Apply For Funding

If you are interested in learning more about any of Northern Development's funding programs, please don't hesitate to call the office at 250-561-2525 to speak to a member of our team.

Business Development

Forest Innovation FundCompetitiveness Consulting RebateConnecting British Columbia

Community Development

Economic Diversification InfrastructureCommunity Halls and Recreation FacilitiesCapital Investment AnalysisMarketing InitiativesCommunity Foundation Matching GrantsBusiness Façade Improvement

Capacity Building

BC Hydro GO FundEconomic Development Capacity BuildingFabulous Festivals and EventsGrant Writing SupportGovernance Essentials Scholarship

Pine Beetle Recovery Funding

November 2014 - Newsletter

Valemount Community Forest to spur economic opportunity in the Robson Valley

Image
(from left to right) Valemount Community Forest Manager Craig Pryor, Valemount Mayor Andru McCracken, Valemount Mayor-elect Jeanette Townsend, Northern Development CEO Janine North, Community Forest President Cynthia Piper and community members gathered to celebrate grant contributions and a major industrial land purchase for the community forest in Valemount
The Valemount Community Forest has inked a significant land purchase deal that will help to expand the forestry industry in the Robson Valley.

With the help of Northern Development, Columbia Basin Trust and others, the Valemount Community Forest Company has purchased 240 acres of land at the former Carrier Sawmill site where it plans to build an industrial park and log sort yard.

The deal means that smaller mill operators in the Robson Valley will be able to co-locate at the industrial park, which will minimize their costs and maximize their access to the fibre they need to manufacture wood products.

Under co-location, the small mills are able to acquire only the fibre they want in the species profile that meets their customer’s needs.

Northern Development has approved a $250,000 grant through its Economic Diversification Infrastructure program to support the land purchase. Columbia Basin Trust has approved a further $200,000 grant to support the deal.

Northern Development’s Economic Diversification Infrastructure program has previously provided funding to support major infrastructure upgrades at airports, arenas, marinas and elsewhere throughout central and northern B.C.

Quotes

Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour and MLA for Prince George – Valemount: “This is a significant step for Valemount. Having this kind of shared space will allow smaller mill operators to reduce costs. I will continue to work with the Valemount Community Forest to find additional ways to expand opportunities and grow the economy in the region.”

"I want to thank Northern Development and Columbia Basin Trust for their contributions. I also want to commend president Cynthia Piper and the board of the community forest – they are the ones who have spent many, many hours making decisions on what is best for Valemount and the forest economy here. I also want to thank the staff as well – we are very fortunate to have all of them. I wish them all continued success, and I know the people of Valemount are the ones who willcontinue to benefit from their hard work and success," said Village of Valemount Mayor-elect Jeanette Townsend.

“This is an important and exciting economic development opportunity,” said Village of Valemount Mayor Andru McCracken. “Having industrial land with an Industrial Land Use Plan will enhance our ability to support local small business and attract new development.”

“This is an extremely valuable project for the Robson Valley, which has not experienced the same level of economic growth as other areas of northern B.C. in recent years,” said Janine North, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “The Valemount Community Forest’s plan to build an industrial park and log sort yard will support local value-added manufacturers with the right logs on-demand.”

“We are excited to announce the purchase of the old mill site located south of Valemount. It will play a key role in creating economic growth and job creation for Valemount and area. Many thanks to Northern Development Initiative Trust, Columbia Basin Trust and to Carrier Lumber Ltd. for their patience, support and commitment in this purchase,” said Craig Pryor, Manager, Valemount Community Forest Co. Ltd.

“We are pleased to support the efforts of the Valemount Community Forest in taking a significant step toward achieving its longer term goals,” said Neil Muth, Columbia Basin Trust President and CEO. “It’s clear their success will have a tremendous impact in the Robson Valley.”

Quick Facts
• Northern Development has approved a $250,000 grant to support the Valemount Community Forest Co.’s purchase of 240 acres of industrial land
• The land will be used as an industrial park and log sort yard where small mill operators can co-locate
• Columbia Basin Trust has provided a further $200,000 in grant funding to support the land agreement

Contact
Joel McKay
Director, Communications
Northern Development Initiative Trust
joel@northerndevelopment.bc.ca
250-561-2525

Sled-up and ski-down in Valemount this winter

The Crystal Ridge Sled Ski Facility, operated by Valemount and Area Recreation Development Associated (VARDA), is going to be better then ever this winter season with a new sled-up ski-down option.

Northern Development recently approved $17,360 in funding to help align the Village of Valemount's Crystal Ridge sled ski facility as a market-ready tourist attraction.

The world-class recreational facility offers a unique experience for riders to shuttle themselves up the mountain on sleds and take turns skiing or boarding all the way down. The facility is open to the public, supporting six semi-cleared runs, each run offering more than 2,200 vertical feet of powder, as well as a designated up-track for snowmobile travel.

In an effort to attract outdoor enthusiasts to the Village of Valemount, the Valemount and Area Recreation Development Association (VARDA) proposed to begin upgrades and expansions to the Crystal Ridge Sled Ski Facility. Upgrades began in September 2014, and are expected to be completed by December. Through the funding received from the Trust, the facility will be able to complete several upgrades, including signage, installed culverts, install washroom facilities and acquire grooming equipment.

With the completion of the upgrades, the day-pass system will provide a steady revenue stream for further maintenance and operations.

The Crystal Ridge Sled Ski Facility grant was provided through Northern Development’s Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program. The Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program provides municipalities, regional districts, First Nations bands and registered non-profit organizations with up to 50% of a project’s budget to a maximum of $30,000 in funding to improve or expand existing facilities in order to increase the number of events held annually in the community, contributing to service sector revenues in the local economy.

Quotes
“Once you try the continent’s deepest powder skiing, you can’t go back to groomers,” said Village of Valemount Mayor Andru McCracken. Mayor McCracken, a long time backcountry skier, bought a snowmobile the day after his opening run on Crystal Ridge. “We’re talking about a life changing experience in the capital city of heli-skiing.” He said it is the essence of their plan to rebuild the community’s economy. “It’s a three step program to revitalization. People will ski one run to the base. Second, they will snowmobile to the top of the run, where there is cell reception, 
and call a realtor, buy a house and move here. I am so proud of the community’s forethought, the Valemount and Area Recreation Development Associations’s hard work, and Northern Development’s belief in our vision.”

“The Crystal Ridge Sled Ski Area is one of a kind. Sledskiing or boarding is an activity that is booming all over the mountains of B.C. It blends both the love of skiing/snowboarding with the ease and freedom of motorized assistance for access. Crystal Ridge is open to the public and offers six semi-cleared runs, boasting 2,200 vertical feet each with a designated up-track for snowmobile travel.

The closest relative would be similar to downhill mountain biking, where riders shuttle themselves up and take turns ripping the runs down throughout the day” said Curtis Pawliuk, General Manager, VARDA. “Northern Development will be playing a crucial role in the future enjoyment of this facility. With the Trust’s recent contribution to our project we have been able to purchase the needed grooming equipment to maintain quality access to this facility.Without this assistance, we would have been left using inadequate equipment and the recreational users would have to pay the price with a less than stellar experience. Now users of the area will have quality and smooth access trails into this one of a kind facility and this is largely in part to the assistance from Northern Development.”

Quick Facts
• Northern Development has already approved 42 projects through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program in 2014, with a combined total funding commitment of $930,461.
• The proposed upgrades to the Crystal Ridge Sled Ski Facility began September 2014, and are projected to be completed December 2014.
• The Columbia Basin Trust has contributed $16,000 toward the completion of this project.
• Crystal Ridge has been recognized as a world-class recreational facility, highlighted by CBC radio and numerous magazines throughout North America.

Contact
Joel McKay
Director, Communications
Northern Development Initiative Trust
joel@northerndevelopment.bc.ca
250-561-2525

Northern Development Cirque Du Soleil contest winner announced!


The world-renowned Cirque du Soleil will perform its signature production Dralion this winter, and Prince George's own Sarah Bonnar will be there checking it out. Northern Development held a contest for two tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s January 4, 2015 performance of Dralion at CN Centre to help kick-off an exciting and momentous year for the north!

Sarah was the lucky winner of Northern Development’s Cirque Du Soleil contest on Facebook this past month. The contest was held on Northern Development’s Facebook page, which involved three photos from communities in central and northern B.C. (above). The contest participants had to complete the challenge of correctly identifying the photo’s location and a project that Northern Development helped to fund in that corresponding community.

Northern Development ran this contest as a tribute to the incredible upcoming year of celebrations in the region including the 2015 Canada Winter Games, the City of Prince George's 100th Anniversary, UNBC's 25th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of Northern Development Initiative Trust.

Northern Development approves $30,000 for the exhibition grounds grandstand repair project

Recently approved funding from Northern Development will help to assist the Dawson Creek Exhibition with their grandstand repair project.

Northern Development Initiative Trust has approved a $30,000 grant to the City of Dawson Creek in an effort to support renovations for the exhibition ground’s grandstand.

Over the past few years, the grandstand located at the Dawson Creek Exhibition Grounds has fallen into a state of disrepair, deeming it unsafe for public use. The exhibition ground’s grandstand provides the best seats in the house for numerous annual events, such as the Dawson Creek Fall Fair, agricultural fairs and rodeos.

In an effort to restore the exhibition ground’s main venue, the City of Dawson Creek has conducted a complete overhaul of the grandstand. The grandstand renovations include the removal of all existing wood components, repairs to the structural steel, as well as seating, walkway and stair replacements. With more than 10 events in 2014 that required the use of the grandstand, Dawson Creek has and will continue to feel positive economic impacts with the grandstand back in action.

Funding for the exhibition grounds grandstand repair project was provided through Northern Development’s Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program. The Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program provides municipalities, regional districts, First Nations bands and registered non-profit organizations with up to 50% of a project’s budget to a maximum of $30,000 in funding to improve or expand existing facilities in order to increase the number of events held annually in the community, contributing to service sector revenues in the local economy.

Quotes

“Dawson Creek’s Exhibition is one of the most popular events of the year for our community” said City of Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead. “We pride ourselves on providing world class entertainment for the visitors and competitors from all over North America. The structural stability of the grandstands had deteriorated jeopardizing the safety of patrons. The structural frame was intact but the sheeting material connecting the stands required immediate replacement. Northern Development provided funding to assist in repairing the grandstands with their grant program. With great thanks to Northern Development the greatest show in the Peace will continue to amaze and delight guests and citizens of the north.”

"The Exhibition Association has a long standing place in our B.C./Alberta, Peace River, and Western Heritage.” said Connie Patterson, President, Dawson Creek Exhibition Association. “When the grandstand fell into disrepair, the Dawson Creek Exhibition Association just did not have the funds to cover the $600,000 worth of new seating. However, with help from Northern Development, we have been able to restore this essential element back to our exhibition grounds and community.”

Quick Facts
• Northern Development has already approved 42 projects through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program in 2014, with a combined total funding commitment of $930,461.
• The project’s goal was to renovate the current grandstand to become a safe and secure place so visitors can enjoy all that the exhibition grounds have to offer.
• The Dawson Creek Fall Fair is the most prominent event held at the exhibition grounds and it is deemed an important part of ensuring the community’s quality of life, identity and heritage.
• The City of Dawson Creek has committed funding up to $485,600 towards this proposed project, which equates to 94% of the project’s budget.

Contact
Joel McKay
Director, Communications
Northern Development Initiative Trust
joel@northerndevelopment.bc.ca
250-561-2525

Northern Development is spreading the Small Town Love

November means getting out your shopping bags for the holiday season! So this month, our infographic is focused on all the fabulous local businesses in central and northern B.C.

Snowmobile all the way from Clinton to Barkerville thanks to the new Gold Rush trail network

Image
Snowmobilers now have the ability to access multiple trail networks on the new Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail

The Cariboo Regional District was recently approved for $30,000 in funding for the Cariboo Regional District’s Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail Improvement project.

In an effort to create a multi-purpose recreation trail network and market-ready tourism experience for central and northern B.C., the Cariboo Regional District has begun connecting pre-existing trails throughout the Cariboo,

The Gold Rush trail will offer year-round adrenaline adventures for riders, hosting snowmobilers in the winter and off roaders in the spring, summer and fall. Future phases of the trail improvements are planned to connect the trails with local services in the Cariboo such as lodging, fuel stations and restaurants. By connecting with existing amenities, trail users will be able to plan exciting outdoor adventures while also helping to boost local economies in the region.

The Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail Improvement project grant was provided through Northern Development’s Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program. The Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program provides municipalities, regional districts, First Nations bands and registered non-profit organizations with up to 50% of a project’s budget to a maximum of $30,000 in funding to improve or expand existing facilities in order to increase the number of events held annually in the community, contributing to service sector revenues in the local economy.

Quotes
"The generous contribution from Northern Development Initiative Trust is allowing us to implement the measures identified in our business plan such as signage, maintenance and trail clearing," said Steve Law, Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail Regional Manager. "This is allowing us to proceed with our ultimate goal of having a market-ready product which is safe, enjoyable and family friendly."

“The funding from Northern Development has helped to make the vision of having a collaborative snowmobile trail network a reality,” said President of the GRST Regional Management Committee, Laurie Lautrup. “This Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail will act as a catalyst for the Cariboo’s local tourism economies, allowing riders to access more services from our communities then ever before."

Quick Facts
• Northern Development has already approved 42 projects through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program in 2014, with a combined total funding commitment of $930,461.
• Phase one of the project will connect existing trails already managed by local snowmobiling clubs to create a circle tour in the South Cariboo from 70 Mile House to the Ten-ee-ah Lodge near Lac La Hache.
• Phase two will connect existing trails around Williams Lake, while also connecting the Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail to systems around Kamloops and Clearwater.
• The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources has committed $50,000 in capital funding toward this project over three years.

Contact
Joel McKay
Director, Communications
Northern Development Initiative Trust
joel@northerndevelopment.bc.ca
250-561-2525

Q&A with Smithers' Economic Development Officer, Allan Stroet

Image
Winter is on its way, when northern British Columbian's thoughts begin to shift to the slopes. And where's a better place to test out the pristine powder then on Smithers' very own Hudson Bay Mountain? We got together with Allan Stroet, Smithers' Economic Development Officer, for a chat about Smithers' economy, growth and increasing tourism base.

Q: What drives you to be so involved in your community and northern B.C.?

A: I am very involved in Smithers and northern B.C. because I love it here. I don’t want to live anywhere else. I’ve turned down several lucrative job offers from other places because this is my home. I’m from Smithers, but left after high school to my pursue post-secondary education at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George. I met my wife there and we were happy in Prince George, but we are even happier to be back in the Bulkley Valley.

Currently, I volunteer as a Senator for UNBC because it’s my way of giving back to a school that has given me so much. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for UNBC.

Q: How much growth have you seen in Smithers’ local economy over the last decade? What’s driving it?

A: Smithers has seen a slight increase in population over the past 10 years, driven mainly by the price of mineral resources during the last decade. Recently though, the mineral exploration sector has suffered and it has affected local businesses. Has it hurt? Yes. Has it been devastating? No. Saying that, there have been a great deal of housing starts, commercial renovations, and over the past few years there has been an opening up of industrial land at the Smithers Regional Airport.

When it comes to the economy, Smithers is an interesting place. We don’t fit the standard mold when it comes to your typical northern B.C. local economy. Economically, we are very steady, relative to other communities, because we are not reliant on a single industry. Would Smithers be labelled a sawmill town? Maybe. A tourist town? Sort of. A government town? Perhaps. A mining town? Possibly. We aren’t dominated by one industry and that keeps our economy from suffering the booms and busts that are common in some of northern B.C.'s communities.

Q: Northern Development Initiative Trust contributed $18,000 in grant funding through its Marketing Initiatives program to assist with the Ski and Stay Smithers program. What is this program and how has it helped to boost the local economy and increase tourism?

A: The Ski and Stay program is a joint program between The Hudson Bay Lodge, Aspen Inn and Suites, Hudson Bay Mountain Adventures (the ski hill), and Tourism Smithers to promote Hudson Bay Mountain Resort for weekend getaways. We were very grateful to the Northern Development Initiative Trust in supporting the project as well. Winter is generally a slower period for hoteliers so the program helps to promote the mountain as a getaway ski destination, which in turns benefits business at the partner hotels and local shops and restaurants. Each partner contributes several thousand dollars to increase marketing activities for a combined benefit. This spirit of collaboration for the good of each party involved is a common occurrence in Smithers.

Q:What do you think has been the Town of Smithers’ most valuable economic achievement to date?

A: There are four companies that jump to mind as far as economic achievements. All-West Glass, Bandstra Transportation Systems, Central Mountain Air, and Hy-Tech Drilling are companies that employ hundreds of people regionally, provincially, nationally, and internationally. These four companies are each homegrown from Smithers, and still have their head offices here. Not only do they set an example of what is possible in a community of only 5,500 people, but also show the next generation of entrepreneurs that you don’t have to leave Smithers to achieve lofty business goals.

These four companies separate Smithers from other places, because it’s so rare to see such large scale successes happen in a small community. I’ve talked to several site selectors who don’t believe it, and are even more shocked when it’s shown to be true. It draws attention to our town in a special way that not everyone is able to achieve.

Q: Smithers has recently joined Small Town Love and Northern Development’s Love Smithers campaign. How has joining Small Town Love supported Smithers’ local business community?

A: The Small Town Love program has been excellent for our community. Smithers has always done its best to shop local, but there was never such a convenient way to find what you were looking for. It has brought many locally owned and operated businesses out of the woodwork that people may not have known about.

When we started with the program, we were hoping for 40 businesses to sign up. Today we have 80. The ability for these businesses to get professional photography, writing, and an online presence for such an affordable fee has been great!

Q: What challenges does the Town of Smithers face from an economic development perspective and how are you addressing them?

A: There are many challenges in Smithers because we have a very diverse population. Not everyone agrees on what ‘economic development’ should look like. The Bulkley Valley Economic Development Association (BVEDA) focused on one problem that affects our community equally and that is affordable fibre optic broadband internet. We currently lack the capacity that is often taken for granted in larger centres. It has been shown that new businesses and site selectors require this kind of infrastructure to prosper in a location.

Last year, the BVEDA engaged with CityWest Communications of Prince Rupert in an attempt to bring fibre optic broadband internet services to our community. Through our engagement CityWest, we are happy to report that they will be entering the Smithers commercial/residential market in the first or second quarter of 2015.

Funding Program Video - Planning Internships

In 2014, Northern Development launched a local government planning internship program as a pilot project to augment the Trust’s existing local government management internships. Northern Development worked with the Province of British Columbia, local governments and the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) to hire six planning graduates to assist communities with their municipal planning needs, ensuring that service providers are prepared to meet the infrastructure, health, safety and social service demands of northern communities as they arise. The interns assisted local governments with reviewing and updating Official Community Plans and anticipating future infrastructure needs in light of major industrial developments proposed in the northwest and other areas of northern B.C.