The federal government announced more than $9.4 million in funding to Grande Prairie and area organizations at Centre 2000 on Tuesday, June 27.

The funding will go to 23 organizations including the County of Grande Prairie, Philip J. Currie Museum, Sagitawa Friendship Society in Peace River and the Town of High Level.

The Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) Minister Dan Vandal also announced a new PrairiesCan office opening in the city.

“We realized that through new offices, we can disseminate the information on programs we’re offering (and) services we’re offering to businesses to industry to people,” said Vandal. 

Grande Prairie is the seventh PrairiesCan office to open since 2021. 

Vandal says staff for the new office are already hired, and it should be open soon.

“Nobody understands the unique circumstances, needs and priorities of Northwest Alberta than the people who actually live here.”

County of Grande Prairie Reeve Bob Marshall said the opening of the office is “tremendous news.”

“We all benefit when opportunities in northwestern Alberta are supported,” said the reeve.

Meanwhile, the County of Grande Prairie will get $750,000 to construct a new multi-use trail to connect with the City of Grande Prairie’s trail system. 

The funding will be used to construct a two-kilometre paved trail along Range Road 61 connecting South Bear Creek trails to the Dunes trail system.

“This project is an excellent example of the positive work being achieved through our Intermunicipal Collaboration Committee,” said Marshall. 

The Philip J. Currie Museum will receive $315,628 to launch interactive tourism experiences, such as the River of Death experience. 

“This injection of funds to complete and enhance projects halted by the pandemic enables the museum to recover and achieve key tourism goals of the museum, region and province,” said Linden Roberts, Philip J. Currie Museum executive director. 

The funding will allow more people to experience the rafting trips, something she noted has been asked by locals as well as people from outside the region. 

“These projects will bolster economic projects and improve outdoor recreation opportunities and energize the growing tourism industry right here,” said Todd Loewen, Central Peace-Notley MLA and minister of forestry and parks.

The announcement is expected to enhance the collaboration between Albertans and the federal government, says a news release from PrairiesCan. 

“We all have the same interests is to grow the economy to create and maintain good jobs for families of Alberta, and we’re hoping that we can work together with the provincial government, municipal governments, indigenous governments, towards those ends.”

He noted the prairies have “been an economic powerhouse for growth and exports across the entire country.”

“There are many benefits to both local and federal government having a strategic alignment,”  Gladys Blackmore, City of Grande Prairie deputy mayor. “We’re confident that the colocation here (speaks to) ongoing relationship building and collaboration that supports economic development in the region.”

PrairiesCan has now opened offices in three offices in Alberta (Lethbridge and Fort McMurray), two in Saskatchewan (Regina and Prince Albert), and two in Manitoba (Brandon and Thompson). 

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jun 29, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Town & Country News   Beaverlodge, Alberta

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