Northern Development approves $500,000 in funding for Lheidli T’enneh Aboriginal Pavilion and Northwest Regional Airport upgrades

May 22, 2014

Northern Development Initiative Trust’s board of directors has approved $500,000 in funding through its Economic Diversification Infrastructure program to support the development of two economic development projects in the region.

In Prince George, the Trust has approved a $250,000 grant to fund the construction of the Lheidli T’enneh Aboriginal Pavilion in time for the 2015 Canada Winter Games.

From February 13 to March 1 2015, the City of Prince George and northern B.C. will host 2,350 athletes, hundreds of media and thousands of visitors for the 2015 Games. The event will be the largest multi-sport and cultural event ever to be held in northern B.C., and will generate an economic impact of more than $90 million for the region. The goal of the Aboriginal Pavilion is to increase the visibility of the Lheidli T’enneh and contribute to the 2015 Canada Winter Games experience while showcasing the artistic, business and cultural expressions of the Official Host First Nation.

The 2015 Canada Winter Games will be held within the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh. As the Official Host First Nation of the 2015 Canada Winter Games, the Lheidli T’enneh recognize the unparalleled opportunity the Canada Games affords to build awareness and understanding of their culture.

The proposed Aboriginal Pavilion project aims to create an attractive venue in downtown Prince George for hosting and providing hospitality opportunities during the 2015 Games. The project will generate direct economic benefits for the Lheidli T’enneh through the use of the building as a multi-purpose events and retail space. The pavilion will be comprised of a main hall for programming and performances, a reception area for events and meals, a retail centre for the sale of Aboriginal merchandise and art, a protocol space for project meetings and a green room for performer staging space. The pavilion will be constructed at 6th Avenue and Dominion Street.

Read the full story here.

The Trust also announced today approval for a $250,000 grant to support the development of the Northwest Regional Airport apron expansion project. This project includes expanding the existing apron to allow for a third aircraft parking area for the airport’s commercial operations. The addition of a third aircraft parking area will allow the airport to service three commercial aircrafts at one time, also resulting in a reduction in the wait time for passengers in the terminal building.

The proposed third aircraft stand will be specific to service of commercial flights that directly generate new revenue for the airport while enhancing customer service. The expansion comes at a time when Terrace, Kitimat and the Skeena and the Nass Valley regions are experiencing unprecedented industrial growth projected to continue for the next decade. A reliable and effective airport, capable of handling large numbers of workers and cargo, will be an integral part of servicing regional demands for the next decade.

The Northwest Regional Airport Terrace-Kitimat records the highest levels of passenger traffic in the northwest, and the expansion project will add services for existing passengers, while assisting in the establishment of a broader, future customer base. Indirect revenue to local businesses such as aircraft fuel providers, car rental companies, hotels and airlines are also expected to increase as a result of the project completion.

Read the full story here.

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Joel McKay
Director, Communications
Northern Development Initiative Trust