Message from the Chair and CEO

September 4, 2013

2013 is shaping up to be another exciting year for communities throughout northern British Columbia, supported with help from Northern Development Initiative Trust.

Last year, the Trust surpassed a major milestone of 1,000 cumulative project approvals since the organization’s creation in 2005.

As of August, 2013, Northern Development’s board has approved more than $115 million in funding to 1,239 projects such inception.

More than $5.5 million in funding had been approved in the first seven months of 2013 across the Trust’s four regional development areas:

    •Northwest Region: $1,568,646 in funding approvals for 56 projects with a combined project value of $10,077,182;

    •Cariboo-Chilcotin/Lillooet Region: $1,026,630 in funding approvals for 45 projects with a combined project value of $2,831,933;

    •Northeast Region: $1,142,317 in funding approvals for 29 projects with a combined project value of $5,443,115; and

    •Prince George Region: $1,445,971 in funding approvals for 53 projects with a combined project value of $8,678,835

In addition to ongoing grant writing and economic development capacity building support, the Trust has partnered on a number of exciting community projects throughout the region this year, including:

An ice rink chiller modernization project in Prince Rupert, a marketing strategy for Smithers Regional Airport, the restoration of a community curling facility in Forest Grove, marketing support for Clinton’s 150th and 50th anniversary celebrations, renovations at the Big Bam Ski Hill in Fort St. John, mountain bike trail development at Pidherny in Prince George and the restoration of an outdoor rink for Nak’azdli Band Council in the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako.

In this edition of Building a Stronger North, you’ll also read about some of the many exciting new programs and projects that we have lent support to, including Small Town Love and the Haida Gwaii Higher Education Society.

Northern Development also launched the Business Façade Improvement program this year, which provides $20,000 to each municipality and regional district to enhance economic development by encouraging private sector investment in businesses façade improvements. In July, our board of directors approved funding under this program for a dozen communities across the region — you can read more about it in this newsletter.

The first half of 2013 also marked the launch of the Trust’s Local Government Management Internship program. Building on the success of the Economic Development Internship program, the Local Government program created six year-long positions in communities throughout the region for recent University of Northern British Columbia graduates.

In May, the interns spent a month at Northern Development’s offices focusing on economic development skill building, before heading off to 11 months of local government work in Burns Lake, Fort St. James, Vanderhoof, Mackenzie, Valemount, McBride and Prince George.

Although the first eight months of 2013 have been very exciting and rewarding, the remainder of the year promises many more funding approvals as Northern Development partners with communities to build a stronger north for us all.