Riders could soon be pedalling down new mountain bike trails in the North Thompson Valley, once a study on mountain bike and tourism opportunities in the McBride to Barriere corridor is complete.
The Simpcw First Nation received $45,000 from the B.C. government to identify how Aboriginal communities can participate in the region’s growing mountain bike and tourism industry. In partnership with the Mountain Bike Tourism Association, the Simpcw First Nation will host trail-building workshops and work with nearby communities to develop a strategy to address skills gaps, training needs and opportunities to promote the region as a mountain biking destination.
As part of the project, the Simpcw First Nation has declared June 10, 2015, as Mountain Bike Day in the community just north of Barriere. The day will feature workshops for local youth to learn more about mountain biking and trail safety from professional riders, as well as a community dinner followed by a screening of local mountain bike films and discussion of the new research study.
The project will wrap up in December 2015 with an action plan to develop a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable mountain bike recreation and tourism sector.
Labour Market Partnerships are a component of the Employment Program of BC’s Community and Employer Partnerships fund for projects that share labour market information and increase employability throughout the province. Labour Market Partnerships fund projects that support employers, employee and employer associations and communities to develop strategies to deal with worker shortages or changes in the job market. Projects that provide opportunities for people who are often disadvantaged in the workforce, such as Aboriginal people, people with disabilities and youth, are encouraged.
Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Michelle Stilwell -
“Labour Market Partnerships help communities identify the resources and skilled workers they need to secure employment and economic opportunities. This study will help the Simpcw First Nation become a key partner - and builder - of the region’s mountain bike economy.”
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, MLA Prince George-Valemount Shirley Bond -
“The B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint is helping all British Columbians participate in our province’s diverse and growing economy. This project will help Aboriginal and local communities identify the tools, resources and training needed to strengthen the McBride - Barriere region’s growing mountain biking and tourism sector.”
Minister of Health, MLA Kamloops-North Thompson Terry Lake -
“This project will provide local communities with a roadmap for how they can work together to develop a sustainable mountain biking and tourism sector. It’s an investment that will provide local jobs and make our region an even better place to ride and relax.”
Simpcw First Nation Councillor Tom Eustache -
“This initiative will provide an opportunity for our community to learn more about mountain bike recreation and tourism. It will provide our members, especially our youth, the opportunity to learn about riding and trail building and build capacity for future community and economic development. As a rider, mountain biking has made a huge difference in my life for health and fitness. I would like to see our members getting outdoors and reconnecting with our lands and living healthy active lives. Mountain bike recreation and tourism also has the potential to teach people about the Simcpw Nation; about who we are as a people, our culture and heritage and about our lands and territories.”
Mountain Bike Tourism Association executive director Martin Littlejohn -
“The initiative will assist the Simpcw Nation and the communities throughout the corridor to understand the capacity and human resources required to participate and excel in the mountain bike recreation and tourism industry and provide practical strategies for addressing any gaps or challenges. It will provide a foundation upon which the Simpcw Nation and all the communities and stakeholders throughout the region can collaborate and develop a sustainable tourism industry.”
- In 2015-16, the ministry has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour-market programs under the Employment Program of BC.
- The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia, as well as the Government of Canada, through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
- The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint that helps align training and education with in-demand jobs and provides more support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market or who face unique challenges.
- Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the four components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
- Job creation partnerships
- Labour market partnerships
- Project-based labour market training
- Research and innovation
Who is eligible?
- Non-profit organizations
- Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
- Bands/tribal councils
- Public health and educational institutions
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
For more information on the Simpcw First Nation: www.simpcw.com
For more information on the Simpcw First Nation Mountain Biking: www.facebook.com/simpcwmountainbiking
Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca
Learn more about the Employment Programs of BC: http://www.sdsi.gov.bc.ca/programs/epbc/index.htm
To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/
For more information on the Mountain Bike Tourism Association: www.mbta.ca
Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation