July 2022 - Newsletter

In this issue

All photos: BC Games via Flickr

The Prince George 2022 BC Summer Games were held in Prince George from July 21-24 and brought 2,915 participants, including athletes, coaches and officials, to participate in 18 sports held at a variety of locations in and around the city. The four-day event is estimated to bring $2 million into the local economy and brings free, inspiring entertainment for all to enjoy.

 “Having athletes from every corner of BC gather again in Prince George is a dream come true for competitors, coaches, volunteers and organizers,” said Melanie Mark, Hli Haykwhl Wii Xsgaak, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, before the Games began. “This is an exciting opportunity for our province’s top young athletes to demonstrate their hard work and determination.”

Across the city, 16 venues were activated to host the competition. Of those, five facilities have been invested in by the Trust through various grant programs. Masich Place Stadium was home to track and field competitions on Friday and Saturday, with athletes competing in races, long jump, high jump, hurdles, javelin, relays and other events.

In 2015, the Northern Development Board approved a $250,000 Economic Diversification Infrastructure grant for the City of Prince George to complete significant upgrades to Masich Place Stadium. Improvements included installing a synthetic turf field, track and field throws/jumps development, track resurfacing alongside other site improvements.

Other event hosting facilities that received funding from Northern Development include:

  • Prince George Aquatic Centre: $118,952 in Community Halls and Recreation Facilities grant funding for four projects
  • Prince George Golf and Curling Club: $80,901 in Community Halls and Recreation Facilities and Recreation Infrastructure grant funding for three projects
  • CN Centre: $60,000 in Community Halls and Recreation Facilities grant funding for two projects
  • Kin 2 and 3: $30,000 Community Halls and Recreation Facilities grant for one project (Kin 3 was not used during the Summer Games)

Athletes that arrived by air were warmly welcomed at YXS – Prince George Airport. Since 2016, Northern Development has approved $693,997 in grants to support improvement and expansion projects at the airport. Funding for the airport has varied from parking and fuel management systems upgrades to expanding food services and renovations. Grants have been from the former Economic Diversification Infrastructure program and the current Economic Infrastructure program.

All photos: Northern Development

On June 30, the communities of Vanderhoof and Saik’uz First Nation celebrated the grand opening of the new Vanderhoof Cultural Centre, located in Vanderhoof Historical Park. Designed to reflect a pit house, the modern multi-use facility will exhibit art and regalia provided by Saik’uz First Nation and artifacts from Vanderhoof’s history. There is also ample space for community members to gather for public events, workshops, learning and other activities.

Designed in collaboration with Saik’uz First Nation, the District of Vanderhoof worked hard to access funding from multiple sources to support the costs of building. Northern Development approved a $250,000 Economic Diversification Infrastructure grant for the project, alongside funding from the federal and provincial governments and financial and in-kind support from local businesses.

“The Vanderhoof Cultural Centre is a tangible symbol of what the District of Vanderhoof is doing to embrace our local and regional culture, strengthen our relationship with our neighbours, the Saik’uz First Nation, and where visitors can learn more about Vanderhoof,” said Mayor Gerry Thiessen, District of Vanderhoof. “Working together to ensure this new facility is where culture, history and art can be shared with members of our communities as well as visitors is an important process. We are very pleased with the result. We thank Northern Development for the financial contribution to see this building become a reality.”

“It has been important for our two communities to work together on shared initiatives that will bring a broad range of collective benefits to each of us while we walk together on the path towards reconciliation,” said Chief and Council, Saik’uz First Nation. “Having members from each of our elective councils collaborate with staff on a beautiful facility that will breathe new life into our shifting regional economy is an act of rebuilding and building new relationships with each other. We are excited to share our resiliency and culturally-rich ingenuity as Yinka Dene (People of the Earth) reflected throughout the infrastructure and through the various programs and services that could be delivered.”

Funding for this project was approved by Northern Development’s board of directors prior to September 2020, when Northern Development launched Trust 2020 and introduced a new suite of community development programs. If the District of Vanderhoof were to have applied for funding after September 2020, the project would have been eligible for a Cultural Infrastructure grant.

Local governments, First Nations and non-profits in communities experiencing rapid economic development due to the Coastal GasLink and LNG Canada projects can apply for up to $500,000 in grant funding through the Northern Healthy Communities Fund (NHCF). The current intake cycle closes on August 12, 2022.

Funding is available through two streams:

  • Capital: $500,000 is available to a maximum of 80 per cent of the eligible budget for capital projects that allow organizations upgrade, improve or build facilities to better serve their communities as they adjust to expected economic growth
  • Capacity Building: $300,000 is available to a maximum of 90 per cent of the eligible budget for capacity building projects in eligible communities. Funds may be used for incremental staffing, education, outreach, public engagement, program development and delivery costs

See the below poster for eligible project categories or visit https://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/funding-programs/partner-programs/northern-healthy-communities-fund/

Photo: Northern Development

Northern Development is now accepting proposals to the Inter-City Passenger Transportation Services for Northern BC (IPTS) grant program. Funded by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, this program follows the successful Northern Community Shuttle program under the Northern Passenger Transportation Service umbrella.

IPTS aims to provide safe, reliable and affordable transportation to rural communities in central and northern B.C. Transportation service providers who are qualified and experienced in public transportation are welcome to submit a proposal for grant funding through the program. It is anticipated that approximately $2.5 million will be available through the program. The deadline to submit proposals is August 29, 2022.

There are three objectives for IPTS:

  • To provide inter-city scheduled passenger transportation service, through the operation of a safe, efficient, reliable and customer-service orientated passenger transportation management company with well-trained, supervised, managed and motivated professional drivers, maintenance staff, dispatchers, management and supporting staff using clean and well-maintained vehicles
  • To deliver services in a manner that maximizes ridership, increases passenger revenues, considers route efficiencies, deceases the need for passengers to stay overnight and find accommodation, demonstrates coordination of passenger connectivity to other service providers where applicable including pick up and drop off points, maximizes positive customer comments, minimizes negative customer comments, minimizes fuel consumption, works diligently to protect the environment and provide these services at a reasonable cost
  • To provide experience and knowledge in the development and/or operation of new revenue generating or cost reduction proposals to improve the affordability of inter-city passenger transportation services within the region, thereby supporting the long-term sustainability and viability of inter-city passenger services in Northern B.C.

For more information, including how to apply, visit: https://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/funding-programs/partner-programs/northern-passenger-transportation-service/

From July 14-17, Quesnel was alive with a free family festival. Residents and visitors enjoyed a parade, street market, car races, rodeo, carnival rides, non-stop live entertainment, laser show and other festivities in honour of Billy Barker, a very successful miner during the Cariboo Gold Rush.

 “Hosting Billy Barker Days 2022 was all the more special this year after we missed the past two years due to the pandemic,” said Debbie Wiens, treasurer, Quesnel Billy Barker Days Society. “It was heartwarming to see thousands of people participate in the four days of fun as we support our community and local businesses after a challenging number of years.”

To support this signature event, Northern Development contributed a $5,000 grant through its Fabulous Festivals and Events funding program. This is the fifth consecutive time since 2016 that Quesnel Billy Barker Days has received a grant from the Trust for the festivities. The Trust’s $5,000 grant in 2022 was used to help with the costs of the $20,000 laser show

The Billy Barker Days Festival provides many economic and social benefits to the community of Quesnel. Economically, 10,000 people attend the festival each year, with many travelling to the city from other communities. This brings an immediate benefit to accommodators, restaurants and other tourism-related businesses. Socially, the return of the event after two years brings the community together to enjoy high-quality events, including live entertainment and laser show, with no barriers.