Northern Development approves over $1.9 million for projects through its new Community Development programs

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. – Northern Development announced today that it has approved funding for eight projects totalling just over $1.9 million throughout central and northern B.C. At their February 24 meeting, the Trust’s board of directors approved the following projects which all fall under the new Community Development programs introduced at the Trust 2020 launch last September.

$107,523 was approved through the Recreation Infrastructure program for the Valemount Curling Club ice plant replacement. The current ice plant has not been operational for the past two winters and the system that is in place no longer meets present environmental standards. Once installed, the club members will begin making ice and start the curling season.

$168,974 was approved for the District of Vanderhoof through the Main Street Revitalization Capital program to upgrade street lighting on Burrard Street. The existing style of light heads are obsolete and much dimmer than the heads of today’s standards. These improvements will provide a brighter and more vibrant main street and downtown core, improved aesthetics, improved safety and decreased energy usage and utility costs.

$200,000 was approved for the City of Terrace through the Main Street Revitalization Capital program for the enhancement of Lazelle Boulevard. This includes resurfacing and upgrading aging sidewalks and the replacement of existing grassed boulevards with attractive and contemporary paving stones. A variety of streetscaping amenities including garbage cans, bike racks and tree boxes will also be added.

$232,666 was approved for the Atlin District Airport Association through the Economic Infrastructure program for Atlin Airport fuel system and lighting upgrade. The fuel system will be operated by the association who will maintain the system and capture fuel sale revenues to reinvest in ongoing airport maintenance and airport development into the future.

$291,605 was approved for the Fraser-Fort George Museum Society through the Cultural Infrastructure program to renovate The Exploration Place Museum and Science Centre (TEP) in Prince George. The renovation will accommodate a new vision for programming with a focus on Indigenous history and reconciliation, concern for the environment and a new understanding of the risk of novel disease transmission. The renovation includes biome expansion, conversion of the atrium to a paleo-botanical hall, expansion of exhibit spaces and increased food service to name a few. The project will also strengthen earned revenue streams, generating opportunities for increased memberships, admissions, gift shop sales and facility rentals.

$300,000 was approved for My Mountain Co-op through the Recreation Infrastructure program to install a new beginner conveyor lift at the Shames Mountain ski area near Terrace. The covered conveyor lift will replace the current beginner handle rope which is aging and difficult to use. The new lift will enable skiers to readily access the beginner slope in a safe and easy to use manner. It will also provide simple access for skiers that may be mobility challenged. The conveyor lift will also enable Shames to create and operate snow tubing lanes which will diversify the recreational offerings on the mountain.

$300,000 was approved for the Tse’k’wa Heritage Society (THS) through the Cultural Infrastructure program to assist in developing the Tse’k’wa (“rock house” in Dane Zaa, also known as Charlie Lake Cave) National Historic Site in order to welcome the public for interpretive experiences. Specific project components include the construction of an outdoor amphitheatre, parking area, universally accessible outhouses and walking trails, interpretive displays and signage, and on-site renovations to include a commercial kitchen facility and heritage repository for artifacts. The outcome will be a new Indigenous cultural experience in the Fort St. John area.

$300,000 was approved for the Fort Nelson Historical Society through the Cultural Infrastructure program for the Fort Nelson Heritage Museum expansion.This project includes a two-story addition to the existing single-story museum building, which will increase the museum floor area by 240 per cent. The main floor additions will create new gallery spaces, a theatre and customer washrooms, while the second floor will be used for museum administration including offices, artifact restoration area and archival storage. The project also includes the installation of universal and accessible public washrooms and an energy efficient boiler that will serve both the addition and existing building.


Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust
“These projects are a testament to the hard work and ingenuity of organizations throughout the north to build strong, sustainable communities. This announcement marks the first set of project approvals through our new suite of community development programs, which were unanimously supported by every local government in the north. A huge thank you goes out to our applicants, regional advisors, board directors and staff for bringing this important milestone to fruition.”

Gerry Thiessen, Mayor of Vanderhoof
“Council, staff and our community are very grateful to Northern Development for partnering with the District of Vanderhoof to improve the lighting in our community. The additional lighting installation along Burrard Ave to Riverside Park enhances and compliments the district’s sidewalk infrastructure to residential areas, the park’s entrance, the Nechako River trail system, the Riverside Park campground, and the Nechako River bird sanctuary. In addition, upgrading the existing streetlights in the downtown core with LED technology benefits the community’s aesthetics, increases pedestrian safety, improves visibility and mitigates vandalism.”

Fionnuala Devine, Secretary Treasurer, Atlin District Airport Association
“This project is essential for our community-operated airport to be sustainable and provides us for the first time with a significant revenue stream that will be re-invested in airport infrastructure, making it a safe and thriving facility.  This means that the community will continue to have a base of operations for aviation-businesses, emergency preparedness operations, wildfire suppression operations, and a gateway to this part of B.C. for economic opportunities from mineral development to tourism ventures.  All community members benefit either directly or indirectly from this project and our airport is essential to keeping this community economically vibrant.”

Dave Gordon, Vice Chair, My Mountain Coop
“This new beginner lift will be a game changer for us.  New skiers and riders will now be able to safely and easily get to the top of our bunny hill to learn to ski. This is especially important for our school program which reaches over 40 schools across the northwest, from Haida Gwaii to Hazelton, from Stewart to Hartley Bay and of course Terrace, Kitimat and Prince Rupert. It will also support disabled skiers to learn the sport and join our Paralympian alumni Caleb Brousseau and Andrea Brosseau who call Shames home.  The snow tube lanes we will build with this project will enable non-skiers to enjoy the mountain and join our very special mountain community.  We are very grateful to Northern Development Initiative Trust for supporting this project.” 

Garry Oker, Tse’k’wa’s President
“The T’se’K’wa Board of Directors and Doig River, West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations communities are very happy for the Cultural Infrastructure grant support. The grant will provide resources to develop infrastructure for safe public access to the site. These funds support our goal to preserve this National Historic Site and create an artifact repository and cultural interpretive center. We will work to create an important stop for locals to learn about their home region and tourists that travel the Alaska highway. This is the culmination of an effort that has been in the works for years with the goal to create a world class historic site for learning about this important regional landmark.”