The Burns Lake village council met on Oct. 8. (Blair McBride photo)

The Burns Lake village council met on Oct. 8. (Blair McBride photo)

Village council brief

Grant bid for tourism plan and mobile unit

At its Oct. 8 meeting, the Burns Lake village council agreed to to apply to the Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund (NKDF) for a $47,500 grant to help finance a new tourism plan for the village, and for a mobile visitor centre. The total cost for the two initiatives would be $70,400. The council had discussed the proposals in July and agreed they could be effective ways of drawing more tourists to Burns Lake. Mobile visitor centres – in the form of vans – have been used for several years in Smithers, Prince George and Tofino and are a way of bringing information about local attractions directly to tourists. They work as a solution to the declining popularity of bricks and mortar visitor centres while more tourists access travel information on the internet. Mayor Dolores Funk told council that a mobile centre wouldn’t be needed if Burns Lake was on the Lower Mainland. “[But] in the north, Google maps is not accurate. We have slow bandwidth. People in remote areas don’t necessarily advertise online. It takes the [visitors] centre to [the tourists], wherever they might be. I think it’s well worth it,” she said. The total cost of the mobile centre would be about $38,200, which includes the vehicle and other related expenses. For the new tourism strategy, $30,000 would be the wages for someone to write up the plan and implement it. The village has earmarked $11,000 from the Community Adjustment Fund for the tourism projects and up to $22,900 will be accessed from the Comfor Reserve if the NKDF application is successful. In July, the council had planned to apply for a grant through the Rural Dividend Fund, but that program was suspended on Sept. 19 after an announcement from forestry minister Doug Donaldson.


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
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