December 2023 - Newsletter

In this issue

Mile 0 Park is a tourism and recreation fixture in the City of Dawson Creek and a popular park attraction is the Walter Wright Pioneer Village, a heritage site that explores the history of the early pioneers who settled in the area during World War II.

In the spring of 2023, the South Peace Mile 0 Park Society successfully applied for and received a $94,815 to provide new roofs for five buildings in the Village: Taylor House, Dawson Creek School, Harper General Store and Boundary United Church.

It was determined that many of the cedar shingle roofs in the Pioneer Village were degrading and given the changing climate and increased risk of wildfires, the optimum roofing material is metal. Metal roofing materials that resemble era appropriate shingles were used and will last upwards of 75 years.

The roofing project is key to preserving tourism assets and improving the vibrancy of the village and the overall visitor experience at the Mile 0 Park.

“NDIT funding for this project helped turn an idea into reality. The dollars provided enabled us to leverage our own funding and in-kind donations in order to re-roof a number of historic and replica buildings at the Walter Wright Pioneer Village,” said Alex Reschny, president, South Peace Mile 0 Park Society. “This project will protect these buildings from the elements for another 75 years. Being able to do this project will reduce maintenance costs in the future and allow next generations to step back in time and experience what it was like to homestead in the Peace.” 

In 2021, the Lakes District Film Appreciation Society was approved for a $47,000 Economic Infrastructure grant to replace the roof on the historic Beacon Theatre in Burns Lake.

A new roof was just one of several projects the society undertook in order to bring the building up to code, including upgrades to all of the walls and replacement of the siding, meeting all engineer recommendations and requirements.

The Beacon Theatre, in addition to showing movies, provides a venue for local events, live music and cultural performances. The facility is also wheelchair accessible, making the Beacon a valuable community asset. The Lakes District Film Appreciation Society partners with local businesses to provide free performances on holidays and holds special screenings of films that feature local talent.

The Beacon Theatre is the only entertainment venue on Burns Lake’s main street and the only amenity open after 7:00 p.m. This provides high value for both older and younger residents and visitors to have an option for entertainment and social connection in the evening.

“We are so excited to receive this funding because it has allowed us to remain open!  When our theatre was denied occupancy because of structural concerns of the old roof – we thought we may have to close permanently,” said Elaine Wiebe, director, Lakes District Film Appreciation Society.  “It is so wonderful that the community came forward to provide funding for the theatre to remain open in Burns Lake.”

The Terrace Curling Association (TCA) built the Terrace Curling Rink back in 1972/73 and in 2022, the original roof was well past its prime.

Thanks in part to a $70,455 Recreation Infrastructure grant, the TCA was able to construct a new roof to overlay the older metal roofing.

The TCA was advised in 2006 that the roof had several leaks and was exhibiting severe rusting over the entire roof deck and condensation was an issue on the interior surface of the roof.

The leaks drip onto the ice sheet surface and in the lobby and lounge/serving areas, which limits use of the facility and can reduce the number of curling ice sheets, impacting league and bonspiel play. Various methods by volunteers to patch and address continued leaking enabled this roof to last as long as it did.

The new roof eliminates leaks and condensation and the overall improvements will reduce heating and cooling costs to the TCA over the renewed life of the building.

“The Terrace Curling Association is appreciative of the recent grant which funded critical roof repairs this summer. Along with a new ice plant and other improvements over the last several years, the new roof has brought the 1970’s era facility into the 2020s,” said Roger L’Heureux, president, Terrace Curling Club.  “The upgraded building allows us to continue to offer league curling, bonspiels, high school and youth and special needs curling, and public learn-to-curl events, as well as non-curling events like catering, community and family events, dryland training, and even a summertime film festival.  Without the generosity of the Northern Development Initiative Trust, our service to the community might come to an end.”