June 2016 - Newsletter

In this issue


The Williams Lake Indian Band’s ambitious trail project will be completed this summer thanks to the Trust’s Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program.

Starting and finishing at the Chief Wil Yum Campground, trail users will be able to travel the entire circumference of the City of Williams Lake this summer thanks to improvements to the trail network supported by Northern Development. The upgraded trail system now intersects with four significant riding areas: Fox Mountain, South Side, Desous Mountain and the Williams Lake Bike Park.

Mountain bike recreation and tourism is rapidly growing sector in Williams Lake and the Cariboo Chilcotin, providing significant social and economic benefits.  A recently completed economic impact analysis has shown that mountain bike tourism generates more than $2 million annually in economic activity in the Cariboo as well as a substantial number of jobs and local businesses. The City of Williams Lake, the Cariboo Regional District, and the Williams Lake Indian Band have made substantial investments in trails and related infrastructure and share a vision of growing this sector and firmly establishing the region as a world-class destination.

In 2016, Northern Development provided $30,000 in grant funding to support expansion of the Southside Connector Trail.

The new connector trail was, up until now, the missing element that would help ensure the region has the trails and infrastructure it needs to fulfil the communities’ vision. For the Williams Lake Indian Band, the trail connects their commercial development area and the Chief Wil Yum Campground, which supports the future growth of the local recreation tourism sector.

You can learn more about trail networks in Williams Lake here.

The District of Taylor’s community hall and complex received a significant contribution from Northern Development through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program. The Taylor community hall received $22,000 in 2015 to install new durable flooring that is estimated to last at least 40 years, and provide a safe environment for locals to continue using this key community amenity.

“The Community Hall is a widely used facility by many user groups. The flooring looks fantastic and has proved to be significantly more durable which allowed some of the more aggressive group sports like roller derby and floor hockey to continue to use the facility. With this funding, the District is able to continue to provide a safe and enjoyable space for a variety of purposes,” said Tyla Pennell, corporate projects manager, District of Taylor.

The Taylor Complex also received $30,000 in funding in 2015 through Northern Development to complete repairs and upgrades, which included a new floor in its viewing area. The upgrades have allowed the curling club, which is located in the complex, to keep providing services to local residents Taylor and the surrounding area, ensuring that the facility remains highly utilized during the winter months.

“The upgrades to the curling rink and pool complex have made the upstairs more enjoyable for all patrons, whether it be to host a special event or for parents to watch their children as they swim in the pool. This funding assistance was an essential component of making these improvements a reality,” explained Pennell.

Both facilities are integral parts of Taylor’s community infrastructure and the improvements have them ready to host events to promote active lifestyles for residents for years to come.

Waterfall bermFort St. John City Manager Dianne Hunter talks about sustainable community planning and the Trust during a recent trip to Peru.

Dianne Hunter, Fort St. John’s City Manager, was recently in Peru as part of a Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) delegation to assist communities impacted by mining. The delegation was part of the Sustainable and Inclusive Communities in Latin America (CISAL) program, which mobilizes Canadian municipal experts from resource communities to work with their counterparts in Colombia and Peru. Together, they work to find innovative solutions to help local governments build more sustainable and inclusive communities in areas where mining activity is taking place. During her time in Peru, Hunter was asked to provide expertise about not only how Fort St. John was charting a sustainable future, but also how Northern Development’s innovative approach to economic development could serve as a model for communities in Latin America.

Q: What’s happening in Peru and what type of work were you doing there? 
A: Mining has really exploded in Peru in the last 10 years. This is an emerging industry for them. They have always had small family and artisan mining operations but nothing of this scale. So mining in Peru is setting the entire country on a new course, which makes programs like CISAL particularly valuable to them. The communities in Peru have been mandated by the state to develop a 30-year plan for their communities. This is the first time communities have had to develop such plans so we acted as a resource for establishing priorities and the strategic planning process.

Q: What lessons from Fort St. John did you share that might help communities in Peru?
A: During my first presentation I touched on our distance from Victoria, how as a city we are surrounded by industry and have such small borders. In Peru, there is no unincorporated land so everything is always within someone’s borders. I talked about the importance of managing expectations especially the notion that ‘industry will solve all our problems.’ Local government needs to manage expectations and sometimes money doesn’t solve your issues. I also talked about the importance of having conversations with industry as a coalition instead of individual communities.

Q: As a part of your trip you were asked to talk about Northern Development’s sustainable approach to economic development. Why were local government officials in Peru interested in Northern Development’s model?
A: During my second presentation I discussed how a model similar to Northern Development Initiative Trust could be beneficial to the leaders of small rural communities – especially from the perspective of pooling resources and managing them collectively to build capacity, and allowing them to grow and leverage that capacity for sustainable growth.

Q: How could the Northern Development model support positive change in a country like Peru?
A: Local government representation is key to the success of Northern Development – it helps the Trust understand local issues from a community perspective while at the same time remaining independent of larger political cycles. As well, a huge part of the Trust’s success has been its sustainable approach to fund management. This is a key best practice that could be applied in Peru. It’s important for there to be strong financial policies around the resource revenue communities in Peru are accessing, which would allow them to leverage additional resources to build a diversified and sustainable economy for future generations.

Q: What happens next?
A: Mayor Lori Ackerman will speak to the group again at FCM in Winnipeg in June, where 16 Mayors from Peru and Columbia will attend. There will also be tours of mining communities in Manitoba. Lori is speaking on revenue sharing. Namely, the Fair Share agreement, the Community Measures Agreement with BC Hydro and the public engagement process regarding Site C.

Q: What was your main takeaway from this experience?
A: What really struck me in Peru was the fact that their strength rests is their strong ties with their culture, history and traditions. It provides them with a unique strength, roots and social context that we sometimes overlook in Canada. I also noticed a strong sense of citizenship in these small communities – residents really want to be involved in their community and pitch in to assist with long-term planning. It was refreshing and something we could do more of here in Canada.


On April 27th and 28th, ‪Love Northern BC community champions gathered in Prince George to share new ideas and discuss best practices for the Love Northern BC program. Love Northern BC is a web-based marketing program that supports more than 1,500 independent locally-owned businesses in 30 communities throughout central and northern B.C.

During the conference, community champions had the opportunity to visit a number of Love Downtown PG businesses and hear business owners share stories, challenges and successes.  The conference also gave the community champions a look at the future of the program including the new re-branding initiative.


Minerals North 2016 was held in Smithers and Telkwa from May 18th to 20th. Congratulations to all involved on your hard work and dedication toward this event. Presentations at the event included the importance of innovation, long-term sustainability and workforce development.


Celebrate our region with these Fabulous Festivals
Northern Development is proud to be supporting unique festivals and events throughout our region with the Fabulous Festivals and Events funding program.

The program provides non-profit organizations $2,500 to help build the sustainability and expansion of local events to attract tourism and build communities. Save the date and check out these events coming soon in Northern B.C.
Fort St. John  |  Performing arts BC Provincial Festival  |  May 31 – June 4
Chetwynd  |  International Chainsaw Carving Championship  |  June 9 – 12
Rolla  |  Sweetwater 905 Arts and Music Festival  |  June 10 – 11
Prince George  | BMO KidzArt Dayz  | July 8 – 9
Atlin  |  Atlin Arts and Music Festival  |  July 8 – 10
Dawson Creek | Mile Zero Cruisers Summer Cruise | July 8 – 10
Quesnel  |  Billy Barker Days  |  July 14 – 17
Lillooet | Lillooet Apricot Tsaqwem Festival | July 15 – 17
Valemount | Canoe Mountain Rodeo | July 15 – 16
Prince George | Summerfest 2016 | July 17
Francois Lake  |  Grassy Plains Summer Festival  |  July 18 – 19
Hazelton  |  Kispiox Valley Music Festival  |  July 22 – 24
Prince George | Hot Day at Otway | July 22 – 24
Bella Coola  |  Discovery Coast Music Festival  |  July 23 – 24
Haida Gwaii | Tlell Fall Fair | July 31
Tumbler Ridge | Grizfest Music Festival | July 29 – 31
Terrace  |  Terrace Riverboat Days  |  July 29 – August 7
Sunset Prairie | Kiskatinaw Fall Fair | August 5 – 7
Haida Gwaii  |  Edge of the World Music Festival  |  August 5 – 7
Spences Bridge | Desert Daze Festival | August 12 – 13
Wells  |  Moonrise Film Festival  |  August 19 – 21
Barkerville  |  Mid-Autumn Moon Festival  |  August 20
Lillooet, Clinton, Logan Lake, Loon Lake  |  Gold Country Geocache Event  |
September 2 – 5
Lytton  |  Lytton River Festival  |  September 2 – 3
Chetwynd  |  Chetwynd Harvest Festival  |  September 10
Lillooet | Lillooet Harvest Festival | September 10
McBride  |  Fraser Heritage Festival  |  September 30 – Oct 2