Northern Development Announces $3.7 Million In New Project Funding

PRINCE GEORGE, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA — June 10, 2008 — Northern Development Initiative Trust announced today new economic development funding for central and northern British Columbia in excess of $3.7 million.

“The communities of central and northern British Columbia are facing challenges, but also see a number of opportunities to diversify or develop their economies,” stated Trust Chair, Bruce Sutherland.  “The Trust is very pleased to be announcing a new round of funding that will support the economic development work of our communities.”

Highlights of the recent approvals include five applications totalling over $300,000 in funding for projects that will provide benefits to Quesnel and the North Cariboo.  These economic and community development projects include: construction of a bulk water metering facility in Quesnel that will promote water conservation, improve bulk water quality, and generate revenue for the City; a regional tourism marketing campaign led by the Quesnel Chamber of Commerce to secure international exposure for the region in collaboration with Rocky Mountaineer Vacations; engineering and design to enable development of an industrial park in Quesnel for attraction and expansion of industry and job creation in the region; a marketing initiative for Quesnel, and expansion of the Alex Fraser Park Agri-Plex.  Including all sources of funding, the total value of these North Cariboo projects exceeds $1.1 million.

The Board also approved a number of proposals in some of the Trust’s smallest communities. The Round Lake Community Association was approved for a $20,000 grant and a $25,000 loan for upgrades and renovations to the Round Lake Community Hall. The District of Houston will receive a $10,000 matching grant contribution from the Northern Trust through its Matching Grants for Community Foundations program toward the Houston Endowment Fund.  The Village of Old Masset was approved for a $30,000 grant toward the construction of the Old Masset Community Kitchen – a project that will provide direct job creation, capacity building in the culinary industry, and additional sales and event hosting opportunities. The Mount Moresby Adventure Camp Society will receive a grant of $20,000 toward the construction of infrastructure upgrades and facility expansion.

The Fireweed Collective Society is the recipient of a $20,000 grant toward the construction of the Fireweed Community Kitchen, a partnership with the College of New Caledonia’s Fort St. James campus.

To date, the Trust has also received 36 applications for the 2008 Annual Economic Development Funding grant of $35,000 per local government. These communities will all receive funding for incremental economic development staff, programs and collaborative studies by the end of December 2008.

The Northern Development Initiative Trust is presenting the 2008 Grant Writing Course to facilitate training for new grant writers with the Trust’s Small Community Grant Writer Program.  This training course is available to local government staff, First Nations communities, and community non-profit groups located within the Trust region via web and teleconferencing technology. Two initial course dates have been slated for June 19th and June 20th. To participate in a session, please contact the Northern Development Initiative Trust at 250-561-2525 to register.