Columbia Basin Trust extends funding to Avalanche Canada

Columbia Basin Trust commits $450,000 in funding to Avalanche Canada over next three years.

A member of Avalanche Canada’s South Rockies Field Team helps keep backcountry users safe.

A member of Avalanche Canada’s South Rockies Field Team helps keep backcountry users safe.

The Columbia Basin Trust has extended its funding to Avalanche Canada, committing $450,000 to the organization over the next three years.

“We’re blessed with beautiful mountains here in the Basin, which means we have to be smart when we play out there in the winter,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Columbia Basin Trust President and Chief Executive Officer, in a news relief. “The efforts of Avalanche Canada not only help protect residents, but help our region continue to attract winter tourists. This boosts our economy, as does the fact Avalanche Canada and its employees are based right here in the Basin.”

The money continues CBT’s funding of the organization, which publishes daily avalanche bulletins across B.C. and provides outreach and education. In 2015, CBT gave Avalanche Canada $370,000 in funding over 2.5 years.

CBT also gave Avalanche Canada $50,000 over the past two years to deliver youth-specific programs in schools throughout the Basin.

“We are extremely grateful for this support from Columbia Basin Trust,” said Gilles Valade, Executive Director, Avalanche Canada. “Predictable multi-year funding is critical for our operations and allows us to maintain our services for the backcountry community.”

Eight of Avalanche Canada’s 12 forecast regions are in the Columbia Basin, and the area is also where 52 per cent of avalanche fatalities took place from 2000 to 2014.