Fort St. John Petroleum Association plans for a pavilion at Peace Island Park has received a major financial boost.
Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) has approved a $250,000 grant to the pavilion project.
“Peace Island Park is already a fantastic tourist and recreation attraction," said Evan Saugstad, chair of the Northern Development Initiative Trust, in a statement.
"The multi-purpose facility will mean more events and community gatherings can be held at the park annually, increasing tourism revenue and supporting the local economy.”
The Fort St. John Petroleum Association and the Peace Country River Rats jet boat club have been working for four years on the project. The facility originally came as an idea to save costs for the association's annual family camp weekend.
The jet boat club came on board as another major driver behind the project, because the club also hosts events in the park, including their annual races and poker run.
Once built, the facility would be available to the community as a whole to rent for weddings or private functions.
"The Fort St. John Petroleum Association is very excited to see the culmination of the past six years of effort finally come to fruition," Petroleum Association President Sean Thomas.
"We are looking forward to having a permanent facility available at Peace Island Park for the use of the public. This facility will be put to great use for events hosted by the River Rats Organization going forward. In conjunction with the River Rats organization – we are proud to have pledged the initial support for the construction of this facility as a legacy to the community. The benefit to the community will serve all residents of the Peace Region.”
Meanwhile, 14 other groups in Northeast B.C. have received just over $300,000 in grants from NDIT in the last three months. They include:
• Fort St. John Petroleum Association, Peace Island Park Pavilion - $250,000
• Wolverine Nordic Mountain Society, 2016 Emperor's Challenge - $2,500
• Fort Nelson Community Literacy Society, 2016 CultureFest - $2,500
• Royal Canadian Legion Branch 24 (Pouce Coupe), legion hall roof repairs - $30,000
• Poplar Hills Golf and Country Club, Kitchen and cart upgrade - $30,000
• Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, Tourism Northern Rockies website redesign - $5,714
• Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, Fort Nelson Disc Golf Course - $30,000
• District of Hudson's Hope, Structural Upgrading for solar panel installation - $30,000
• Bear Mountain Nordic Ski Association, Trail upgrades and culvert replacement - $30,000
• North Peace Cultural Society, Dimmer rack and LED lights for theatre - $30,000
• Fort Nelson Snowmobile Club, Fort Nelson Trail Network expansion and upgrades - $30,000
• Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, Vermicomposting business case study - $5,000
• Northern Rockies Regional Municipality, Regional Airport Pay Parking upgrades - $30,000
• North Peace Airport Society, Parking System Upgrades - $17,430
• Saulteau First Nations, Rodeo Arena Development - $30,000
Oliver Hachmeister, operations director for the North Peace Cultural Centre, said securing a NDIT grant means the centre can purchase a new dimmer rack, a piece of equipment essential to controlling lights in the theatre.
"That has completed our fundraising. With NDIT, it looks we'll be able to purchase a little bit of LED lighting to enhance the theatre lights as well.
"We should be able to have everything in place by the end of August."
The cultural centre raised roughly $37,000 in community sponsorships for the project on top of the NDIT grant. The original dimmer rack was installed in 1992.