In 2006, District of Lillooet received a $30,000 grant from Northern Development through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure program towards this $150,947 project. This has been a funding partnership of District of Lillooet, Northern Development, Local Businesses, and Softwood Industry Community Economic Adjustment Initiative
2012- Under this project, the Jade Capital of British Columbia has installed an additional seven jade monuments along the ‘Jade Trail‘. Overall, thirty pieces of jade line the town in a project that took six years to complete. The stones have been cut, polished and mounted to reflect the different qualities each face displays. The Jade Walk is a tribute to B.C.’s Official Gemstone, and Lillooet’s jade mining history.
The community of Lillooet has focused on building upon the community’s reputation as the province’s Jade Capital by developing a tourist route that brings visitors into Lillooet’s downtown core, where they can learn about the jade mining history of the area while spending in local businesses. With the Jade Trail complete, plaques and interpretive signage have been designed and installed to help tourists follow the Jade Trail. Busloads of tourists travel through the Whistler-Pemberton corridor to enjoy the jade capital and it is a special draw particularly for Asian tourists who prize jade as a gemstone with good luck properties. Brochures and maps have been developed and published and a self guided audio tour is available from the tourist information centre.
The Jade Trail starts at the museum and visitor centre in Lillooet’s downtown. A truly collaborative community project, most of the work was completed through countless volunteer hours, material and labour donated by local contractors, and community fundraisers – all truly reflecting Lillooet’s ‘Guaranteed Rugged’ branding.
Since becoming the Jade Capital of British Columbia, Lillooet has seen a substantial increase in visitors since the first development of the pathway was complete. In 2003, Lillooet saw approximately 18,000 visitors and in 2005 there were 28,000 visitors. In 2007, after the final completion of the Jade Trail, visitor stops increased to 33,500 visitors - generating substantial tourism spending in the community.
Tourism, including the Jade Walk, one of many very important aspects attracting traffic to Lillooet, First Nation and surrounding area.