Northern Development approves over $1.2 million in funding for six projects throughout the region

May 8, 2024

At its April 24 meeting, the Northern Development board of directors approved $1,292,261 for a diverse set of projects throughout Northern B.C.

$300,000 was approved for Tourism Prince George through the Economic Infrastructure program for the relocation and enhancement of the Visitor Information Centre (VIC). The VIC will be relocated from 1st Avenue to a new downtown location that is situated within the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre rotunda. In addition to the VIC relocation, Tourism PG is developing an open-air container market and year-round outdoor skating facility in the area. The container market will be located in Canada Games Plaza where local vendors, artisans, producers and entrepreneurs will be able to rent fully equipped space to sell their goods and services during multi-day conferences, events and festivals. The Visitor Information Centre will be powered by renewable energy, helping to reduce the organization’s environmental footprint.

$256,610 was approved for the District of Chetwynd through the Recreation Infrastructure program for a 400-metre running track at Rotary Park. Currently, the park houses amenities such as outdoor shelters, restrooms and drinking fountains, and it supports various activities including sports gatherings, camping, a trail network and a community living facility. This initiative will see the transformation of the existing walking track into an official 400m running track. The project involves soil excavation, road crush installation and the pouring of a recycled rubber surface with line markings to facilitate the track’s conversion. This project will allow the park to host larger events and contribute to the health and wellness of outdoor enthusiasts. The track design further supports various initiatives, including hurdle training, long jump, walking and team sports.

$200,000 was approved for the Prince Rupert Golf Club through the Recreation Infrastructure program for a revitalization and accessibility project. Damage has rendered major components of the course non-functional as well as less visually appealing. The golf cart paths are in very poor condition which limits mobility, and the poor condition of the shorter tees pose a challenge for accessible and equitable play. The renovations are necessary for the sustainability of the golf course and its ability to meet the diversity of community needs. The project includes the rebuilding of six kilometres of cart paths, repairs to greens, tee box renovation and bunker/sand trap replacement.

$200,000 was approved for the City of Quesnel under the Northern Housing Incentive program for an apartment block that will provide 57 new, self-contained residential dwelling units that will be available for rent in Quesnel. The facility will house 42 one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom apartments. This is a significant step in increasing the local housing stock that is needed. Priority objectives for this project include enhancing the supply of entry-level housing for young adults/professionals and senior-appropriate housing, facilitating workforce housing, and ensuring adequate accessibility in housing for seniors.

$130,632 was approved for the Glen Vowell Band through the Economic Infrastructure program for a local food production hub expansion. The band is currently operating a modular growing system which has provided the community with a source of fresh produce since it became operational in 2023. The Nation has been selling produce to the community under their brand, Skeena Fresh. However, the demand is currently outweighing the supply and through the purchase of a second modular hydroponic farm, the Band will effectively double its production capacity for fresh produce. Glen Vowell works with Growcer Modular Food Solutions, a company that can install a modular hydroponic farm within a day that achieves consistent yields no matter the weather. Plants grow in as little as six weeks in an efficiently controlled and optimized hydroponic growing environment. Farmers can grow produce locally, using significantly less land and 90 per cent less water than traditional farming methods, all while reducing GHG emissions and increasing production efficiency.

$141,585 was approved for the District of Vanderhoof through the Recreation Infrastructure program for arena upgrades. The Vanderhoof Arena, constructed in 1977 and renovated several times, requires essential upgrades to its aging mechanical systems, particularly the heating/cooling system. The current system is both inefficient and at risk of failure, requiring immediate attention to ensure uninterrupted arena operation. These upgrades not only enhance energy efficiency, but also contribute to reducing the environmental impact of the facility. Upgrading the arena’s mechanical systems is crucial for sustaining operations, avoiding potential closures, and preserving revenue from hockey teams, skating organizations and public skating. Beyond the financial impact, the arena plays a key role in enhancing the community’s quality of life, making these upgrades a strategic investment in Vanderhoof’s overall recreational health.


Colin Carson, CEO, Tourism Prince George
“We are so grateful for this grant from Northern Development Initiative Trust. Receiving this funding will allow us to transform our new Visitor Information Centre and the Canada Games Plaza into a truly interactive space for visitors, and thousands of conference attendees, to experience our community culture and grow our local economy. We are looking forward to revitalizing this area, which will in turn give Prince George a competitive edge in conference and tourism attraction. “

Chief Tony Sampare, Glen Vowell Indian Band
“We are very appreciative of the grant from Northern Development. This project is so important to the community and the demand for fresh produce on the Gitxsan Territories, and neighbouring territories is so high that we can’t keep up. Adding a second growing system will double our capacity and is a welcome addition.”

Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust
“For the first intake of 2024, we are really pleased with the quality of projects submitted to the Trust. We know that food security and housing in particular are important issues in our region and we are happy to support those initiatives. As well, we are glad to see a strong focus on recreation and the importance of having accessible spaces for everyone to enjoy.”