PRINCE GEORGE – Northern Development announced that it has approved funding for six projects totalling $919,643 throughout central and northern BC. At their July 22 meeting, the Trust’s board of directors approved the following through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure program:

$15,000 was approved for the District of Mackenzie to develop a 200-metre switchback multi-use trail from the current campground parking lot of the Mackenzie Community Campsite to Morfee Lake Public Beach. This will include the purchase of trail and campground signage and the installation of a small map kiosk to help campers explore the area further.

$75,000 was approved for the Lytton First Nation to establish a food processing hub in Lytton. This hub will provide a viable food processing and preserving operation for local food and products, which will support growth and innovation in the community’s agriculture and agri-food sectors.

$166,328 was approved for the Valemount Learning Society to purchase a growing container to cultivate vegetables with the ability to supply the community, including local and neighbouring restaurants and shops, with fresh greens year-round.  This project has potential for job creation, both in operating the container as well as in sales and delivery. It will also allow the Valemount Learning Society to provide teaching opportunities to the community on how to grow vegetables hydroponically.

$196,704 was approved for the Daylu Dena Council for the construction of an RV park for their community. The RV park will serve as a long-term asset for the Daylu Dena community and will bring visitors into the area to help stimulate the local economy. Situated along the Alaska Highway, the RV park will be a comfortable and picturesque camping space for the many tourists who make that drive each year.

$216,611 was approved for the Vanderhoof MenShed Society to assist in the purchase of the building currently being leased by the society. A MenShed is a place and group that benefits the physical and mental health of older men in a community. Socializing and work activity by individuals and the group provide huge benefits to those who attend.

$250,000 was approved for the Tumbler Ridge Days Society to construct a new fairground. A permanent fairground location will greatly assist the Society in hosting the Grizfest Music Festival, along with many other events. In the past, the Society has had to create a temporary fairground every year and this has become cost prohibitive. This project will include the construction of a covered stage, covered gazebo area, additional fencing, the purchase of sea cans, fire pits, tables and chairs, etc. and other amenities.

“The Trust is very pleased to be able to provide grants to so many deserving recipients, especially during these uncertain economic times. Each project is focused on keeping communities stable, whether through food security, education, community support or tourism. It is encouraging to see so many community organizations working to continue to move forward and grow the economy,” said Joel McKay, CEO of Northern Development Initiative Trust.