Northern British Columbia communities receive over $830,000 in funding to enhance tourism experiences

News release

Image of Totem Poles in Haida Gwaii. Text reads: Northern B.C. communities receive $830k in funding to enhance tourism experiences

The Government of Canada is making investments across British Columbia to attract new visitors and stimulate local economies

February 15, 2023 –Terrace, British Columbia – PacifiCan

Safe and inclusive public spaces and dynamic tourism attractions are key to vibrant communities. They bring together people of all ages and abilities, supporting businesses and boosting economic vitality. Throughout the Skeena-Bulkley Valley in British Columbia, communities are ready to welcome residents and visitors to enjoy new and improved public spaces and tourism experiences.

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced over $830,000 in PacifiCan funding through the Tourism Relief Fund for six projects throughout the Skeena-Bulkley Valley.

Among these projects, the Tluu Xaada Naay Society will receive $156,000 for the construction of a woodcarving area to showcase Haida artisan works to visitors to the Tluu Xaada Naay Longhouse in Haida Gwaii. In another project, Tourism Prince Rupert will receive $130,000 for the design, production and installation of new welcome and wayfinding signage in Prince Rupert. The signage will feature Sm’algyax language and the work of local Indigenous artists.

Projects like these help communities and businesses across British Columbia welcome visitors from near and far, improve community wellness, create jobs, and grow the local economy. Communities benefiting from today’s announcement are Granisle, Masset, Prince Rupert, Hagensborg, Bella Coola and Terrace.  

For the full list of projects, please see backgrounder here.

Today’s funding announcement builds on the November 2022 opening of PacifiCan offices in Prince George, Prince Rupert and Fort St. John. With officers living and providing service in the North, PacifiCan is more accessible and can better support businesses and communities. 


“Northern B.C. communities are growing and becoming a destination of choice for visitors. These investments demonstrate the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting economic development across British Columbia. Investing in shared public spaces and tourism experiences will bring people together and help Northern B.C. communities thrive well into the future.”
- The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“As we move past the acute phase of the pandemic, Canada’s tourism sector is showing strong signs of growth. The Government of Canada’s investments in tourism over the last two years focused on the survival of our visitor economy. As we move to revival and the growth of the sector, we continue to provide targeted support to tourism businesses so they can keep delivering unforgettable experiences. A fully recovered and robust tourism sector is key to our government’s ongoing work in building an economy that works for all Canadians.”
- The Honourable Minister Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

"Tourism Prince Rupert is grateful to PacifiCan for the support with our welcome and wayfinding project. This project will allow for the inclusion of Ts’msyen art and Sm’algyax language in our official community welcome signs, as well as our downtown wayfinding signage. This will have far-reaching positive implications for both visitors & locals, helping to interpret the vibrant and diverse culture of Prince Rupert."
- Ceilidh Marlow, Executive Director for Tourism Prince Rupert

“PacifiCan funding will help us build a new woodcarving space that will be a great addition to the authentic Haida cultural experiences currently offered. This new area will provide the space and modern equipment for local Haida artisans to work on carvings that use offcuts of wood that would otherwise go to waste. This way we can use every part of our precious cedar trees. This will enable us to offer travelers handcrafted artwork that helps them to remember their time on Haida Gwaii."
-  Kihlyahda Christian White, renowned Haida artist and Chair of the Tluu Xaada Naay Society

Quick facts

  • PacifiCan is the federal economic development agency dedicated to British Columbians. The agency works with partners who are building innovative businesses, creating quality jobs, and supporting inclusive growth throughout our province.

  • PacifiCan opened offices in Prince George, Prince Rupert and Fort St. John on November 17, 2022 to serve businesses and communities across Northern B.C.

  • The Tourism Relief Fund provides $500 million over two years to help tourism businesses and organizations with adapting their operations to meet public health requirements, while investing in products and services to facilitate future growth. 

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Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and Pacific Economic Development Agency (PacifiCan)

Jillian Glover
Communications Manager

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