2012-Named after Terrace's founder, George Little Park has become the central location for hosting numerous large events every year within the community. Events such as Riverboats Days and National Aboriginal Days serve as tourism attractions for northwest BC, bringing many visitors and significant economic benefits to the Terrace. Prior to undertaking a re-development of this downtown park, the site did not offer a friendly and welcoming plaza or town square event space where the community's residents and tourists could gather for special occasions as well as for everyday events. More importantly, the Skeena Valley Farmer's Market, which is the largest farmer's market in northwest BC, had been operating within a vacant lot just outside the city centre prior to this project, and by investing in its downtown infrastructure, the City of Terrace was able to bring the weekly farmer's market right into the downtown core of the community, giving people a reason to visit downtown Terrace on their weekends.
Enhancements to the park under this project which was funded by Northern Development through the Government of Canada's Community Adjustment Fund focused on the reconstruction of Emerson Street as the new 'Market Street', providing improved amenities and location for the Skeena Valley Farmer's Market.
With more than seventy vendors (and growing as a result of this project), the Skeena Valley Farmer's Market offers a cross-section of items including fresh baked goods, vegetables, preserves, hand-crafted items, plants and flowers from area growers as well as hot food stands offering delicious ethnic fare. And that's not all - the market is always bustling with activity including live music, face painting and sometimes you'll even spot a litter of cuddly kittens, bunnies or puppies. Throw horse-drawn buggy ridges into the mix and you can see why the market claims it is the largest farmer's market north of Kamloops.
"Thanks to the support provided by Northern Development, the new location of the Terrace farmer's Market has been beneficial for both local farmers and residents. There has been a significant increase in visits to the market since its move to Market Street which has translated to greater sales and profits for our local producers."
Lynne Christiansen, President, Skeena Valley Farmer's Market
Positive Economic Impacts in Terrace
The revitalization of George Little Park assisted in the city's efforts to revitalize its downtown core commercial area as the economic heart of the community. The direct employment and economic benefits from supporting the Skeena Valley Farmer's Market with improved infrastructure are already ensuring long-term growth of economic activity in the downtown, with the added direct benefit of supporting regional agricultural as well as artisans within the community. The creation of Market Street immediately enhanced vendor participation in the Farmers Market by 15% and there is now a wait list each year for participation the market at the new George Little Park.
During construction of this project, significant short-term employment was created within the community for over a two year period. Employment was created in professional/technical positions, trades positions and labour positions totalling over ninety months of work. The enhanced public space facilities and improved annual regional events have bolstered tourism to Terrace and northwest BC, primarily around major annual events such as Riverboat Days and attendance of the expanding Skeena Valley Farmer's Market.
Additionally, due in part to the increase in foot traffic in the downtown core on weekends, a small business start-up, Baker Extraordinaire, relocated to Terrace from Prince George and located their operations adjacent to the revitalized park. Prince George's loss was definitely Terrace's gain as this local bakery serves delicious breads and outstanding pies amongst many other products that have already gained it a wide reputation throughout northwest BC.