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Posts by Camila Sanchez:

RELEASE DATE: May 27, 2020

PRINCE GEORGE – With Tourism Week 2020 underway, Tourism Prince George is celebrating the contributions that local tourism operators and businesses make to Prince George and the BC tourism industry.

“Our communities and the people in them are the true hearts of the tourism industry,” said Clint Fraser, CEO of Northern BC Tourism. “Tourism Week marks the kick-off of regional efforts towards supporting communities in showcasing the value of tourism in their local markets.”

This year, Tourism Week festivities (May 24 to 31) have moved to virtual platforms. Tourism Prince George has been sharing the stories of local tourism operators on social media, conducting fun polls with the community (such as “Top things you want to do in PG, post COVID-19”), and showcasing tourism success stories over the past year.

“While this year’s celebrations have certainly looked different than years past, what hasn’t changed is our true northern spirit, and our commitment to our tourism stakeholders and operators,” said Tracey McBride, CEO of Tourism Prince George. “These are some of the ambassadors, the trailblazers, and the storytellers who make our community so unique. It has been fantastic to celebrate our local tourism champions.”

Tourism Week is also an opportunity for Tourism Prince George to highlight some of its 2019 accomplishments, which include:

  • 1 million reach on social media
  • 38,000+ uses of Tourism Prince George hashtag (#takeonpg)
  • 75% success rate on sport tourism bid submissions
  • 176,176 event participation days for meetings and conventions (Prince George Conference and Civic Centre)
  • 6.1% demand increase over 2018 for overnight stays

While tourism has been one of the hardest-hit sectors during COVID-19, the organization is optimistic about the future of the industry.

“Prior to COVID-19, tourism was a rapidly growing industry and a leading economic driver in Canada,” said McBride. “Our industry has shown its resilience during these tough times, and we will emerge on the other side of the current crisis by continuing to collaborate and work together. This is evident in the collaborative Support PG initiative geared towards response, recovery and resiliency for our local businesses and residents of Prince George.”

Follow Tourism Prince George on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn to join the virtual celebrations.

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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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2016 Canadian Native Fastball Championships (Photo: Bob Steventon)

RELEASE DATE: May 8, 2020

PRINCE GEORGE – The 2020 Canadian Native Fastball Championships (CNFC), which were set to take place July 31 to Aug. 3, 2020, will be postponed until next year.

The organizing committee made the difficult decision to postpone the event in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“At this time, it’s important to adhere to public health guidelines to protect the athletes, their families, our elders, and the community of Prince George,” said Randy Potskin, President of the Canadian Native Fastball Association (CNFA).

The tournament brings together fastball teams from across the nation and has been held annually since its inception in 1974. The event was successfully held in Prince George in 2016, 2004, and 1994.

“The Championships are not just a sporting event,” said Harley Desjarlais, chair of the local organizing committee. “It is a cultural celebration and an opportunity to bring youth, athletes and communities together. We look forward to welcoming everyone in 2021.”

The 2020 event was expected to draw over 80 teams competing in five divisions and bring in about 2,500 visitors to the Prince George area. The total economic impact was estimated to be $3.5 million dollars.

“Tourism Prince George supports the decision made by the CNFA and the organizing committee,” said Tracey McBride, CEO of Tourism Prince George. “This will be a fantastic event for our city next year, and we are committed to creating an exceptional and memorable experience for all athletes, support personnel, and visitors when it is safe to welcome them in 2021.”

For more information and to learn more about the 2021 Championships, visit nativefastball.com.

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For more information:
Camila Sanchez
Manager, Communications & Engagement
Tourism Prince George
sanchez@tourismpg.com
250-640-8483 cell


Harley Desjarlais
Chair of Local Organizing Committee
250-981-1656

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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 

Download PDF Version

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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