supporting government’s goal of improving fitness levels by 20 per cent by 2010.
We will provide guidance and support to the seven Crown corporations and agencies that are accountable to our ministry, including the Royal BC Museum Corporation and Tourism BC.
The Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts 2006/07–2008/09 Service Plan was prepared under my direction in accordance with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. I am accountable for the basis on which the plan has been prepared. All material fiscal assumptions and policy decisions as of February 14, 2006 have been considered in preparing the plan and I am accountable for achieving the specific objectives in the plan.
Honourable Olga Ilich
Minister of Tourism, Sport and the Arts
February 14, 2006