Projects across the Trust’s service region were still completed and safely celebrated, even with the additional challenges incurred by the pandemic. The commitment demonstrated by community members to persevere through these trying times is inspiring and their work contributes to making the north a better place to live, work and visit.
Bear Mountain Nordic Ski Association In January 2020, Bear Mountain Nordic Ski Association celebrated the grand opening of their new terrain park. Northern Development invested $47,568 through the former Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program to develop a multi-sloped terrain area for people learning to cross country ski, for coaches teaching new techniques and for those seeking a warmup before hitting the trails. Since Northern Development announced six new funding programs as part of Trust 2020, this project would now be eligible through the new Recreation Infrastructure program.
Stellat’en First Nation In August, Stellat’en First Nation held a physically distanced opening celebration recognizing the completion of three trails along the Stellako River. Four community members were hired and trained to work on the trails, including brothers Rob and Colin (pictured above). Rob was the head trail builder. The network includes bridges and seating areas along the river to provide a place to rest and enjoy nature. Stellat’en First Nation received a $30,000 grant through the former Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program to help with the costs of developing the trails.
Williams Lake First Nation In June, Northern Development Chair Margo Wagner attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Williams Lake First Nation’s Cannabis Cultivation Facility. Northern Development has committed $250,000 towards this $1.1 million project through the former Economic Diversification Infrastructure funding program. The project would now be eligible for a grant through the new Economic Infrastructure program. The cultivation facility will create new jobs and allow Williams Lake First Nation to diversify away from some of the traditional industries that have been negatively impacted by recent wildfires in the area.
Vanderhoof Menshed Society On October 7, the Vanderhoof Menshed Society celebrated the purchase of the building they had formerly been leasing and Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen, chair of Northern Development’s Prince George Regional Advisory Committee, stopped by to commemorate the event. The Menshed is a concept that originated in Australia and has spread around the world to benefit the physical and mental health of older men by providing socialization and work opportunities. The Vanderhoof Menshed earns revenue through a variety of ways, including woodworking, construction of picnic tables, boat docks, greenhouses and furniture, snow removal and much more. Northern Development invested $216,611 into this project which will help retain the senior population in the area and reduce waste through recycling, repair and repurposing.