2012-Nestled between the Fraser and the Quesnel Rivers, downtown Quesnel continues to attract new business and new opportunities. Quesnel downtown is known as a place of modern business, rich history and community spirit. Quesnel is proud of its thriving downtown centre. With over two hundred businesses offering customers unique shopping, local dining and professional services, it's the place to be! The success and beauty of the downtown is largely due to the efforts of the Quesnel Downtown Association and the implementation of their five year strategic beautification plan.
In 2009, the Quesnel Downtown Association received funding through the Government of Canada's Community Adjustment Fund, delivered by Northern Development, to support their project to revitalize the downtown core and attract more tourism. The Quesnel Downtown Association partnered with eleven local businesses and the South Quesnel Business Association to improve their city and generate employment during the economic downturn.The project included upgrades and improvements of each of the eleven businesses' buildings, art projects that included four murals, five art benches and two gateway signs into the downtown, and a highly successful community host program.
Under this project, Quesnel's new Community Host program employed six ambassadors over the course of two summers to aid in beautification projects and to greet and assist visitors to the community and the downtown district. The success of the program has generated further interest in the community for revitalization and created one of the most beautiful rural downtowns in British Columbia.
The Quesnel Downtown Revitalization project created more economic return than originally anticipated. The main goal for the project was to generate employment within the community by creating up to thirty-four jobs over the course of 2010 and 2011, however, the project resulted in sixty-six jobs being created by the end of 2010 alone. Six of these jobs were in the form of Community Host positions held over the course of the summers of 2009 and 2010. These hosts welcomed visitors to the City of Quesnel, as well as planted and cared for community gardens, and painted and cleaned up various areas downtown.
Further returns to the community included employment for local suppliers and contractors. The success of the project has led to increased economic benefits to the downtown businesses that participated in the improvements, enticing other downtown businesses to renovate their buildings. The positive outcomes of the project have snowballed and will continue to improve this great community.