Prince Rupert residents and visitors alike may have noticed improved signage around the city as a result of the Visit Prince Rupert wayfinding project.
Tourism Prince Rupert will receive $130,000 for the design, production and installation of new welcome and wayfinding signage featuring Sm’algyax language and the work of local Indigenous artists, announced Harjit S. Sajjan, minister of international development and minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan) on Feb. 16.
“… the new signs highlight Prince Rupert’s vibrant arts and culture scene by showcasing the work of local artists, as well as the Sm’algyax language of the Ts’msyen People,” Visit Prince Rupert stated in a social media post Feb. 6.
“This project will allow for the inclusion of Ts’msyen art and Sm’algyax language in our official community welcome signs, as well as our downtown wayfinding signage,” Ceilidh Marlow, executive director for Tourism Prince Rupert stated. “This will have far-reaching positive implications for both visitors & locals, helping to interpret the vibrant and diverse culture of Prince Rupert.”
“Northern B.C. communities are growing and becoming a destination of choice for visitors. These investments demonstrate the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting economic development across British Columbia. Investing in shared public spaces and tourism experiences will bring people together and help Northern B.C. communities thrive well into the future,” Sajjan said.
The province of B.C., the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Prince Rupert Port Authority, the Prince Rupert Community Arts Council and the City of Prince Rupert are also partners on the wayfaring project.
The new welcome signs, which can be found at each major entrance to the city, were designed with artist Russell Mather and the Ts’msyen Language Authority.
There are also signs around the city that highlight popular attractions. These signs include art from Chris Fraser, Lucy Trimble, Rod Tasaka and Kristen McKay.
In another project, the Tluu Xaada Naay Society will receive $156,000 for constructing a woodcarving area to showcase Haida artisan works to visitors to the Tluu Xaada Naay Longhouse in Haida Gwaii.
“PacifiCan funding will help us build a new woodcarving space that will be a great addition to the authentic Haida cultural experiences currently offered,” said Kihlyahda Christian White, Haida artist and Chair of the Tluu Xaada Naay Society.
“This new area will provide the space and modern equipment for local Haida artisans to work on carvings that use offcuts of wood that would otherwise go to waste. This way we can use every part of our precious cedar trees. This will enable us to offer travellers handcrafted artwork that helps them to remember their time on Haida Gwaii.”
Four other projects in the Skeena Bulkley Valley were also announced for Granisle, Hagensborg, Bella Coola and Terrace.
Projects like these help communities and businesses across British Columbia welcome visitors from near and far, improve community wellness, create jobs, and grow the local economy, a media statement announcing the funding reads.