COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) UPDATE: SEE DETAILS

RELEASE DATE: March 6, 2020

PRINCE GEORGE – Industry leaders from the provincial tourism sector will come together in Prince George next year for the 2021 BC Tourism Industry Conference (BCTIC).

For the 2021 event, a local organizing committee will be established to support planning efforts, spearheaded by Tourism Prince George.

“We are excited to brainstorm and collaborate with all of our partners, including Northern BC Tourism Association and Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, to host an exceptional event,” said Tracey McBride, CEO of Tourism Prince George. “Delegates will get a taste of our warm hospitality and the unique culture of the area.”

The event brings destination marketing and management organizations, sector associations, tourism business operators, government, and stakeholders together to discuss topical issues, industry trends, and best practices. It will be the first time the conference will be held in northern BC.

“As a provincial advocacy association, it’s important for us to connect with all regions of the province and staging the conference beyond our traditional venues in Vancouver, Victoria, and Kelowna gives us the opportunity to do just that,” said Alroy Chan, Tourism Industry Association of BC Board Chair.  “We look forward to working with Tourism Prince George and Northern BC Tourism Association to put on another stellar event and showcasing all that northern BC has to offer.”

The BC Tourism Industry Conference will span three days and is anticipated to welcome some 400 delegates from across the province. Social events, tours, and the annual BC Tourism Industry awards will also be part of the festivities.

“Congratulations to Tourism Prince George for its successful bid and I look forward to welcoming tourism officials from around BC to Prince George next year,” said Lyn Hall, Mayor of Prince George. “Together we are working to enhance Prince George’s attractiveness to visitors and it’s especially gratifying to see our continued success in attracting conferences, sport competitions, and arts and culture events.”

The news was announced at the 2020 event in Victoria, BC. The 2020 Conference, themed “All Eyes On Tourism”, included discussions on topics such as Indigenous tourism, accessibility, and sustainable tourism.

"The topics and presentations at the 2021 Conference will be extremely valuable for our local and regional stakeholders and this is the first time it will be in northern BC," said Clint Fraser, CEO of Northern BC Tourism Association. "Bringing the annual tourism conference to the north is an important step in celebrating opportunities in tourism and further developing the visitor economy in the region."

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Photo caption: Representatives gather at the 2020 BC Tourism Industry Conference. 

For more information:
Camila Sanchez
Manager, Communications & Industry Relations
Tourism Prince George
sanchez@tourismpg.com
250-640-8483 cell | 250-649-3207 office 

Amber Harding
Marketing & Communications Specialist
Northern BC Tourism Association
amber@nbctourism.com
250-318-6414

Laura Plant
Manager, Communications & Membership Support
Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC)
lplant@tiabc.ca
778-788-3499

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RELEASE DATE: February 27, 2020

PRINCE GEORGE – The best in Canada will gather in Prince George for the 2020 Canadian Masters Badminton Championships, April 27 to May 2 – exactly two months from today! The Championships will start hot on the heels of other high-profile sporting events like the World Women’s Curling Championships (March 14 – 22) and the Western Canadian Ringette Championships (March 25 – 28).

The successful bid for the Championships was developed by Tourism Prince George in partnership with the North Central Badminton Academy. The organizing committee hopes to create a memorable experience for participants, officials, and visitors, with a focus on hosting social events for athletes.

“We are excited to welcome athletes from across Canada and the world to our city,” said Lisa Davison, Chair of the Host Organizing Committee. “It is our goal that everyone involved has a fantastic competitive and social experience. This is a family event and we encourage spectators of all ages to come watch the best in masters badminton.”

To kick off the festivities, Tourism Prince George will be sponsoring a welcome reception at the Two Rivers Gallery on the eve of the Championships. Other businesses and organizations interested in becoming social sponsors are encouraged to visit www.mastersbadminton2020.ca for more information or email 2020mastersnationals@northcourt.ca.  

The week-long event will feature over 250 athletes competing in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles events, all held at the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre. The Championships will generate increased revenue for the accommodation, dining, and retail sectors – with an estimated economic impact of $760,000 to the city.

“The Masters Badminton Championships is the kind of high-profile, national event that brings together a city,” said Tracey McBride, CEO of Tourism Prince George. “Our city pride is evident in our strong volunteer base and the enthusiasm of the local badminton community in bringing this event to Prince George.”  

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Photo caption (L to R): Colin Carson (Manager, Sport Tourism), Tracey McBride (CEO, Tourism Prince George) and Lisa Davison (Chair of the Host Organizing Committee) celebrate the upcoming Canadian Masters Badminton Championships.

Photo credit: Tourism Prince George 

For more information:
Camila Sanchez
Manager, Communications & Industry Relations
Tourism Prince George
sanchez@tourismpg.com
250-640-8483 cell | 250-649-3207 office 

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RELEASE DATE: February 5, 2020

PRINCE GEORGE – The Exploration Place is once again receiving national attention for its exhibits, this time as part of a TV series called “Dino Trails”.

The “Dino Trails” series was created to reveal the newest discoveries of dinosaurs and fossils in BC and Alberta – and the tourism that results from them. The northern BC episode features both the Exploration Place and the Six Peaks Dinosaur Track Site near Hudson’s Hope. Dino Trails was produced with the support of TELUS; with its second season recently completed, the series can be viewed on Amazon Prime Video, TELUS Optik TV on Demand, Westjet in-flight entertainment, and on YouTube.

Series creator Brandy Yanchyk has filmed in Prince George twice, and appreciates what the city has to offer. “We came to Prince George to film the dinosaur tracks that are on display and in the collections of Exploration Place. The dinosaur footprints exhibit is fascinating and easy for all ages to understand and enjoy,” said Yanchyk. “I love Prince George’s proximity to nature and the city’s warm people.”

The northern BC episode featured paleontologists Dr. Rich McCrea and Dr. Lisa Buckley on site at the Exploration Place. The Exploration Place has a permanent paleontology exhibit that showcases full-size dinosaur models and fossils from the area that are over 70 million years old.

“The paleontology exhibit can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages,” said Tracy Calogheros, CEO of the Exploration Place. “We are thrilled that it was showcased in the Dino Trails series, and we are always pleased to have Drs. McCrea and Buckley on site to share their knowledge first-hand.”

Tourism Prince George assisted with scouting for the episode and connected Yanchyk with local contacts. As part of its travel media program, the organization also provided financial assistance for the crew’s lodging during their stay in Prince George.

“The Exploration Place is a hub for culture and science within our city,” said Tracey McBride, CEO of Tourism Prince George. “We encourage locals and tourists alike to check out their excellent galleries and workshops.” 

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Photo caption: Dr. Rich McCrea on site at the Exploration Place during the filming of “Dino Trails” 

Photo credit: Brandy Yanchyk

For more information:
Camila Sanchez
Manager, Communications & Industry Relations
Tourism Prince George
sanchez@tourismpg.com
250-640-8483 cell | 250-649-3207 office 

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RELEASE DATE: January 17, 2020

PRINCE GEORGE – Tourism Prince George Society (TPGS) has announced Tracey McBride as its new Chief Executive Officer.  

The TPGS Board of Directors is looking forward to working with Tracey. “Her vast experience and knowledge in the tourism industry will be an excellent asset to the community, our shareholders and the staff at Tourism Prince George,” said Elke Hierl-Steinbauer, Chair of the Board for TPGS.

Tracey McBride brings over 18 years of experience in municipal, regional and provincial tourism marketing and development to TPGS. She has a strong background in developing indigenous tourism experiences and capacity development. She has worked in all tourism sectors, including sports, conferences, media relations, travel trade and leisure markets with international events and audiences.

Currently McBride is wrapping up a contract as Interim Executive Director for the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation in Alberta. She has worked for the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture as an industry development liaison with Tourism Hamilton, City of Toronto, Niagara Falls Tourism and as General Manager for Waterloo Regional Tourism and City of St. Catherines.

McBride has won numerous national and international awards in destination marketing. She lectures at universities across the country on tourism product development through the Economic Development Association of Canada (EDAC). Her post-secondary education focused on social sciences, communications and media at McMaster University, Sheridan College and Niagara College. She is looking at pursuing her Masters in Tourism Development at Royal Roads University over the next few years.

“I am excited to become a part of Prince George. It will be wonderful to be able to contribute to the community in working with the TPGS team to grow the existing year-round business, conference, cultural, sports, and recreational opportunities offered,” said McBride. “With the help of my team, I am going to continue the great work that has already been done in past years. The goal is to enhance Prince George’s visibility as a vibrant city at the edge of northern BC wilderness with endless adventure just at your doorstep.”

Members of the TPG Board of Directors designated a search committee following the departure of former CEO Erica Hummel in October 2019. McBride’s first day of work will be Feb. 3, 2020.

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Photo caption (L to R): Mayor Lyn Hall, Tourism Prince George CEO Tracey McBride, and Chair of the Board Elke Hierl-Steinbauer at the Visitor Information Center.


For more information:
Camila Sanchez
Manager, Communications & Industry Relations
Tourism Prince George
sanchez@tourismpg.com
250-640-8483 cell | 250-649-3207 office 

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RELEASE DATE: December 2, 2019

PRINCE GEORGE – Fastball teams from across the nation will gather in Prince George during the Canadian Native Fastball Championships (CNFC), Aug. 1 to 3, 2020.

The event will feature over 80 teams competing in five divisions: men’s open, women’s open, masters men’s, masters women’s, and junior men’s. Tournament games will be played on 11 baseball diamonds throughout Prince George on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation. The August tournament is expected to bring in about 2,500 visitors to the Prince George area and will have an estimated economic impact of approximately $3.5 million dollars.

The championship tournament has been held annually since its inception in 1974, and was successfully held in Prince George in 2016, 2004, and 1994. The tournament is overseen by the Canadian Native Fastball Association (CNFA), a non-profit volunteer organization with First Nation representatives across Canada. Locally, the bid to host the event was prepared jointly by the Spruce City Men’s Fastball Association, the PG Big Guy Lake Kings Fastball Club, Tourism Prince George, and the City.

“The CNFA is pleased to bring the Native Fastball Championships once again to Prince George,” said Randy Potskin, President of CNFA. “We are honoured to continue the rich culture of native fastball handed down to us by our fathers and grandfathers.”

“The 2020 Championships will bring together the family and friends of the players, coaches and assistants, and many local baseball fans who enjoy the sport,” said Lheidli T’enneh Dayi (Chief) Clay Pountney. “It will have a very positive impact on our community and the City of Prince George.”

“Council recognizes the value of attracting these kinds of events to our community and we’re excited to see that Prince George will again be hosting this tournament,” said Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall. “There’s clearly an important economic impact, but these events are also a lot of fun and a terrific opportunity for everyone to enjoy the excitement of sports. On behalf of the City, we can’t wait to welcome these athletes and their families from across Canada.”

“Sport hosting in Prince George plays a major role in diversifying our local economy and driving the growth of the regional tourism industry,” said Sarah Kirk, Interim CEO of Tourism Prince George. “We are thrilled that Prince George will be hosting the CNFC in 2020. Tourism Prince George is committed to creating an exceptional and memorable experience for athletes, support personnel, and visitors.”

Prince George is recognized as one of western Canada’s premier sport hosting destinations. The 2020 CNFC is one of several high-profile sporting events to come to Prince George, including the 2019 World Para Nordic Championships, the 2020 Women’s World Curling Championships, and the 2022 BC Summer Games.

For more information or to sign up to volunteer or support the event, visit nativefastball.com.  

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Photo caption (L to R): Dayi (Chief) Clay Pountney, Tourism Interim CEO Sarah Kirk, CNFA President Randy Potskin, Mayor Lyn Hall, Harley Desjarlais and Peter Ghostkeeper celebrate the announcement of the 2020 Canadian Native Fastball Championships.

For more information:
Camila Sanchez
Manager, Communications & Industry Relations
Tourism Prince George
sanchez@tourismpg.com
250-640-8483 cell | 250-649-3207 office

Kevin Brown
Communications Advisor
Lheidli T’enneh First Nation
kevin@kbcommunications.ca
250-962-5005 
 

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BC Museums Association and Tourism Prince George are pleased to announce that BC’s only provincial conference for museum, gallery, arts and cultural professionals is coming to Prince George this year! BCMA Conference 2019 will take place from September 30 to October 2 at the Courtyard by Marriott, Two Rivers Gallery, and The Exploration Place.

A passionate local committee came together to create a proposal to host the event, which hasn’t been in Prince George since 2006, and with the support of Tourism Prince George, won the bid. The BCMA Council was hosted for a site visit in June by the local committee and was very impressed by the city. Carolyn Holmes, Executive Director of the Two Rivers Gallery, led the bid committee. “The BCMA were thoroughly impressed by the organizations in PG, the sense of community, and how closely we all work together,” said Holmes. “They’ll spread the word about the strength and culture in Prince George and convince others to come for the conference in the fall.”

“The BCMA Annual Conference will bring over 150 delegates to Prince George,” says Tourism Prince George CEO, Erica Hummel. “Meetings and conventions create significant economic impact for the city, and we work hard to support local partners interested in bringing more events like this to town.” Visitors will have the opportunity to experience social events at the Two Rivers Gallery and The Exploration Place and the local committee is excited to share the rich culture that exists in Prince George, including that of Indigenous peoples.

The 2019 Conference will be held on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, whose name in the Dakelh language means “people of the confluence of two rivers”, and will celebrate the role museums play in connecting people through language and story with this year’s theme, Spoken Words, Shared Stories. The theme acknowledges the importance of the International Year of Indigenous Languages, explores how museums can become involved in language revitalization, and allows for discussion on how our organizations use stories to communicate, educate, and encourage social interactions.

If you have any questions about Conference 2019, please contact the BC Museums Association at 250-356-5700 or email info@museumsassn.bc.ca.

About Tourism Prince George: Tourism Prince George (TPG) is a not-for-profit society created in January 2010 that is governed by tourism industry stakeholders through an appointed Board of Directors. A stakeholder model has been adopted by the Tourism Prince George Board of Directors meaning that all tourism businesses and organizations in the Prince George region are automatically stakeholders without paying a membership fee.

About the BC Museums Association: Founded in 1957, the British Columbia Museums Association (BCMA) creates a bright future for British Columbia’s museum, gallery, and related heritage communities through networking, advocacy, innovation, and professional development. It delivers programs and services to the benefit of its members and the sector at large, acting as the cultural and heritage information hub for British Columbia while providing a unified voice for the institutions, trustees, professional staff and volunteers.

Media Contacts:
Tourism Prince George
Leanne Schinkel
Manager, Communications & Industry Relations
Direct: 250-649-3207
Email: schinkel@tourismpg.com

BC Museums Association
Desiree Hall Communications & Program Assistant
Office: 250-356-5700
Email: bcma@museumsassn.bc.ca

Prince George, BC- For the third summer in a row, Tourism Prince George and The Community Arts Council are celebrating an "Artnership". The Artnership Program, which began in 2017, showcases local Indigenous artists in the Prince George Visitor Centre. The artists set up an onsite studio and spend a morning making or participating in a piece of art. The program gives visitors an opportunity to learn about the city’s arts scene, and also about Indigenous culture.

In 2017 and 2018, local artist Tom Mowatt set up his painting supplies and enjoyed sharing his culture and experiences with travelers from across the globe. “It wasn’t like work at all,” says Mowatt. “It was more talking than painting. It was such a reward to communicate with so many people.” Mowatt’s completed pieces are still on display in the Visitor Centre.

Another Artnership participant and local drum-maker, Len Paquette, made lasting memories for VIA Rail passengers bound for Prince Rupert last year when he drummed his newly completed drum up the aisles of the train. “It’s so exciting to see the faces of visitors when they get to speak to an artist and even participate in making a piece of art,” says Erica Hummel, CEO of Tourism Prince George. “This is an exciting program that really enhances the visitor experience in our community. It creates such positive perception of Prince George.”

Mowatt and Pacquette will be back as program participants this year, along with other talented local artists Darin Corbiere, Shirley Babcock, and Carla Joseph. A sixth has been added to this year’s roster, Jennifer Pighin, designer of the 2015 Canada Winter Games medals. Artists will be at Tourism Prince George every consecutive Thursday from 7:00am to 11:00am beginning with Darin Corbiere this Thursday, June 27th.

Schedule for the 2019 Artnership Program:

June 27th: Darin Corbiere, painting

July 4th: Shirley Babcock, painting

July 11th: Carla Joseph, painting

July 18th: Len Paquette, carving

July 25th: Tom Mowatt, painting

August 1st: Jennifer Pighin, drumming

“The Community Arts Council values the opportunity that Tourism Prince George provides to our artists in connecting them with visitors to our city, many of whom are highly interested in experiencing local and Indigenous artistry,” says Lisa Redpath, Program Manager at Studio 2880. “We had great success with this program last year and all of the participating artists found it to be quite rewarding. This really helps us to start putting Prince George on the cultural map.”

The Community Arts Council (CAC) undertakes similar Artnership programs with the Prince George Airport and City Hall. This is a legacy project from the 2015 Canada Winter Games, and the CAC is always interested in finding additional, secure facilities at which to introduce local Prince George artists and artisans.

Join us this Thursday, June 26th for the first event with Darin Corbiere, 7:00am to 11:00am at the Prince George Visitor Information Centre, 1300 1st Avenue. 

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Prince George, BC – Tourism Prince George has received funding from Destination BC through its Co-operative Marketing Partnerships Program to support the promotion of a collaborative marketing campaign for the Route 16 Motorcycle Touring Corridor.
 
This initiative is supported by other Destination Marketing Organizations and Regional Districts located along the Highway 16 corridor: Tourism Smithers, Kermodei Tourism, Tourism Prince Rupert, Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, and the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako. The project has received over $40,000 in funding with the overall goal of encouraging visitors– specifically motorcycle riders, to plan their next trip along the route.
 
“The importance of promoting touring routes is essential to capturing our target market tourism traffic through Prince George and Northern BC,” says Erica Hummel, CEO of Tourism Prince George. “Motorcycle tourists are affluent, spend time in destination, and are interested in other tourism offerings such as cultural attractions, culinary, and outdoor adventures like camping and fishing, so they are a captive audience.”
 
“British Columbia has so many unique and beautiful areas for visitors to experience,” says Lisa Beare, Minister for Tourism, Arts & Culture. “We want to make sure visitors know all that they can see and do in our province, along with supporting tourism businesses who showcase all that British Columbia holds. With the Co-operative Marketing Partnerships Program we are investing in tourism’s continued growth to make sure tourism operators and businesses throughout the province will benefit from tourism in all seasons.”
 
“Tourism destinations are in an increasingly ferocious global competition for travellers,” says Marsha Walden, CEO of Destination BC. “BC is elevating its marketing impact through collaboration. This funding harnesses the collective power of tourism champions in towns, cities, and regions, connecting local networks and sectors with a common purpose. Together, we are positioning British Columbia as a must-see destination, and our industry is a leading source of growth in BC’s economy.”
 
Since its inception in 2017, Tourism Prince George has been leading the Route 16 marketing project. A website, Facebook page, Instagram account, brochures, and stickers have been developed and promoted at consumer shows and through aggressive digital marketing campaigns to targeted motorcycle markets in BC, Alberta, and Washington. To date, the marketing efforts have achieved over 21,000 website page views, 95,000 reach on social media platforms, and over 507,000 video impressions.
Videos, photographs, and blog content can be viewed on www.route16.ca.


Prince George, BC – Tourism Prince George has announced the release of their 2020-2024 Strategic Plan in conjunction with Tourism Week.

“We are so pleased to release our new five-year plan which will take us through to 2024. Tourism in British Columbia continues to grow, representing an $18 billion industry,” said Erica Hummel, CEO of Tourism Prince George. “In Prince George, we have seen a 40% growth in Tourism in the community in the last eight years, which is an average of 5% per year. With that in mind, we have developed the strategy to continue that trajectory into the next five years, with a vision to be BC’s year-round ‘Northern Gateway to Adventure’, a vibrant destination known for its diverse wilderness experiences, urban adventures and iconic events,” added Hummel.

Highlights include:

Overarching Goals – Tourism Prince George has identified four overarching goals and objectives.

 Increase the Net Promoter Score.

 Increase tourism revenues by 5% annually.

 Increase the overall market readiness of the destination.

 Increase in stakeholder satisfaction.

Key Results Areas:

 Visitor Centre – To provide excellent customer service to visitors, in partnership with stakeholders.

 Destination Development – Facilitate the further development of Prince George as a northern gateway that offers year-round tourism products and experiences that meet and exceed visitor expectations.

 Marketing - Promote a positive image of Prince George through partnerships, engagement and a compelling brand that is particularly relevant to our core and niche target markets.

 Organizational Effectiveness - Increase the capacity and effectiveness of Tourism Prince George in the following areas: governance, engagement, team member capabilities, policies and procedures.

The condensed version of the strategic plan is available at www.tourismpg.com.

Please join us at the Visitor Centre during our Open House on Friday, May 31st from 11:00am-3:00pm at 1300 First Avenue.

May 28, 2019

 

Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society Call for Cultural Applications

Prince George, BC – Heatwave 2019 will be an engaging and fun-filled festival June 21st, 22nd, and 23rd brought to you by the Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society (IMSS), Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, Le Cercle des Canadiens Français (CCFPG), the Prince George Metis Community Association, and the Prince George Folkfest Society (PGFFS) to celebrate the cultural diversity of our community. 

Ravi Sexena, Executive Director for IMSS says “anyone who wishes to celebrate their culture is encouraged to do so at Heatwave – Celebrate Cultures, as even one person can set up a great booth, sell food, or participate in the fashion show.”

Not sure how you or your group can be involved? A few suggestions include:

  • Information booth 
    which could include demonstrations of activities,
    a map that highlights the geological location of a culture, photos or displays of traditional dress.
    sell bite-sized portions of a traditional food for a low price ($1-$2)
  • Restaurant vendor
    vendors are encouraged to sell a food taster ($1-$2), as well as dinner-sized portions of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Performances
    Performers are encouraged to dance, sing, make music, or show Prince George other kinds of cultural or traditional talents.
  • Fashion Show
    Citizens of Prince George and beyond come in traditional clothing and participate in a fashion show to go around the world by going around the Canada Games Plaza on Saturday, June 22nd! This event is free to participate, and we have unlimited spaces so anyone can come out and celebrate cultural dress!
  • Food demonstration booth
  • Goods and Services Vendor
    sell goods (jewelry, art, homemade crafts, etc.),
    or provide a service such as henna, eyebrow threading, temporary tattoos, face painting, or other goods or services that are family-friendly.

Application forms and more information can be found at their website: https://imss.ca/about-us-heading/dayofculture/.

About IMSS: The Society is comprised of a local membership of individuals and ethnic groups.
Representatives from ethnic organizations, similar clubs or organizations are welcome to join the Society.
The Board of Directors is elected from the members at the Annual General Meeting. Membership in the Society is open to all Canadian citizens, permanent residents and others with legal status in Canada regardless of their race, colour, religion, gender, or country of origin.

 

Media Contact:

Ravi Sexena, Executive Director, IMSS

Email: ravis@imss.ca

Telephone: 250-562-2900

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