June 2022 - Newsletter

In this issue

Northern Development at a glance


of Trust funds invested in projects since 2005


projects approved since 2005


of funds committed to projects in 2022


projects approved in 2022

In June, Northern Development celebrated the approval of funding for 5,000 projects since 2005! The milestone was reached following a series of regularly scheduled Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) meetings. To date, 356 projects have been approved in 2022 and 2019 holds the record for most approvals in one year – 482.

“Surpassing 5,000 project approvals provides an opportunity to reflect on the impact Northern Development has made in Northern B.C. and beyond,” said Margo Wagner, chair, Northern Development. “Since inception, the Trust has been responsive to the changing needs of communities in its service region – by adapting programs after forest fires, economic downturns and global pandemics and by introducing a new suite of community development funding programs in 2020 after extensive engagement and research. By being responsive and responsible, we are achieving our mission of stimulating entrepreneurial activity and community resiliency.”

These numbers include projects approved through the Trust’s own programs and the programs administered for other organizations. Since 2007, 761 projects have been approved through the Grant Writing Support program, the most of all the funding programs administered by the Trust. Second and third most popular programs are Economic Development Capacity Building and Community Halls and Recreation Facilities, with 682 and 655 approvals respectively.

Of the partner programs, the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund and BC Hydro GO Fund have the most approvals with 69 approved projects approved through each. Phase 4 of the Connecting British Columbia (Economic Recovery Intake) was close behind with 61 approvals.

To learn about some of the projects that were approved last year, read the 2021 Annual Report.

“I already feel like this is one of the best decisions I could have made for my career.”

Photo: Interns during a photo session that took place as part of the 2022 intern orientation. Interns also had individual headshots taken.
All photos: Northern Development

June began with lots of activity in Northern Development’s office as the 2022 intern cohort gathered for two days of orientation. All seven interns participated in multiple sessions on June 1 and 2. The two days were filled with a variety of presentations, a photo session, team building activities and an evening event where this year’s interns could meet and mingle with intern alumni.

Photo: Attendees during intern alumni event.
Pictured (from left to right)
BACK ROW: Dylan Sellars, Gavin Ireland, Ethan Ferdeen, Vincent Wickham, Aiden Winkel, Rachel Baron, Ezinne Euche.
MIDDLE ROW: Jordan Barrett, Brooklyn Seeman, Heidi Booth, Tait Gamble, John Anku, Joana Gaspar.
FRONT ROW: Ananya Bhatacharya, Casey Stein, Matthew Bascom

“It was a refreshing experience to have the opportunity to host an in-person orientation for the 2022 interns,” said Alanna Le Cerf, Internship Programs Manager, Northern Development. “The cohort is full of potential, with rich backgrounds and an eagerness to represent and support their host communities. The two days spent in Prince George together helped to provide a strong foundation from which to continue to take the next steps in their professional careers.”

For 12 months, seven Northern Development interns will be placed with host governments throughout Northern B.C. The internship program ensures that each intern has a mentor in the workplace to support them and the entire cohort participates in monthly calls with each other and Le Cerf.

“I have greatly enjoyed my time in the NDIT internship program thus far,” wrote one intern after the orientation. “It is a truly incredible opportunity for people fresh out of undergraduate to have. The support provided, connections which can be made and experience are all fantastic. I already feel like this is one of the best decisions I could have made for my career.”

The interns and their host government for 2022 are as follows:

Local government
Matthew Bascom – Peace River Regional District (Dawson Creek office)
Tait Gamble – Cariboo Regional District (Williams Lake office)
Joana Gaspar – City of Terrace
Casey Stein – Thompson-Nicola Regional District

First Nations government
Rachel Baron – Williams Lake First Nation
Patrik Hunter – Takla Nation – Sasuchan Development Corporation
Aiden Winkel – Tsay Keh Dene Nation

For each of the First Nations, this is not their first time welcoming an intern. Takla Nation first participated in Northern Development’s internship program in 2018. In 2020, Williams Lake First Nation hosted their first intern, an individual who is still working with them, and Tsay Key Dene is employing an intern for their second consecutive year.

Applications from governments interested in hosting an intern are typically due to Northern Development early in the calendar year. Approximately one month later, applications from recent or soon-to-be graduates need to be submitted to the Trust for consideration. More information is posted on Northern Development’s website as it becomes available.

New water spray park with restrooms.
All photos: District of Chetwynd

Last June, Northern Development approved a $30,000 Community Places grant to the District of Chetwynd to install a precast restroom to complement a new water spray park and to service all outdoor events and park activities in the area. This project complements Chetwynd’s greenspaces initiative by providing services to residents and visitors outside regular hours.

 “Mayor and Council support the creation of amenities that families can use free of charge, and which also support healthy outdoor activities,” said District of Chetwynd Mayor Courtoreille. “We are very thankful to Northern Development Initiative Trust for the grant which will allow the public to use a safe and hygienic washroom facility next to the Water Play Park, with water fountains so that people can hydrate free of charge any time of the day.”

The new facility features two flush toilets, grab bars and handwashing sinks inside and two water fountains outside. The building includes an electric water heater for comfortable handwashing and a baby changing station.

The construction of a new restroom responds to the Province of BC’s request that communities have additional restrooms and handwashing stations that are accessible to the public. This need became apparent as the COVID-19 pandemic led to many public washrooms being closed.

On July 1, the community celebrated the grand opening of the Chetwynd Water Play Park after the Canada Day parade.

The installation of new public washrooms closely aligns with intent of the Community Places grant program: to support the creation, restoration or enhancement of community spaces that will improve amenities and enhance the overall quality of life. A maximum of $30,000 is available to a maximum of 70 per cent of the eligible project budget.

Photo: TRU

Board Chair Margo Wagner recently attended the Williams Lake Donor Event, hosted by Thompson Rivers University.

In 2017, Northern Development committed $60,032 through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure program to support the development of second year curriculum of the Applied Sustainable Ranching Program and to raise awareness of the new educational offering. The Cariboo-based program is the first of its kind in B.C. and equips students with the knowledge and experience necessary to build, grow and sustain agriculture and ranching operations.

Read more about the project, and about agriculture in Northern B.C. in the 2019 Northern Dispatch.

Northern Development staff have been busy approving grants through the Fabulous Festivals and Events program after a quiet two years in the program due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous festivals have already happened in 2022 and 17 have yet to take place between now and September.

The Fabulous Festivals and Events grant program provides annual funding to support unique festivals and events throughout Northern Development’s service region. Grants aim to improve the sustainability and expansion of the event, increase local tourism revenues and improve the community’s quality of life.

First introduced to the Trust’s suite of funding programs in 2015, applicants can apply for either a $2,500 of $5,000 grant, dependent on their festival or event’s total budget. Event organizers can apply to receive funding for each year their event is hosted, as long as it fits the other eligibility requirements. To date, Northern Development has approved $841,167 through the program.