The Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund gave the Lakes District Film Society $40,000 towards structural repairs to the Beacon Theatre. Another $22,763 went to the Lakes District Fair Association to help with its pump house/concession rebuild project. (Blair McBride photo)

NKDF gives $62,000 to Burns Lake projects

Two organizations in Burns Lake will receive more than $62,000 in grants from the Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund (NKDF), out of a total of $229,581 in grants for the region.

The Lakes District Film Society was granted $40,000 for structural repairs for the Beacon Theatre, according to a June 13 press release from the foundation.

As of April, the film society was seeking $424,000 for a new roof and to fix the walls of the decades-old structure.

READ MORE: Film society seeks donations for Beacon’s future

“We are super excited about this grant,” a film society spokesperson told Lakes District News.

“We are one more step closer to saving the theatre. We are still looking for the remainder of the funding but are more hopeful now that we will not have to permanently close at the end of September.”

The NKDF also awarded $22,763 to the Lakes District Fair Association to help with its pump house/concession rebuild project.

East of Burns Lake, the Stellat’en First Nation was awarded $40,000 for the development of 3,000 metres of single-track nature trails for hiking, trail running and cycling.

The Fraser Lake Fire Rescue Society received $72,668 for the installation of a live burn building at the Regional Training Centre. It will be used for training firefighter and first responders rural northern communities.

The Village of Fraser Lake was granted $18,000 to help with rehabilitating its softball field; $2,599 to install a chain link fence at the waste water dump station; and $9,836 for the solar energy project at the Recreation Complex.

Fraser lake will also receive $1,725 for its boat launch parking rehabilitation project, and $690 for arena lighting.

The remainder of the grant total went towards projects in Vanderhoof.

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology said of the grants, “The projects being funded through the NKDF will help create jobs, strengthen local economies, and bring communities together. Whether it’s through park and theatre improvements, or improving the training centre for first responders – these grants continue to make life better for people in northwest B.C.”

Andrew Czornohalan, Operations Director of Power & Services with Rio Tinto explained that the company recognizes the work that community organizations do for community members.

“The diversity of the projects being funded is an example of the individual unique needs of our neighbouring communities. Developing and enhancing infrastructures such as trails, theatres, community centres and regional training facilities supports community economic growth through tourism, attraction and retention of professionals needed in their communities, and delivers a healthy way of life for local residents.”

Cindy Shelford, chair of the NKDF said, “These projects will expand the economic and employment opportunities in the region and promote community well-being and generate local spending. Our communities will see many benefits from these projects, not only for their quality of life but also for attracting tourists and business to the region.”

The latest allocations bring the total NKDF Society (NKDFS) grants for 2018-2019 to $229,581.

The Fund Society Board has pledged $500,000 for the next funding cycle that runs April 1, 2019–March 31, 2020. An amount has been set aside specifically for regional projects. They must involve collaborations between two or more organizations and benefit two or more communities inside the investment area.

The next application deadline is July 30, 2019. For more information visit or to learn more about past projects funded through NKDF investment visit or on Facebook at

The NKDFS was jointly established in 1997 with a combined contribution of $15 million from the B.C. government and the former Alcan Inc., now Rio Tinto. The Fund’s investment area includes lands affected by the original Kemano project and focuses on the communities in the Ootsa, Lakes, Nechako and Haisla regions of the north.

Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
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