In 2008, Central Coast Chamber of Commerce received a $30,000 grant from Northern Development through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program towards this $234,000 project. This has been a funding partnership of Central Coast Chamber of Commerce, Northern Development, Central Coast Regional District, Coast Sustainability Trust, and Union of BC Municipalities
2012- If you’re ever lucky enough to find yourself on Denny Island, talk to the any one of the friendly 70 year-round residents and they will point you in the direction for whatever you need. Under this project in 2008, the Central Coast Chamber of Commerce secured funding to construct a new multi-use community facility including a Visitor Information Booth.
The 1,976 square foot, wood constructed centre serves to enhance existing local business operations and support economic diversification of Shearwater’s and Denny Island’s economy. The centre was built with a gymnasium attached that has been a much needed addition for School District 49 students who study out of a one room school. Equipped with a visitor information booth, a museum, community arts and craft retail outlet, business services centre, meeting and convention centre, a business incubator, and the office of the Central Coast Chamber of Commerce, this new facility supports development of both the community and the Central Coast’s regional economy.
The facility has been reported as a wonderful addition to the community; it is used nearly every day by the school and recreation groups including badminton, floor hockey, and judo clubs. Residents use the new facility year-round for weddings, celebrations, and other social events that generate revenue income for the Chamber of Commerce as well as creating economic spin off activity in neighbouring island and coast communities.
With financial support from Trees for Tomorrow and Evergreen Walmart, a community pathway has been built behind the Visitor Information Centre that guides folks through orchards of apple trees. This beautiful pathway connects the only school on Denny Island and the centre so now the children can travel it daily on their way to use the facility’s gymnasium.
The new facility is the only public building on the island other then school. Community events including graduation classes, festivals, and markets can now be held at the Central Coast Enterprise and Tourism Centre. The Tourism Visitor Information Booth promotes local business operators including existing and new bed and breakfasts, saltwater fishing, wilderness and kayaking tour operators. Wilderness tours are attracting people from around the world to the central coast, and are very popular -- achieving a 9-10% annual growth rate since the facility opened. The tourist information centre will be equipped with portable billboards displaying all of the local tourist destinations on Denny Island.
The business centre now provides office services to businesses and recreational visitors to Denny Island. Additionally, the facility is providing incubator services to assist and encourage local small business startups.
Many talented artists and artisans from throughout BC's Central Coast will be displaying and selling their art through the new Visitor Information Centre and at the local craft fair that will is held regularly throughout the summer months.