September 2023 - Newsletter

In this issue

Construction on the new Chetwynd Public Library is well under way. This project was approved through the Cultural Infrastructure program for the construction of a new, fully accessible 8,640 square foot library in that will serve the Peace River Regional District.

The library will be adjacent to the recreation centre complex and will house areas for use by children, tweens, teens, adults and seniors, as well as spaces for meetings, quiet activities, multipurpose activities, computer use and a small food service area. In addition to providing traditional library functions, services will be delivered to West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations.

The new facility will replace the current library. Built in 1967, the existing library is nearing the end of its days.

Crews broke ground for the new library in summer 2022 and are looking forward to providing Chetwynd and surrounding communities with what is being described as “the living room of the community.

“There has been significant progress on the Chetwynd Library, with the exterior of the building almost complete and the interior coming together with drywall and paint,” said Kari Bondaroff, Acting General Manager of Community Services for the Peace River Regional District. “This project was made possible with financial contributions from Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Chetwynd Public Library Association, Peace River Regional District Area ‘E’ Gas Tax and Peace River Agreement funds, District of Chetwynd funding, community donations, and private business contributions from Chetwynd and the surrounding areas. This truly has been a community led project, and we are so proud to see this multi-purpose building nearing completion.”

The library is expected to be open before the holiday season, and Bondaroff added they look forward to welcoming residents to the living room.

Northern Development approved a $300,000 grant through this program which supports creation of, or the improvement of, arts, heritage, culture and creative innovation spaces. This program improves the access to, and quality of, professional arts and cultural facilities for residents and tourists alike.

Mountain bikers, hiker, skiers and snowshoers alike can take advantage of all Sunshine Mountain has to offer with the development of two new trails within the Bralorne Recreation Area.

This project is designed to increase recreation opportunities in the Bridge River Valley. With Sunshine Mountain now designated as a provincial recreation site, these new trails will attract outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds.

The two new trails are high-quality, industry standard, sustainable routes suitable for non-motorized recreation. The first trail measures approximately two kilometres in length with 408 metres of elevation gain. The second trail measures just under three kilometres in length with 547 metres of vertical.

Recreational mountain bike trails are more than just paths for avid cyclists. They offer a plethora of benefits that extend beyond biking itself, positively impacting various forms of recreation, promoting health and well-being, and boosting local economies. These trails provide a dynamic canvas for outdoor enthusiasts and serve as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of nature, sports, and economic growth.

“Since the project was completed we have noticed a massive increase in the number of people riding mountain bikes in the community, as well as an increase in the regularity of rides,” said Blake Roswell, Coordinator, Bralorne Recreation Area Advisory Committee. “We have a healthier, more active community as a direct result of NDIT funding.”

Northern Development approved $100,000 for this project from the Recreation Infrastructure program, which supports community efforts to create and support recreational infrastructure, such as arenas, gymnasiums, golf courses, fields, boat launches and others.

Photos courtesy Bridge River Valley Community Association

Approximately 40,000 people were in attendance August 9 to 13 for the 101st annual Dawson Creek Exhibition and Stampede.

This yearly crowd-pleasing event features professional chuckwagon races, pro-tour rodeo, large agricultural fair and Elite Indian Relay Racing, an old sport that has been surging in popularity. The relay team consists of a rider dressed in traditional Indigenous regalia and three painted thoroughbreds. After each lap, the rider jumps off one horse and onto the next.

There is a growing competitive circuit for Indian Relay Racing, with events and championships held throughout North America. These events attract participants and spectators alike, creating a sense of community and celebration.

The Dawson Creek Exhibition and Stampede attracts rodeo enthusiasts from all over Canada and the US to Dawson Creek and is often featured on the Cowboy Channel internationally.

This event was supported with $5,000 from the Fabulous Festivals and Events program which supports unique celebrations throughout the region that contribute to service sector revenues in the local economy.

Photos courtesy Dawson Creek Exhibition and Stampede

Did you know Northern Development has an internships program that pairs recent post-secondary graduates with a local or Indigenous government in Northern B.C.?

These paid, year-long intern positions help prepare grads with the skills, experience and connections they need to propel their career forward. For the host community, the intern program is an opportunity to seek out people with the potential of being long term contributors to their team by providing a skill set that they may not currently possess. 

To learn more about our internships, please register for one of four Zoom sessions with Felicia Magee, our director of economic development.

The dates are as follows:

October 17 – for host communities only.
1:00 – 1:45 p.m.

October 26 – for interns
12:00 – 12:45 p.m.

November 15 – for interns
6:00 – 6:45 p.m.

January 24 – for interns
9:00 – 9:45 a.m.

Please visit our Important Dates page for more information and to register.

Beginning in 2024, Northern Development will be implementing a new funding intake structure. There will now be three guaranteed funding intakes per year, closing on January 31, April 30 and July 31.

The programs affected by this new funding structure are:

  1. Community Places
  2. Cultural Infrastructure
  3. Economic Infrastructure
  4. Main Street Revitalization – Capital
  5. Main Street Revitalization – Planning
  6. Marketing Initiatives
  7. Northern Housing Incentive
  8. Recreation Infrastructure

Other core programs and our Partner Programs will not be affected by this change.

To learn more about this updated structure, please visit our FAQ page.