In 2007, Village of Burns Lake received a $62,800 grant from Northern Development through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure program towards this $579,013 project. This has been a funding partnership of Village of Burns Lake, Northern Development, BC Spirit Squares, Community Economic Diversification Initiative, Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society, Rotary Club of Burns Lake, TD Green Streets, and Union of BC Municipalities
2012- The Village of Burns Lake started the construction of a new public open space under the BC Spirit Squares program at the Nourse Community Park in 2007 with partnered funding from Northern Development. Spirit Squares are intended to honour the past and celebrate the future, improve the economic health of communities, and enhance the social and cultural life of the community. The new Burns Lake Spirit Square honours the great contributions Dick Nourse and Len Radley made to the community.
This project has focused on use of park and green space as a venue for hosting community events. The Spirit Square features a performance shelter as well as a covered picnic and barbeque area constructed from logs and engineered wood beams, manicured pathways, low level lighting and occupancy detection, and park benches. The future plans for the area also include historic and cultural exhibits, as well as the potential for a water park and fountain area.
"The Burns Lake Spirit Square has become a community gathering place for celebrations, concerts, day camps, fitness sessions and many other community events. Lakes District residents have embraced this beautiful water front park and we are proud to have such a great community area to welcome residents and tourists."Bernice Magee, former Mayor, Village of Burns Lake
"Since its opening, our Spirit Square in Burns Lake has hosted Canada Day Celebrations, Aboriginal Day Celebrations, the Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life, family gatherings, and even the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay Celebration. Local contractors were hired to build the new buildings and structures funded by grants, such as the grant received from Northern Development Initiative Trust, which helped develop local pride in the project. The Village Public Works crew worked endlessly to install the accessible brick pathway and fitness stations, and the Village's Recreation department has held many fitness programs at our new Spirit Square and has many more in the works."Bernice Magee, former Mayor, Village of Burns Lake
In an effort to diversify the local economy in the midst of the mountain pine beetle epidemic, the community of Burns Lake is positioning itself for growth in the tourism sector. The addition of this outdoor venue has provided capacity for the community to host outdoor events and attract an increasing number of visitors to the area and to extend their stay to the Burns Lake region.
The Burns Lake Spirit Square has been host to many community events including Aboriginal Day and Canada Day celebrations, the Relay for Life, and weekly exercise and recreation classes. In January 2010, the Spirit Square also served as the location for the Olympic Torch Relay, bringing together the community of Burns Lake in celebration of the 2010 Winter Olympics.