December 2021 - Newsletter

In this issue

Each year, Northern Development contracts numerous local photographers to capture professional images of projects that the Trust has invested in. This initiative celebrates the successes of grant recipients and raises awareness about the new or improved amenities that are available to the public.

Below are some favourite images from 2021.

Tumbler Ridge Pump Track
$50,000 Community Halls and Recreation Facilities grant for $300,109 project.

On July 24, 2021, Tumbler Ridge Mountain Bike Association (TRMBA) welcomed the community to the grand opening of their new pump track.

According to TRMBA, biking in the northeast is a largely untapped economic opportunity. This project has directly supported and diversified economic opportunities to support visitation to Tumbler Ridge and the Peace Region.

Stewart Dirt Bike Track and Multi-Use Park
$30,000 Community Halls and Recreation Facilities grant for $49,300 project.

The Dirt Bike Track and Multi-Use Park opened in Stewart in 2017 and was immediately well-received by the community. Within weeks, 30 memberships were sold to the Mountain Madness Motorsports Club. At that time, the oldest member of the club was in their mid-fifties and the youngest was three years old.

“Hearing that there was a motocross park being constructed in this area helped influence my decision to move here,” said Branden Small, professional rider and new Stewart resident. “I compete nationally and this park gives me a great place to practice. I feel that this track’s popularity and use will increase as word gets around the north that Stewart has a professionally designed motocross park.”

Williams Lake First Nation Cannabis Cultivation Facility
$250,000 Economic Diversification Infrastructure grant for $1,100,000 project.

Funding for Williams Lake First Nation’s farm-to-gate craft cannabis facility was approved in October 2019 and construction is ongoing.

This project is a key component in the Williams Lake First Nation’s economic development and economic diversification strategy and provides them with a new revenue stream. As a result, there will be broadened employment opportunities for their members while providing a new product to the region.

Read more about this project.

Town Centre Mall

$5,000 Business Façade Improvement grant

Town Centre Mall in Mackenzie underwent a serious transformation in 2018 and 2019. The mall’s exterior was refreshed with metal and tile, new tenant signage, new lighting and wood façade on the main pillars.

After completing the façade upgrades, the family-owned strip mall noticed an increase in potential tenants asking about mall space and they felt more pride in their building’s appearance. The project supports economic development in Mackenzie by encouraging private sector investment and improving the community’s visual attractiveness and visitor experience.

November 26 was the fifth consecutive time Love Northern BC celebrated Plaid Friday and each year they find new ways to engage with Northern B.C. residents.

This year, Love Northern BC held an online contest named “A Hunting We Will Go” from November 15 through November 26. With 20 plaid prize packages available to be won, 81 people from the Trust’s service region entered the contest by identifying the location of four carved ambassadors.

Winners were from communities such as Queen Charlotte. Lone Butte, Taylor, Ashcroft and many others. One winner from Fort St. John wrote this note of gratitude after receiving her prize:
“Thanks very much! 🙂 I will wear these lovely items with pride and mention your page to all who ask about them! Everyone I know has been shopping local more often since the pandemic began as it’s SO important to keep small business afloat! 👍 Thanks for all that you do to encourage support of our local businesses!”

Plaid Friday is a grassroots alternative to Black Friday which strives to encourage people to support local, independent businesses as they begin their holiday shopping. Participating Love Northern BC communities host their own Plaid Friday celebrations for their residents and local businesses. To support the entire region, Love Northern BC supports the individual communities in their festive efforts and hosts their own Plaid Friday social media contest.

On November 26, Love Lillooet celebrated Plaid Friday with a winter festival and vehicle parade to thank frontline workers. To capture the special celebrations, Northern Development contracted a local photographer to take images of the day’s events. See some of our favourite photos below:

Throughout 2021, Northern Development welcomed four new members to its staff team. In April, Ben Campbell joined the Trust’s executive team as Chief Financial Officer. Campbell is a lifelong Prince George resident and attended both the University of Northern British Columbia and the College of New Caledonia.

In May, Tess Elo, a long-time staff member, was promoted from Senior Financial Analyst to Manager of Financial Services. Elo joined the Trust in 2005 as a part-time employee before transitioning to a full-time team member in 2011.

The Senior Financial Analyst position was filled shortly after by Kurtis Caston. With a keen interest in adapting technology to drive efficiency and results, Caston is responsible for the financial oversight of the Trust’s partner programs.

In July, Jordan Barrett joined the staff team as Partner Programs Coordinator to provide additional support to the partner programs department. Barrett moved to Prince George from Prince Rupert, where she was a local government intern with the North Coast Regional District.

Northern Development welcomed Kyla Buote in November as Finance and Administrative Coordinator. Buote recently moved to Prince George from Chetwynd and is the Trust’s key point of contact. She also assists the finance and partner programs departments.