The Northern B.C. Tourism Association (NBCTA) along with AldrichPears Associates Ltd. are in the early stages of a project to implement a new signage infrastructure in the Northern Circle Route. The goal of the project is to increase tourism in the area, improve visitor experience, and build stronger brands for local communities.
The project will include gateway signs, route markers, banners, custom directional signs and roadside interpretive signs. According to NBCTA Chief Executive Officer Clint Fraser, the project has $1 million in government funding. It isn’t clear at this time how much the project will cost the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN), as long term maintenance fees have yet to be decided.
The Village of Burns Lake is in the middle of its’ own signage project to install a new way-finding system with an informational kiosk, banners and murals. The village received $149,125 in funding for the project from the Province of B.C. through the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program’s destination development stream. Mayor of Burns Lake Dolores Funk told Lakes District News that the goal is to complete the installation of the new signs by summer of 2022.
According to AldrichPears Exhibit Designer John deWolf, the Northern Circle Route signage plan will not interfere with the village’s project, but instead work along side it. “The plan is adaptable for each community and will require coordination with municipalities like Burns Lake and Prince George that have other signage projects underway. Through ongoing coordination with these groups, we will endeavor to ensure that this project can help inform and fill the gaps in their programs,” he told RDBN board members during a zoom presentation.
The project is currently in phase two of a five-phase plan, where strategies are being developed by speaking to individuals in municipalities about bylaw, maintenance, policy, and what each area’s specific signage needs are. Phase three will be concept design which is scheduled to begin in the late fall or early winter of 2021. The implementation of the plan is scheduled for the winter or spring of 2022.
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