Feds announce $1.92M for festival plaza

The federal government announced Friday $1.92 million in funding for Fort St. John's new festival plaza.

The plaza is planned for the corner of 100 Street and 96 Avenue, and will include an all-season building for events and markets, an outdoor performance space, stalls for food vendors, public washrooms, and artistic obelisks for heating and lighting.

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Funds are coming through the Canada Infrastructure Program, and includes $1,050,300 from the federal government, and $875,162 from the provincial government.

The city has also received a $50,000 grant from the Northern Development Initiative Trust for its construction, and will pay for the balance of the costs.

Kalmar Construction was awarded a $3.27-million contract for the build in June.

City council approved plans and designs for the plaza in January 2019.

"I like the fact we've got that compliment of wood and steel, because we're supporting not only our forestry industry here, but our neighbours down in Tumbler Ridge with metallurgical coal," Mayor Lori Ackerman said at the time. "I think it's very significant when we're looking at supporting our resource industries."

Another inspiration behind the site design is the Peace River, an aerial photo of which was overlaid as a coloured paving pattern. The lighting will create a teepee-like pattern in the sky.

Council also approved a new full-time staff position to manage plaza programming, and a half-time staff position for maintenance.

See updated renderings of the plaza below:

Artist rendering, Fort St. John festival plaza at night. - City of Fort St. John
Artist rendering, Fort St. John festival plaza in winter. - City of Fort St. John

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

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