BY BILL PHILLIPS
They’re going to make it snow at Otway.
The province, through the Capital Projects Community Gaming Grants program, is providing $175,000 to the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club for a snow-making system.
“A snow-making system will guarantee an extended season from November to April, creating more ways to enjoy winter sports,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, who announced the funding at Otway Friday. “It will offer more opportunity for community and school members to spend more time outside, skiing and staying active.”
The funding is part of $5 million the B.C. government is investing in eligible not-for-profits throughout B.C. The Caledonia Nordic Ski Club is also receiving $175,000 from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, to support hosting the 2019 Para Nordic Skiing Championships. The funding, announced last year, is part of the Tourism Events Program, and will be used for marketing and communications activities, such as livestreaming and media engagement.
“Our government believes in putting people first and improving the lives of British Columbians, and one of the ways we’re doing that is superb examples of community excellence like the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club,” she said.
She said the equipment will mean better conditions for all users of the trails at the Otway Nordic Ski Centre. The equipment will also enable the club to bid on more national and international events.
“The City of Prince George is proud of the hard work and contribution of the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club and Otway Nordic Centre to our community and our region,” said acting Mayor Susan Scott. “During the Canada Winter Games the entire country was introduced to this amazing facility.”
The announcement was also eagerly welcomed by the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club.
“We are very proud of the growth of our club over the last 30 years,” said John Huybers, Caledonia Nordic Ski Club president. “… Through our efforts, the efforts of countless volunteers over the years, this club has grown from simply providing skiing opportunities to a world class Nordic centre.”
In addition to providing training for athletes, the centre has become a year-round facility. Huybers said the club’s vision is to become a centre for Nordic sport development and competitions. The club has helped develop three Olympians, including Meagan Tandy and Sarah Beaudry who will be competing at the Olympics in South Korea next month.
He added the club working towards becoming completely accessible as it gets set to host the Para Nordic Ski Championships next year.
Also on hand for the announcement were Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond, Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris, and North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice.