August 11, 2016
A covered event facility will be built at Peace Island Park along the south banks of the Peace River later this summer, thanks in part to help from Northern Development Initiative Trust.
The Trust’s board of directors approved a $250,000 grant to support the project at their most recent board meeting.
The new multi-purpose facility would provide a weather-proof building suitable for hosting more events such as weddings, family reunions and club and community gatherings held annually.
Construction of the new structure will be led by a joint committee composed of the Fort St. John Petroleum Association and Peace Country River Rats.
The committee expects the structure will generate new revenue for the park through increased facility rentals and added camping fees, which can benefit future park enhancements.
Peace Island Park, which is currently managed by the District of Taylor, includes more than 100 campsites, a playground, boat launch, walking trails, picnic area and open recreation areas.
The park is located along the banks of the beautiful Peace River, attracting thousands of tourists each year travelling through the area along the historic Alaska Highway.
The Trust’s funding was approved through its Economic Diversification Infrastructure program, which provides a maximum $250,000 grant for projects that significantly strengthen the local economy through a major capital investment.
The Trust’s funding for the Peace Island Park multi-purpose facility represents approximately 70% of the total project budget of $360,000.
Other funding contributors include the District of Taylor, Fort St. John Petroleum Association, and Peace Country River Rats.
Northern Development has previously supported campground projects in Pouce Coupe, Dawson Creek and elsewhere.
Construction is expected to be complete this fall.
“Peace Island Park is already a fantastic tourist and recreation attraction. The multi-purpose facility will mean more events and community gatherings can be held at the park annually, increasing tourism revenue and supporting the local economy,” said Evan Saugstad, Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust.
“The Fort St. John Petroleum Association is very excited to see the culmination of the past six years of effort finally come to fruition. We are looking forward to having a permanent facility available at Peace Island Park for the use of the public. This facility will be put to great use for this events hosted by the River Rats Organization going forward. In conjunction with the River Rats organization – we are proud to have pledged the initial support for the construction of this facility as a legacy to the community. The benefit to the community will serve all residents of the Peace Region,” said Sean Thomas, president, Fort St. John Petroleum Association.
“We want people to make the most of our beautiful parks and outdoor spaces here in the Peace River region. This is a great funding announcement and this new facility will be a well-used, much appreciated addition to Peace Island Park,” said Peace River South MLA Mike Bernier.
“Congratulations to everyone involved in the development of this important community project. This new facility will not only provide residents and visitors of Taylor with a new venue for social gatherings, but will also help to increase revenue for Peace Island Park,” said Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies MP Bob Zimmer.
“The addition of a covered event facility at Peace Island Park will provide another attraction in the region for tourists travelling along the Alaska Highway to stopover. Increased tourism opportunities can attract private investors, generate jobs, and help to fuel economic growth in the region,” said Brad Sperling, Acting Chair for the Peace River Regional District.
About Northern Development:
Since 2005, the Trust has used its resources to approve more than $150 million in funding for more than 2,000 projects throughout central and northern B.C. In that time, the Trust has leveraged $1.2 billion in new investment to the region and helped diversify the economy. Today, the Trust is sustainably managed with a capital base in excess of $250 million and two dozen programs and services that foster collaboration, sustainability and diversification in the region’s communities.
Northern Development Initiative Trust