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Remember the 1990s advertising slogan from a certain credit card company that read "membership has its privileges?" I've been thinking about that lately, as it's the time of year that many non-profit societies and arts organizations are embarking on membership and subscription renewal campaigns.
Anecdotally, I'm hearing that fewer and fewer people seem willing to spend a bit of money each year to take out memberships in these organizations - organizations that provide much value to communities and to society.
We hear it is much the same for organizations that sell season subscriptions. Even our Cougars - lead by an outstanding organization working hard to create a winning team and entertaining game experiences - appear to be feeling the pinch.
Conversely, in this age of instantaneous gratification and the culture of recreational shopping, it seems that memberships in big box stores and retail reward programs are growing.
Please don't think I am not understanding of the lure of paying a big box store an annual fee to enter their premises in order to hand over more money for their products. I get it. You pay money to save money. But I do wonder if this is just lowering the bar, not just by the obvious consequences of having to pay an additional fee for services that we used to take for granted but also as a reflection of our priorities in life.
In reality, the privilege of being part of a civilized society is, and always has been, about the privilege of participation.
In Prince George alone, we have quite literally hundreds of non-profit, membership-based societies that provide programs and services that are imperative to the growth - and survival - of our society. These range from organizations that support health initiatives, to those that enhance the lives of the underprivileged, right through to the arts, sports and cultural groups that enhance the quality of life for all.
And then there are the organizations who package tickets or programs into subscriptions.
As a subscriber to your local orchestra or theatre company, you not only get a price value by purchasing your tickets in advance, but you are (perhaps unknowingly) helping that non-profit arts organization make ends meet by infusing much-needed cash-flow support for the organization to do its best work.
At the Community Arts Council, our annual membership dues range from being free for youth, to $30 for adult individuals, $60 for organizations and $75 for businesses. Benefits of membership include access to advertising programs, free workshops, networking events and opportunities for artists to exhibit and sell works throughout the year.
If I could make one wish, it would be to see everyone take out one membership in a local non-profit organization this year. Because at the end of the day, membership is about belonging to a community of like-minded individuals sharing in impactful and memorable activities and the increased self-worth from knowing that you truly made a difference.
To learn more about joining the Community Arts Council and other local arts organizations, you can visit our website at www.studio2880.com.
Volunteer PG is another great resource to learn more about non-profit organizations that offer memberships. Their website is www.volunteerpg.com.
And of course if you like to attend concerts and theatre, try to work a season subscription into your budget. You get the best prices, the seats of your choice, and the high esteem that comes with being a patron of the arts.
Executive Director of Prince George and District Community Arts Council
This article first appeared in the Prince George Citizen
Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations are just around the corner and we can’t wait to commemorate this special day!
Here is your go-to list of events happening in Prince George to celebrate:
8:00am – 6:00pm Celebrate 150 Northern Hardware Prince George Canoe Race: Competitors will race down the Nechako and Fraser Rivers in canoes to the finish line at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park. Cheer the paddlers on from either a bridge or riverside park, or wait for them at the finish line and join in the celebratory BBQ and live music.
10:00am – 4:00pm Dominion Day on the Homestead: Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday the old-fashioned way with Huble Homestead. Learn how pioneers in Canada, and this region, would have marked the first of July by browsing the Parades of Patriotism display, take part in pioneer games and races, contests, a special Canadian treasure hunt, crafts, enjoy live music, indulge in birthday cake and observe heritage demonstrations.
10:00am – 4:45pm Science Alliance BBQ: Science Camp leaders are cooking burgers on the BBQ and offering burgers, drinks, and popcorn in support of Science Alliance Summer Camps for kids. Funds raised will support the awesome science camp activities and field trips that are planned for the summer.
10:00am - 3:00pm Free Admission to Waterslides at Esther's Inn: Esther's Inn is offering free admission for local children to enjoy their waterslides. Take a break from the outdoor festivities and cool down inside (children must be under 12 years old). Call 250-562-4131 for more information.
11:00am – 6:00pm Canada Day in Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park: This is the city’s main celebration for Canada Day. Opening ceremonies begin at noon and include the serving of a 4’x8’ birthday cake. The mainstage will offer seven hours of non-stop performances, including a wide variety of culturally diverse entertainers. There will be vendors, ethnic food, crafts, and more available for the whole family to enjoy.
*Scroll to the bottom of the page for a complete schedule of activities at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park.
11:00am – 6:00pm Spike for Kids’ Sake – Beach Volleyball Tournament: Join Big Brothers Big Sisters in Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park for a beach volleyball tournament to support local children. Cheer on the teams as they compete to be the best volleyball team in Prince George.
1:00pm (approximate) CP140 Aircraft flies over Prince George: As part of the Canada Day celebrations, a Royal Canadian Air Force CP140 Aircraft will fly over Prince George. The 419 tactical squadron will start at the Prince George Airport and fly towards the Fraser River then travel upstream and past Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park.
*Please note the timing is approximate, you may want to arrive at the park early to ensure you don’t miss the plane.
3:00pm - late Special Canada 150 Menu at Kask: Explore Kask's $1.50 menu featuring mini cocktails, taster beers, and tacos.
7:00pm – 10:30pm Canada 150 Heatwave –The French Connection, Andino Suns, Delhi 2 Dublin: Enjoy free, live music in Canada Games Plaza as part of this free eight-day music festival presented by Coldsnap. (There will be two concerts daily in Canada Games Plaza, one during the lunch hour and one in the evening until July 8).
11:00pm Canfor Canada Day Fireworks: Fireworks will be set off from Connaught Hill. View them in Canada Games Plaza following the Heatwave concert or from downtown Prince George.
Transit: All day on July 1 transit users can ride the bus for $1 or a donation of a non-perishable food item to the Salvation Army. Bus routes will run on a Sunday schedule, with extended service on Route 46 until 4:30pm. Routes 15, 88, and 89 will have extended late-night service ending at midnight.
*Schedule of events at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park
11:00am: Prince George Community Band
12:00pm: Opening Ceremonies
12:20pm: Birch Bark Messenger Canoe Presentation
12:35pm: Les Colons Biens – French Dancers
12:45pm: Zahirah Middle Eastern Belly Dancers
1:00pm: Ivan Paquette – old time acoustic guitar
1:15pm: South Pacific Dance Group
1:30pm: Philippine Cultural Dance Group
1:45pm: Khast’an Drum Group
2:00pm: North Star Belly Dance
2:15pm: Yalenka Ukrainian Dancers
2:30pm: Pow Wow Dancers
2:45pm: Thai Fire Poi Spinning (Chong)
3:00pm: Bollywood Dream Dancers
3:15pm: Raqqaset al Qamar – Dancers of the Moon
3:30pm:Pow Wow Dancers
3:45pm: Mexican Link
4:00pm: Samantha Doyle
4:15pm: Granville Johnson – Drumming
4:30pm: Dance Your Hart Out
4:45pm: Thai Fire Poi Spinning (Chong)
5:00pm: Bollywood Dream Dancers
5:30pm: Judy Russell’s Enchainement Dance Centre preview of Anne of Green Gables
Vendors in Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park
Centre City Metis Society
Chinese Benevolent Association
Durga Mandir Hindu Charity
Greek Orthodox Community of PG
Northern BC Hindu Society
PG Chee Kong Tong Society
Yalenka Ukrainian Dancers Society
MHS Kid’s hot dog concession
BBBS Cookie Dough Mountains
Mapal Ice Cream and Donuts
Mountain Air Kettle Corn
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
The Gourmet Candyman
National Aboriginal Day is Wednesday, June 21. Join us in Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park as we celebrate the culture of the First Nations and Metis people. On June 21 you can also mark the opening of a new permanent Lheidli T'enneh exhibit in The Exploration Place, a museum also located in Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park. See the image below for a complete stage schedule.
Father's Day is quickly approaching and it's a great time to show your dad how much you appreciate him, below are a few unique ideas that you can only do in Prince George:
1. Visit the 43rd Annual Show n’ Shine in Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park from 10am – 4pm. This signature features hundreds of vehicles of all kinds, including classics, hot rods, motorcycles, exotic cars, and even occasional big trucks. This is the largest collection of exhibition-grade vehicles in Prince George. Last year’s event had the largest display ever, with 389 vehicles showcased on the lawn. There will also be music, vendors, demonstrations, information booths, and more.
2. Treat your dad to delicious food:
Fore Bistro & Patio is having a special brunch featuring a delicious menu, including fresh smoked brisket, maple smoked bacon, crepes with flambéed fruit, beef ribs, Cajun chicken and more! Seating times are 10am and 11:30am. There will also be a putting challenge and every Hole In One or child will win a prize.
Call for reservations (250-596-5400).
Visit Northern Lights Estate Winery for a Father’s Day picnic! They are offering complimentary wine tasting for Dad and lawn games. Frozen Paddle Ice Cream and Picnic Packages are available for purchase (or bring your own food and enjoy their wine).
3. Go fishing: Visit your favourite fishing spot together, or borrow our rods and tackle and visit a new place. Make a splash when you give him a gift by signing him up for a fly-fishing experience with Northern Outback Adventures. They offer everything from a heli-fishing adventure, to a day of trout fishing in the Prince George area (lunch included), or a casting lesson on either a single hand or spey casting on a double hand rod. Call 250-640-7699 for more information.
Photo Credit: Northern Outback Adventures
On May 25th, 2017, Tourism Prince George and the Community Arts Council invited artists to attend an information and feedback session about the Visitor Centre giftshop and Artnership.
Golden Raven cultural attraction itineraries:
Prince George to Fort St. James:
Leave Prince George and head west on Highway 16 for an hour before reaching Vanderhoof, the geographical center of the province of BC. Vanderhoof is also home to Nechako River Migratory Bird Sanctuary, which attracts very large numbers of spring-migrating Canada Geese.
While in town, visit the Vanderhoof Museum http://www.vanderhoofmuseum.com/, then grab a quick bite to eat at Ok Café (only open seasonally).
Continue on to Fort St. James (turn north on Highway 27) and take in the Fort St. James National Historic Site of Canada.
http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/bc/stjames/index.aspx. Travel back in time to 1896 when wealth was measured in fur pelts and salmon. Tour Canada’s largest collection of wooden buildings that have been restored to reflect the fur trade era. You can spend the night in the historic Murray house warmed by a wood stove and live like the traders did more than a century ago. There are often events taking place at the Historic Site, and if you’re lucky enough you might get to watch some world famous chicken racing!
If you’re feeling adventurous, hike Mount Pope, a 6.5 km hiking trail to the peak provides a panoramic view of Stuart Lake and the mountains to the north.
Have lunch at the café on site at the Fort overlooking Stuart Lake before returning to Prince George (1:45).
Prince George to Mackenzie:
Heading north on Hwy 97, stop at Huble Homestead Historic Site (40km north of Prince George) http://www.hublehomestead.ca/. Enjoy lunch after touring the historic buildings, First Nations fish camp and purchasing unique gifts in the historic General Store.
Continue on Highway 97 north until you reach the Mackenzie junction and turn left on Highway 39. Located on the south end of Williston Lake (largest man-made lake in BC, and 7th largest reservoir in the world), Mackenzie is home to the world’s largest tree crusher. The Mackenzie Museum http://www.mackenziemuseum.ca/ has rich cultural, social, and natural history component that show how the development of Mackenzie in the 1960s happened as an ‘Instant Town’ in the Canadian wilderness.
If you have the chance to explore Morfee Lake, there are two great beaches, one with a boat launch for motorized use and one for swimming.
Return to Prince George (approx. 2hrs, 15mins)
Prince George to Barkerville:
Take Highway 97 South towards Quesnel, BC before turning left on Highway 26 to Wells and Barkerville (2 hrs 15 min from PG),
On route, visit Cottonwood House Historic Site, a store, museum and heritage property located on the right bank of the Cottonwood River, which was formerly the "capital" of the Cariboo Gold Rush route. Continue to Barkerville Historic Town http://www.barkerville.ca/, established in the 1860’s by Billy Barker as a gold mining settlement. Wander through the restored buildings, general store, church, Chee Kung Tong Building, which was designated a National Historic Sites of Canada in 2008.
Have lunch at one of several restaurants in Barkerville and spend the night in the King House, Kelly House or St George’s Hotel.
The next morning, stop at the Wells Museum, check out some local galleries and shops and take a lunch break at one of the many restaurant options on your way back to Prince George. (Approximately 2hrs).
Prince George to Valemount via McBride:
Driving on Highway 16 east, stop at Purden Lake Provincial Park, where you have the option of spending the night at a campsite, go for a swim, fish, or have a picnic. There are various difficulties of hiking trails dotted along Highway 16 east, pick up a hiking guide at the Prince George Visitor Centre before you leave town.
A must see is the Ancient Forest (113km east of Prince George) Provincial Park, which is fully accessible and an easy walk along boardwalks through 2ooo year old giants.
Stop at the McBride Train Station and the Whistle Stop (Consignment Art) Gallery http://www.whistlestopgallery.org/ which showcases the work of 96 Robson Valley artists and artisans.
Grab a coffee and snack at the Beanery Café before checking out the McBride Valley Museum (by donation) http://www.valleymuseum.ca/index.html to learn about local history and view regional artworks.
About 35km east of McBride, take a small detour to the community of Dunster, nestled in the Robson Valley and famous for it’s annual ice cream social. Continue on through to Tete Jaune Lodge, a Hudson’s Bay Log Cabin right on the Fraser River, and if you’re feeling adventurous book a white water rafting excursion. See the salmon spawn in season in the river (usually late August), before making a detour to Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rocky Mountains to hike the famous Berg Lake Trail.
Make your way to Valemount, located at the northern reach of the Rocky Mountain Trench in BC’sThompson-Okanagan Region, just 120 km (75 mi) from the entrance of Jasper National Park, and 322 km (200 mi) north of Kamloops.
Visit the Valemount Museum http://valemountmuseum.ca/, which offers exhibits throughout its three floors including the recently added Ishbel Cochrane exhibit, featuring the Hargreaves brothers outfitting company and the Mount Robson ranch. The Museum also has a restored caboose and numerous artifacts from the Robson Valley’s early years of logging and agriculture sectors. Explore the Railroad Room, which has a model train running through the displays, artifacts and, yes, even through the bathroom. Pick up a tasty treat from the Swiss Bakery before heading over to Three Ranges brewery to kick back and relax.
In Prince George:
Starting at the Cameron Street Bridge in Prince George BC, walk along the Nechako River on River Rd towards Cottonwood Island Park (about 2.7km). The Central BC Railway & Forestry Museum http://www.pgrfm.bc.ca/ is located adjacent to Cottonwood Island Park and is home to logging machinery, tractors and heavy equipment, a beehive burner, rolling stock and a mini railway. Take a souvenir with you before continuing your walk through Cottonwood Island Park, where you can spot carved faces in the trees. The path leads you to Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park (between 17th and 20th avenues), along the banks of the Fraser River. On a hot summer day take in the gardens, or the Rotary Spray Park. Also located in the Park is the Exploration Place and Science Museum http://www.theexplorationplace.com/. This interactive museum features local history, a dinosaur discovery exhibit, a living biome, First Nations gallery, Prince George Hall of Fame and more. As well, take a ride on the Little Prince Steam Engine, the only operational narrow gauge steam engine in Canada. Don’t forget to grab a scoop of your favourite craft made ice cream from Frozen Paddle after your train ride.
We're happy that St Patty's Day is on a Friday this year, so we an truly get into the festive spirit!
Here are five restaurants/pubs that are doing something special to honour St. Patrick:
Thirsty Moose Pub: This event is sponsored by Cariboo Brewing and organized by NUGSS and the UNBC Men's Soccer team, so you know it's going to be a phenomenal night! DJ Jimi Smyth will be spinning some great tunes to keep the party lively.
Tickets are $10 to start and will go up to $20 just before Friday, get your tickets at the UNBC Wintergarden, Thirsty Moose Pub and NUGSS office.
The Westwood Pub: Green beer, specials on Guinness and Jameson, fantastic food, mega SWAG prizes, giveaways (including a Guinness beer fridge), live DJ, dancing, and all the other shenanigans you would hope for on St Patty's Day.
Nancy O's: Looking for elevated Irish food with an incredible beer selection for St Patrick's Day? Look no further than Nancy O's, they'll be serving up Kilkenny Battered Fish n' Chips and Duck and Wild Boar Guinness Pot Pie, among other special features.
Copper Pig BBQ House: These folks are doing something a little different by hosting a St Patrick's Day Communal Lunch. Buy a ticket, pull up a seat at their Social Table and enjoy various platters, boards, and bowls of local lamb stew, in-house cured corned beef and local beef ribs. This will also be your opportunity to taste a special casking of CrossRoad's Willamette Stout! Tickets are $18 each, buy yours fast because there are only 16 seats at the Social Table!
Fore Bistro & Patio: Do you have the luck of the Irish? Head over to Fore Bistro for your chance to win a staycation valued at $500. The staycation includes one night in the Jr Suite at Prestige Treasure Cove Hotel, $50 free play for the casino, 2 tickets to a comedy show at the Treasure Cove and a $50 GC to Fore. You can also buy 50/50 tickets with proceeds going to the BCSPCA. Rick Stavely will be performing live and 2Crazi will be handing out giveaways throughout the night. $5 cover.
Still wondering how you’re going to keep your kids active during Spring Break? We’ve rounded up five special events happening in Prince George that are guaranteed to keep your children active and entertained while learning in a fun environment!
Spring Break Kids Camp at Otway (March 13-17): Your child (ages 6-12) can spend time outside snowshoeing, cross country skiing, learning about nature, playing games and more at Otway. Half Day Camps (9:30am-12:00pm) are $20 (plus rentals and trail passes) and Full Day Camps (9:30am–3:30pm) are $40 (plus rentals and trail passes). Call or email Otway to register (250-564-3809 or email@example.com).
Spring Break at the Pool (March 11-26): Dive into the world of water while playing fun games at the Prince George Aquatic Centre and Four Seasons Leisure Pool. Games run daily from 1:30pm-4:00pm.
Spring Break Creativity Camps at Two Rivers Gallery (March 13-17, 20-24): Create with the Masters (March 13-17) and spend the week learning about artists and their masterpieces. Also spend time creating your own inspired works of art! The second week will have participants drawing, painting, sculpting and more as they play and experiment with colour in Colour Play (March 20-24).
Both camps are aimed at children in grades 1-7 and run from 9am-4:30pm. Register online at TwoRiversGallery.ca. Cost: $194.
Spring Break with Camp Kanannaq (March 15, 17, 20): Spend the day outside with your favourite Camp Kanannaq staff hiking, building a fire, roasting s’mores and much more. Activities will include a hike to Raven Lake (March 15, ages 13-15), exploring Forests for the World (March 17, ages 7-12), and a trip to the Ancient Forest (March 20, ages 7-12). Cost is $40. Learn more by calling 250-562-9341 or visit nbcy.org.
Spring Break Cultural Crafts at Prince George Native Friendship Centre (March 24): Join the Prince George Native Friendship Centre for free cultural crafts for the entire family between 10am-2pm. No registration required, call 250-564-3568.
Family Day 2017 is quickly approaching so we thought we'd put together a list of five special events that are being held throughout the City of Prince George!
Family Day at the Northern Sport Centre
10:00am - 4:00pm
Celebrate Family Day with the Northern Sport Centre with free activities and special guests including the Spruce Kings (2-3pm), our mascot, Fraser the Moose, Super Dog from the SPCA, A&W Root Bear, Chance from the PG Humane Society and Kingston from the Spruce Kings. Activities include: indoor playground (10am-3pm), pickleball (10am-4pm), basketball (10am-4pm), fencing (10am-11am), badminton (10am-1pm), Family Tae Kwon Do (12pm-1:30pm), rugby and wheelchair sports (1pm-3pm), and family yoga (3pm-4pm).
As an added bonus, parking at the NSC lot will be free on Family Day!
Learn more here.
Family Day at Ness Lake Bible Camp
9:00am - 4:30pm
Located on the shores of frozen Ness Lake, explore the camp's property with the whole family for no cost! Tackle the climbing wall, let loose inside the heated gym, play board games, shoot a game of pool, slide down the sledding hill and go ice skating (weather dependent). Enjoy a hot lunch and snack to replenish your energy for all the activities!
This event is free, but the organizers would appreciate an RSVP so they can adequately plan. If you don't RSVP, that's okay, feel free to show up anyways!
Learn more here.
Paint the Ice after a Prince George Cougars Game
The Prince George Cougars are hosting a special feature game on Family Day. The game starts at 2:00pm and after the game fans will have the unique opportunity to paint (decorate) the ice! The next day the Cougars and Chiefs will place on the freshly decorated ice.
While you're at the game, you can buy your tickets for the February 14th game for 50% off!
Learn more here.
Family Day at Otway
10:30am - 3:00pm
Otway is celebrating Family Day with a hot dog lunch (by donation), hot chocolate and marshmallows! They will also be leading a Family Snowshoe Nature Tour and Relay Games for $10 per family (rentals and trail pass not included).
Rentals, lessons, and family trail passes will all be half price! (Call to register for lessons before noon on Sunday, February 12).
Call 250-564-3809 to register for ski lessons and snowshoe games.
Learn more here.
Family Ice Fishing Event
11:00am - 3:00pm
Join the Spruce City Wildlife Association for a free family ice fishing event at Ferguson Lake! Limited rods and tackle will be available for participants (or borrow ice fishing equipment for free from Tourism Prince George - just pick it up before we close at 4:30pm on Friday!).
Please note, anyone over the age of 16 must carry a BC Freshwater Fishing License, available online or from the fishing counter at Northern Hardware.
Learn more here.
We're going to be out and about enjoying all the fantastic family fun and we hope you will participate in these community events!
Last year the Prince George Heritage Commission released its centennial project: 100 Iconic Prince George People, Places, and Objects. This list is on a web page devoted to the unique and interesting people, places, and things that define our city.
This site features items of early history such as photographs of Six Mile Mary, the village of Lheidli, and images of sternwheelers, steam engines and the early days of our city.
Visit http://www.theexplorationplace.com/index.php?page=100-prince-george-icons to learn more about Prince George and see unique pictures, including:
-a 2400 year old elk fossil found during excavations for Parkwood Mall
-a dance card from an event that took place at the Ritt-Kifer Hall in 1915
-the first motorcar in Prince George (1912)
-the first airplane (1920)
-the first apartment building completed in 1951.
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The Institute for Canadian Citizens' Cultural Access Pass allows newly sworn-in citizens to visit participating attractions for free, for one year.
Find out how to register for free access to over 1,200 of Canada's best museums, art galleries, discovery centres, historic sites and nature parks - then pick yours up at our visitor centre!