Members of the New Pathways to Gold Society (NPGS) announced the Joint Cariboo Project on May 20.
This project involves hiring and training new tradespersons to improve tourism infrastructure on the Gold Rush/Spirit Trails corridor.
The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and Social Innovation’s Community and Employer Partnership’s (SICEP) branch has provided $396,924 in government funding to the NPGS project. The money is funding the Jobs Creation Partnership program by training five people from the Cariboo region to gain experience in log building, trail construction and other tradesmen skills as they build amenities for the local region.
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says the project will create work and provide much needed improvements to the region’s heritage tourism and recreation infrastructure.
“The jobs created for this project and the ongoing tourism growth opportunities are a great benefit to the South Cariboo.”
Barnett has a personal connection to the Gold Rush Trail phase of the project as her late husband, Jack Barnett, was an active volunteer for the trail for many years.
“The Gold Rush Trail is an asset to economic and social development. Once it is all up and running, it will be a great tourism project.”
After all of the involved parties arrived, Canim Lake Band Chief Mike Archie opened the ceremony by thanking the society for working with the band. The local First Nation is providing wood and log buildings for the project.
Barnett then presented the society with the cheque from the government.
After the presentation, the meeting moved to the outdoor workshop as project manager Ian Briggs, of Montane Forest Consultants Limited, had his project supervisor Thomas Salzbrenner, demonstrate how they achieve the smoothness of the completed benches.
The project is split into four phases. The first will be installing a kitchen, warming and information huts on the Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail.
Next on the agenda will be installing picnic tables, outhouses and information kiosks on various recreation and trail sites.
Then there will be a variety of improvements to the Canim Lake area, including a trappers cabin, washrooms and trail construction.
Finally, the Ice Caves on Highway 24 will receive several recreational improvements, including more than two kilometres of trail construction.
The other partners involved in this project include the Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail Regional Management Committee, Highway 24 Ice Caves Project, Province of British Columbia, Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, and the federal government.
The project began on April 11 and will end on Dec. 16.