December 10, 2015
TUMBLER RIDGE – Tumbler Ridge’s efforts to build a robust tourism sector were given another boost this week thanks to Northern Development.
The Trust’s board of directors has approved a $250,000 grant for the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation to support renovations at the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre that also includes the public interpretive exhibits, which showcases British Columbia’s rich collection of dinosaur bones, tracks and other fossils.
$250,000 grant approval for museum will help cement Tumbler Ridge’s reputation as a UNESCO Global Geopark.
The funding will be used to assist the museum with everything from parking lot upgrades and signage to interior washroom and museum centre renovations.
The approval marks the fourth time the Trust has invested in the development of the museum, totalling more than $400,000 in grants to date.
Northern Development has been working closely with the community in recent years to help develop a more-sustainable and diversified local economy.
The Trust approved $250,000 in 2014 to support the development of a new tourist information centre in Tumbler Ridge, and has also provided $58,000 in grant funding annually to the District of Tumbler Ridge to hire a local economic development officer and a grant writer.
Tumbler Ridge was built in the 1980s to serve B.C.’s burgeoning coal sector.
In 2000, two local residents discovered dinosaur tracks in a local creek bed that led to the development of a palaeontology research centre and dinosaur museum.
In 2014, Tumbler Ridge was designated a UNESCO Global Geopark, one of only 120 sites in the world and the only Global Geopark in western North America.
UNESCO Global Geoparks are defined as unified areas with geological heritage of international significance.
The Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark contains nearly 8,000 square kilometres of mountains, alpine meadows, cliffs and waterfalls, including the world-renowned Kinuseo Falls.
The grant approval will help the museum retain its status as the central feature of the Global Geopark.
Evan Saugstad, Board Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust
“Tumbler Ridge is like no other place in British Columbia – its gorgeous landscapes and rich paleontological history makes it one of a kind. It should be on every British Columbian’s “must see” list. The Trust is proud to continue supporting economic diversification in Tumbler Ridge with this grant approval.”
Rich McCrea, Curator of Palaeontology, Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre
“This grant from Northern Development will go a long way toward improving the quality of the visitor experience at the museum. The planned renovations will also help the museum achieve the necessary standards to continue to house the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre’s ever expanding collection of fossils.”
Don McPherson, Mayor, District of Tumbler Ridge
“The Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation continues to amaze us with their world class work. This funding will allow Tumbler Ridge to house even more of the amazing discoveries that are made year after. The work of Dr. McCrea and museum president Jim Kincaid continue to push Tumbler Ridge into new realms and possibilities. I can’t wait to see what they are able to accomplish next. I want to thank the Trust for continuing to partner with Tumbler Ridge.”
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education, MLA Peace River South
“Tumbler Ridge’s UNESCO Global Geopark status helps put the Peace River on the map as a tourist destination. This grant will boost our regional tourism sector while helping to diversify our regional economy.”
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour
“I’m thrilled to see Tumbler Ridge building on its reputation as a must-see destination for its dinosaur fossils and incredible history. Through the Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Province is pleased to support the improvements at the Tumbler Ridge Museum and Dinosaur Discovery Gallery and to help the region maintain and enhance its designation as a UNESCO Global Geopark.”
Bob Zimmer, MP Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies
“Congratulations to Jim Kincaid, Dr. Charles Helm, Richard McCrea, and everyone involved in ensuring that the Tumbler Ridge Dinosaur Discovery Gallery continues to remain a vital part of our community. These renovations will not only help to increase the number of visitors at the museum, but also enhance Tumbler Ridge’s status as a UNESCO Global Geopark.”
Northern Development Initiative Trust combines funding with smart thinking to help Northern British Columbia thrive. The Trust was created for the north and is led by the north. In only a decade, Northern Development has found 2,000 ways to say “yes” to economic diversification in our region, attracting more than $1.2 billion in new investment to the region.
Northern Development Initiative Trust