This has been a funding partnership of Northern Development
Residents and visitors to Prince George benefit from $1.3M in upgrades over five years
Official Canada Games Plaza opening. Photo credit: City of Prince George
Maintaining civic facilities is a challenge that many municipalities regularly encounter. Identifying projects, creating a plan and finding funds are all obstacles that need to be overcome. The City of Prince George is one municipality that has taken advantage of the monies available to them from the Trust’s Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program. Since 2013, Northern Development has provided more than $165,000 in funding to six unique projects with budgets totaling more than $1,350,000.
During the two weeks the 2015 Canada Winter Games were hosted in Prince George the Canada Games Plaza was a hub of activity with numerous activations, food trucks, free concerts every night, fireworks and more. On September 23, 2017 another free concert was held at the plaza, this time to thank the community for welcoming more than 10,400 evacuees during B.C.’s worst wildfire season to that date. Over 5,000 people attended the free barbeque and concert featuring Glass Tiger with special guest Barney Bentall.
“From the 2015 Canada Winter Games to the numerous events held there throughout the year, Canada Games Plaza plays a significant role in our community,” said Lyn Hall, Mayor of Prince George. “Anyone who visits the Plaza can see that the Civic Plaza Enhancement Project has given new life into a very important public space. Northern Development Initiative Trust plays a big role not only in helping the City maintain our infrastructure, but in helping to upgrade and improve it. Council would like to thank Northern Development for partnering with the City to help make Prince George an even more modern and vibrant place to live for today’s residents and future generations.”
Crowd at Canada Games Plaza during Thank You Prince George concert. Photo credit: James Doyle
These thousands of athletes, residents and other guests were able to be welcomed to the space thanks to a major project completed in 2013 and 2014. The Civic Plaza Enhancement Project achieved its goal of transforming the plaza into a landmark introducing themes and elements that are native to the region while highlighting the importance of the confluence of the Fraser and Nechako Rivers. Practical improvements increased the Plaza’s ability to host outdoor concerts, which were a daily event during the Winter Games, performances, weddings and other special events while also creating an attractive space for daily users.
Other projects initiated by the City of Prince George and supported by Northern Development include the construction of an accessible entrance to Elksentre Arena, which welcomes and encourages people of all abilities to stay active and engaged in community life, floor modernization in both CN Centre and Prince George Playhouse, the purchase of 200 folding chairs for CN Centre, the purchase of choral risers and music shells for the Prince George Playhouse, the purchase of 269 chairs and 40 aluminum tables for the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre and the installation of new audio visual equipment in the Conference and Civic Centre.
All these upgrades increase the attractiveness of the venues, making them more desirable and accommodating to the unique needs of various conferences, meetings and entertainment providers. High quality and modern venues stimulate the local economy by attracting more people to the city for business, leisure or relocation while also increasing the quality of life for those who call Prince George home.
Crowd during Thank You PG concert in Canada Games Plaza. Photo credit: James Doyle