New arena underway for the Hazeltons

October 13, 2017

Hazelton, B.C. – Friday, October 13, 2017

It was finally groundbreaking day for the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre in Hazelton, B.C. Northern Development’s CEO Joel McKay was on hand at the ceremony to show support for the construction of the new arena along with officials from the Province of British Columbia and the Owners Partnership Committee for the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre.

The facility is envisioned as having the potential to be the primary venue to pursue sports tourism opportunities and act as a new economic driver for the region. The Upper Skeena region consists of two separate municipalities of Hazelton and New Hazelton, seven Gitxsan communities, two non-incorporated settlements and three valleys with a population of approximately 7,600 people. The new arena is poised to be a great asset to the community and should contribute to the economic development of the entire region.

This project is being supported in-part through Northern Development’s Economic Diversification Infrastructure program with $250,000 in approved funding for the new facility. The new arena will provide year round recreation, including an ice surface, a full size gymnasium and space for other recreational programs.  The recreation centre programming will focus on programs to promote the health and wellness of all residents and visitors to the Upper Skeena region. The facility should contribute to revenue generation for the region. The project is expected to be complete by November 2018.

Link to full press release from the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine


Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust

Northern Development is proud to be a partner in the development of the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre. Projects like these are vital to the economic growth of our communities all across northern B.C. The new facility will be a great asset to the community and should provide many opportunities for the community to draw in visitors to the region.

Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, PC MP, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Investing in recreational infrastructure is essential to developing individual well-being, community vitality and economic growth.The Government of Canada is proud to support the new Upper Skeena Recreation Centre. This ‘Heart of the Hazeltons’ will be a critical new hub for community gatherings, educational and sports activities, and wellness programs that help residents thrive for generations to come.

 Wendy Booth, President, Union of B.C. Municipalities

Recreation centres are the heart of B.C. communities. The Upper Skeena Recreation Centre will provide a gathering place that will draw residents from across the region for sport, fitness and social gatherings. I am very pleased to see the significant federal and provincial support provided to this project.

About Northern Development Initiative Trust

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. Since 2005, Northern Development has found more than 2,700 ways to say “yes” to economic diversification in our region, attracting more than $1.3 billion in new investment to the region.

About the Upper Skeena Region

The Upper Skeena region represents of British Columbia’s most rugged and one of the most majestic areas of the world. In its midst are the world renown Skeena, Bulkley and Kispiox rivers which provide breath-taking experiences for global tourists, power to light and heat millions, and carry vast resources through their respective fisheries. Surrounding these rivers is a complex network of mountain ranges, and sanctuaries for wildlife, birds and humans. The region also celebrates its Gitxsan traditions, culture and people who have lived as one with the land through the millennia.