The possibility of Burns Lake getting an adventure tourism program is on an indefinite hold, due to the pandemic.
“We had started some great conversations regarding adventure-based tourism, however once COVID-19 became a reality, our focus shifted and at this time healthcare continues to be a priority,” said Corinne George, regional principal of CNC Lakes District campus.
Last year, representatives from CNC met with Burns Lake Mayor Dolores Funk to discuss the program and she had immediately shown her support for it. The program also would’ve fit in with the village’s plan to develop tourism in the village to make it a more popular tourist destination.
The village has come out with a tourism plan to develop the village’s tourism and make it more attractive to visitors. From developing website content to ensuring better way-finding signage is in place, the village plans to build on the area’s reputation of being ‘Canada’s Mountain Bike Nirvana’ according to a 2010 article in Bike Magazine and the 2013 feature in Explore Magazine’s ‘All-Canadian Bucket List’.
“In regards to the Adventure-Based Tourism vision, that is not off the radar but for the moment we deal with the COVID-19 situation and as time progresses we are certainly hopeful to resume conversations with the various stakeholders,” said George.
Currently, the campus students have access to all CNC campus courses and programs since going online.
“We are not sure how this will look in the future and some opportunities might be limited in terms of delivery for example, if there is a shop, space, lab component — that will limit the ability to complete a course. Further, although at this time we can promise online courses or programs, the access may change in subsequent semesters — pending COVID-19,” said George, adding that while they are hopeful for the adventure tourism program to return, right now they will be focusing on seeking additional health-based opportunities like their Practical Nursing program.
In addition to the changed format of program delivery, several CNC students will get an extra week between semesters with the general start to the winter term delayed to Jan. 11, 2021.
”The fall term has not been easy for anyone,” said Dr. Chad Thompson, CNC vice president academic in a press release issued by the college. “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to navigate through fear, stress, and loneliness. These added stressors have been exhausting. I hope this added time off will help students recharge and be ready to see the pandemic through to the end.”