VICTORIA -- Nearly two dozen infrastructure projects on Vancouver Island are receiving more than $54 million in funding from all levels of government to help restart local economies during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the federal government.

The infrastructure projects span the length of the island, and include upgrades to community centres, health centres, drinking water and wasterwater facilities, social support hubs and more.

In Ladysmith, some of the funding will go towards building a new Arts and Heritage Hub at the town’s longstanding machinery shop.

The Arts and Heritage Hub will be located in a waterfront redevelopment area and can be used as a space for performances, art exhibitions and special events. The arts centre will also highlight local history and the town’s relationship with the Stz’uminus First Nation.

Meanwhile, a portion of the cross-governmental funding will go towards a new culture centre on the Huu-ay-aht First Nations.

The centre will be able to support a range of cultural events and includes a new multi-purpose field with bleachers and a stage.

Inside the culture centre, there will be a language training room, a kitchen, washrooms and areas dedicated to the production and sale of arts and crafts.

Of the roughly $54.1 million in funding, approximately $23.2 in federal and provincial funding has been earmarked for eight projects in Indigenous communities on Vancouver Island.

In total, the federal government is contributing more than $33.2 million in funding, the B.C. government is providing roughly $8.7 million and individual communities are putting forward $12.2 million for the 22 different projects.

“It is more important than ever to support rural and Indigenous communities,” said Maryam Monsef, federal Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development in a statement Friday.

“The projects we’re announcing today will help smaller communities on the Island rally now while supporting growth, helping preserve local heritage, and enhancing residents’ quality of life.”