Northern Development Initiative Trust’s board of directors has approved a $250,000 grant to support the development of the Northwest Regional Airport apron expansion project. This project includes expanding the existing apron to allow for a third aircraft parking area for the airport’s commercial operations. The addition of a third aircraft parking area will allow the airport to service three commercial aircrafts at one time, also resulting in a reduction in the wait time for passengers in the terminal building.
The proposed third aircraft stand will be specific to service of commercial flights that directly generate new revenue for the airport while enhancing customer service. The expansion comes at a time when Terrace, Kitimat and the Skeena and the Nass Valley regions are experiencing unprecedented industrial growth projected to continue for the next decade. A reliable and effective airport, capable of handling large numbers of workers and cargo, will be an integral part of servicing regional demands for the next decade.
The Northwest Regional Airport Terrace-Kitimat records the highest levels of passenger traffic in the northwest, and the expansion project will add services for existing passengers, while assisting in the establishment of a broader, future customer base. Indirect revenue to local businesses such as aircraft fuel providers, car rental companies, hotels and airlines are also expected to increase as a result of the project completion.
The grant is being provided through the Trust’s Economic Diversification Infrastructure program, which provides up to $250,000 in funding to municipalities, regional districts, First Nations and non-profit organizations in Northern Development’s service area for projects that significantly strengthen the local economy via a major capital investment. Previously, Northern Development has supported 18 airport improvement projects with $14 million in funding approved toward $113 million in airport expansions in communities throughout the region including: Bella Coola, Vanderhoof, Burns Lake, Fort St. John, the Northern Rockies, Masset and the Xeni Gwet’in Community Airport.
Construction on the Northwest Regional Airport Apron Expansion is expected to begin later this spring.
“Investing in accessibility to our region through projects such as the Northwest Regional Airport Apron Expansion, act as a catalyst for economic growth in northern B.C. – and that’s what makes this a meaningful project,” said Evan Saugstad, Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust. “The Trust is proud to support this exciting project through our Economic Diversification Infrastructure program.”
“With the advent of the proposed LNG facilities in B.C.’s Pacific Northwest, Northwest Regional Airport Terrace-Kitimat has been experiencing unprecedented growth. The $250,000 in funding from Northern Development Initiative Trust will facilitate the expansion of the apron, including a third aircraft hard stand. This will supplement the proposed air terminal building expansion, which includes a new passenger hold room incorporating three separate passenger gates,” said Dave Kumpolt, Manager of Airport Development, Northwest Regional Airport Terrace-Kitimat.
• Northern Development has previously supported 18 airport improvement projects with $14 million in funding approved toward $113 million in airport expansions in communities throughout the region
• Airport passenger traffic at Northwest Regional Airport grew approximately 38% between 2012 and 2013
• The Northwest Regional Airport Terrace-Kitimat plans to contribute $629,485 to the apron expansion from their own capital reserve, which would fund 72% of the total project costs
• The project has projected to generate more than $1,060,755 in incremental revenue generation for the airport in the next five years
Northern Development Initiative Trust
Northwest Regional Airport Terrace-Kitimat
Northern Development Initiative Trust’s board of directors has approved a $250,000 grant to fund the construction of the Lheidli T’enneh Aboriginal Pavilion in downtown Prince George in time for the 2015 Canada Winter Games.
From February 13 to March 1 2015, the City of Prince George and northern B.C. will host 2,350 athletes, hundreds of media and thousands of visitors for the 2015 Games. The event will be the largest multi-sport and cultural event ever to be held in northern B.C., and will generate an economic impact of more than $90 million for the region. The goal of the Aboriginal Pavilion is to increase the visibility of the Lheidli T’enneh and contribute to the 2015 Canada Winter Games experience while showcasing the artistic, business and cultural expressions of the Official Host First Nation.
The 2015 Canada Winter Games will be held within the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh. As the Official Host First Nation of the 2015 Canada Winter Games, the Lheidli T’enneh recognize the unparalleled opportunity the Canada Games affords to build awareness and understanding of their culture.
The proposed Aboriginal Pavilion project aims to create an attractive venue in downtown Prince George for hosting and providing hospitality opportunities during the 2015 Games. The project will generate direct economic benefits for the Lheidli T’enneh through the use of the building as a multi-purpose events and retail space. The pavilion will be comprised of a main hall for programming and performances, a reception area for events and meals, a retail centre for the sale of Aboriginal merchandise and art, a protocol space for project meetings and a green room for performer staging space. The pavilion will be constructed at 6th Avenue and Dominion Street.
The grant for the pavilion is provided through the Trust’s Economic Diversification Infrastructure program, which provides up to $250,000 in funding to municipalities, regional districts, First Nations and non-profit organizations in Northern Development’s service area for projects that significantly strengthen the local economy via a major capital investment. Construction of the Lheidli T’enneh Aboriginal Pavilion is expected to begin this year.
“The 2015 Canada Winter Games will be the largest multi-sport and cultural event to ever be held in northern B.C. The Trust is proud to support the construction of the Lheidli T’enneh Aboriginal Pavilion to aid in enhancing Canada’s awareness of the artistic, business and cultural expression of our Host First Nation,” said Evan Saugstad, Chair, Northern Development Initiative Trust.
“Lheidli T’enneh is very pleased with the funding announcement from Northern Development Initiative Trust, and can truly see the positive impacts to our community! This is an incredible opportunity that will allow us to have a building for the Lheidli T’enneh Pavilion for the 2015 Canada Winter Games. This is an exciting time for us and we are truly grateful,” said Lheidli T’enneh Chief Dominic Frederick.
• The 2015 Canada Winter Games will be held within the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh
• Funds will be generated through community and private events, meeting space rentals, office rentals, catering, retail store sales, and cultural and interpretive centre ticket sales
• The Lheidli T’enneh Aboriginal Pavilion is anticipated to host a variety of events including meetings, conferences, entertainment and performances, weddings and community dinners
• From February 13 to March 1, 2015, Lheidli T’enneh, Prince George and northern B.C. will play host to 2,350 athletes, hundreds of media and thousands of visitors
•The 2015 Canada Winter Games will be the largest multi-sport and cultural event to ever be held in northern B.C. and is forecasted to generate an economic impact of over $90 million
Northern Development Initiative Trust
Northern Development Initiative’s Trust’s Board of Directors gathered in Terrace and Kitimat in April to gain a better understanding of how the influx of development is effecting northwest B.C., and to learn lessons that they can take back to their own communities throughout the region.
Timed to coincide with the Trust’s Annual General Meeting, the directors of the Trust met with representatives from the District of Kitimat to understand how proposed major industrial projects are already affecting the Kitimat valley.
While in Kitimat, the directors toured the community, visited its facilities and waterfront and learned how the municipality is responding to the influx of development in the area. The Trust’s directors also toured Kitimaat Village and met with Haisla First Nation Chief Ellis Ross, who provided the directors with a First Nations perspective about community and industrial development.
In addition to funding approvals and the Annual General Meeting, the Trust’s Board of Directors also met in Terrace with representatives from the Nisga’a First Nation to learn how their communities are responding to economic development opportunities in the northwest and charting a path to prosperity for their members.
Located in the heart of British Columbia about 222 kilometres west of Prince George on Highway 16, Burns Lake offers a friendly community with abundant recreation, business and tourism opportunities. Recently, Northwest B.C.’s economy has begun to thrive again but how is Burns Lake continuing to develop? To get the exclusive story, we talked with Economic Development Officer Krystin St. Jean.
Q:As the Economic Development Officer (EDO) at the Village of Burns Lake you have an important role in your community. Why did you choose to pursue a career in economic development?
A: My intended career goal is to be a community planner. However, it didn’t take long for me to see after I had started work that EDOs and planners are very similar as both critical for facilitating healthy and vibrant communities. When I was invited to interview for the EDO position, I felt that this was a perfect opportunity to use my educational background in relation to economic development. In my opinion, having an understanding of planning principles and practices as an EDO is critical to the success of my job. I still plan on obtaining my professional planning designation and I hope I can continue to work within the two professions as I move forward in my career.
Q:You completed Northern Development’s Local Government Management Internship program. What would you say was your biggest take-away from the internship that has helped you in your professional life?
A: My biggest take-away was how important it is to remain flexible while working in local government, especially in a small community. The great part about the internship is that is gave me a chance to work in multiple departments and have an understanding of who does what. This was very beneficial as I shifted into my position as EDO. I have a better understanding of the organization I work in, which is critical to help better serve the current business community and attract new investment to Burns Lake.
Q: You were born and raised in Burns Lake. How does that help you in your role as the Village’s EDO?
A: It’s great because I have the ability to connect with my community on a different level. I already possess a lot of the local knowledge, which is a big advantage compared to if I was working in a different community. Most importantly though, working in local government here really pushes me to do my best, not just for me but because this is my home and I want to see Burns Lake thrive.
Q: What do you think is the secret ingredient that a small town needs to generate economic development success?
A: Relationships, relationships, relationships. Whether it is with other local governments, the regional district, First Nations, supporting bodies like Northern Development, the provincial government, local organizations or industry, we need to work as one strong unit rather than splinter off into multiple small entities with different objectives and priorities.
Q: What are the Village’s strategic economic development priorities this year?
A: Our priorities continue to focus on the community recovery strategy, and leveraging local and provincial assets to promote social and economic recovery. We are still working tirelessly after the 2012 Babine Mill Fire to ensure that Burns Lake will be able to remain strong and healthy in the face of economic uncertainty should another unforeseen event ever happens again.
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