The provincial government is investing over $1 million into a variety of local organizations and amenities to improve residents’ quality of life in the Dryden area.

The Ontario government is providing roughly $1.25 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation to seven community enhancement projects in the Dryden area, aimed to create long-term economic growth in northwestern Ontario.

Kenora-Rainy River MPP and Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry, as well as the Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Greg Rickford, made the announcements on April 21, as part of his tour across the region.

“Our government recognizes that investing in local businesses and infrastructure creates strong communities,” said Rickford. “This funding will help the residents of Dryden and surrounding areas invest their passion in the communities where they live.”

Projects receiving through the NOHFC include:

- $380,000 to Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation to build an Early Years Centre to provide land-based and cultural programming to children and the community,

- $361,875 to the City of Dryden to improve its airport facilities and renovate the terminal building to accommodate additional businesses and increase revenue,

- $200,000 to AgriTech North to acquire indoor hydroponic growing equipment to increase access to fresh food in communities without storefronts,

- $150,000 to the Local Services Board of Wabigoon to establish a multi-use outdoor pavilion for community events and recreation,

- $80,247 to Parrs Jars to develop a commercial kitchen, meal and grocery service to make locally produced food accessible to the community,

- $62,628 to Vermilion Bay Lions Hall to renovate and repair the facility to provide for a greater diversity of events at the hall,

- $18,386 to Rocking K Ranch to establish a new building and infrastructure to expand operations and fulfill the growing demand for local beef,

“The organization would not have been possible without the contribution from the NOHFC, so we are expressing our deepest gratitude to them for supporting our roadway, rural and remote communities’ food security,” said AgriTech North CEO, Benjamin Feagin Jr.

“The Local Services Board wishes to acknowledge that the NOHFC, its programs and local reps have realized yet again the needs and requirements of the north. This project in Wabigoon brings together multiple cultures and strengthens our community,” said Board Chair, Richard Wetelainen.

“Growing and distributing local food in northwestern Ontario is uniquely challenging, and we thoroughly appreciate the support to get our project off the ground,” said Parrs Jars owner, Bobbie Parr.

“We are grateful for the assistance we received from the NOHFC which allowed us to invest in building a new hay storage building. The new building saves us from the waste we normally incur from storing our hay outside in our harsh Northern Ontario winters,” said Rocking K Ranch owners, Mike, Lisa and Sophie Koshel.

The Ontario government adds that since 2018, when the Ford government took power, the NOHFC has invested over $519 million in nearly 5,000 projects in Northern Ontario, helping to create or sustain over 7,000 jobs in the region.