Monday, January 23, 2017

Northwest Brewers make plans for Prince George Road Trip

Prince Rupert's Wheelhouse Brewery
will be taking their ales on the road
this weekend to Prince George's AleFest
The unique tastes of the brewers of the Northwest will be on display in Prince George this week as both the Wheelhouse from Prince Rupert and Sherwood Mountain out of Terrace make the trip down Highway 16 to participate in the Third annual Kiwanis Beer festival.

The two representatives from the Northwest are among fifteen that will be part of the sampling bar at the festival, with craft brewers travelling from Vancouver, Victoria, the Okanagan and other areas of the province with their Kegs and special concoctions ready to be showcased.

The Prince George event takes place at the Two Rivers Gallery on January 27th and 28th, and also involves the restaurant community in the city, as well as participants in the arts and music scene.

The musical portion of the weekend is taking place under the banner of the Cold Snap Music Festival

The volunteer run event is hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Prince George with funds that are raised from the weekend directed towards children's charities and projects in the Prince George area.

Terrace's Sherwood Mountain
Brewery will be at the 2017 edition
of Prince George's Ale fest 
A Taste of the North Coast
heads inland this week
as Prince Rupert's Wheelhouse
heads to Prince George

The Kiwanis AleFest became an instant success with its introduction of 2015, with the annual gathering expanding both in participation and activities offered, making for what has become a signature Winter event in Prince George.

If you're thinking of heading to eastbound over the weekend, you had best hope that you have some connections in the community, the website for this years event notes that Tickets are already SOLD OUT for the 2017 version.

There are however some special free events taking place in the downtown area for those that want to sample some of the offerings as part of the weekend celebrations.

The popularity of the event should prove to be something that brings a smile to the travellers from the Northwest, and maybe an indication that they may need to bring more supplies with them.

With a large and thirsty volume of potential customers ready to sample their products, they'll want make sure to keep the beer lines moving quickly, allowing for satisfied beer aficionados to spread the word once the Festival wraps up on Saturday evening.

More notes on the Northwest Commercial sector can be found on our archive page here.

We'll add to our previews and reviews culled from some of the Prince George media options as the weekend draws closer.

January 14 -- Downtown Prince George hosting Special Cask Beer Weekend during Kiwanis Alefest

Council of Haida Nation on Haida Gwaii looks to form committee to celebrate Northern Gateway cancellation

The days of the not so recent past that made up the Enbridge Northern Gateway debate, offered up one of the most controversial issues for much of Northern British Columbia in recent times.

A topic that for a number of years engaged residents from the Western beaches of Haida Gwaii to the Eastern border with Alberta and for many in between, made the North Coast the focal point of the issue of British Columbia's stance when it comes to oil shipments.

The proposed pipeline project from Alberta's oil fields to tidewater at Kitimat was a topic that brought many into the discussion, eager to make their voices heard, and perhaps nowhere was the message delivered more loudly than by those from  Haida Gwaii.

Over the course of the debate over Northern Gateway, the residents of the Islands were among the largest and most passionate participants that were found on the No side of that debate.

Those efforts made for a successful court challenge and with  the decision in November by the Federal Government to not move forward with the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, that political battle has now been won, and with their success the Council of the Haida Nation is now making plans to celebrate those on Haida Gwaii that helped towards that outcome.

Plans are soon to be put into motion to organize a victory celebration for all Islanders and the first step for those plans is to created a steering committee to determine what that celebration will look like.

More background on the project and ways to contact the organizers is available from the Council of the Haida Nation website.

Updates on their plans will also be delivered through that portal as they begin to take shape over the months ahead.

Further items of interest from Haida Gwaii can be found on our archive page here.

Prince Rupert Port Authourty Community Investment Fund application process now open for 2017

The Prince Rupert Port Authority is
currently accepting applications for its
Community Investment Fund for 2017

(photo from PRPA website)
With funding for local community groups a key discussion topic these days, there was a timely reminder last week from the Prince Rupert Port Authority that the application period for its 2017 Community Investment Fund is now open.

Local residents with projects or initiatives that might be looking for some financial support, will want to explore what the PRPA has to offer when it comes to their Community Fund, which provides financial assistance to those groups that meet the criteria set out by the Port's application process.

The Fund is designed to assist those initiatives that are broad in scope and community based, as well as ones which offer a meaningful impact and long term benefits in Prince Rupert and the surrounding region.

Funding will be provided to groups or proponents which best outline how they plan to leverage funding from other sources and are projects which are environmentally sound.

Applications are limited to those proponents that are located in the Prince Rupert and North Coast area.

The preferred initiatives that the Port will consider include those projects which improve and enhance the cultural, educational, health and welfare, as well as civic aspects of life in the Prince Rupert area.

Further background on the fund and how to apply can be found here.

First created in 2009, the Community Investment Fund has provided funding of over 2.5 million dollars towards more than 35 projects across the region.

Last year, the Port made some significant contributions towards community initiatives in the Prince Rupert area.

Some groups/organizations or initiatives that have benefited from the fund in the last year include:

The Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue Society -- Equipment renewal
Prince Rupert Regional Hospital -- Bathing facility upgrades
Melakatla First Nation -- Health and Recreation 
Lax Kw'alaams -- Digital Connectivity and Recreation 
Prince Rupert Sunken Gardens -- Lighting and signage enhancements
Kitkatla -- Greenhouse development and Community Kitchen initiatives
North Coast Transition Society -- Creation of new space for counselling and meetings
Prince Rupert Rampage/Salvation Army -- Donations to Salvation Army programs

A look back at some of the other Community Investment money delivered by Prince Rupert Port Authority in recent years can be found here. You can review the background and requirements of your application and learn more about how to make your submission from that page as well.

The Deadline for submissions for the 2017 Community Investment Fund period is February 10th, applications should be directed to the attention of Maynard Angus, Manger, Community Relations for the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

For more items related about the Prince Rupert Port Authority see our Archive page here.

New Liquor Control and Licencing laws go into effect in B.C. today

The prospect of more options for customers is the focal point for new liquor control and licencing laws that will take effect today, a loosening of regulations that at some point could see alcoholic beverages available in some rather unusual locations.

The updates to the Liquor Control and Licencing Act come as a result of Legislative change stemming from 73 recommendations received by the Provincial Government, designed to increase flexibility for business owners, reduce red tape and offer more choice for consumers.

Some of the areas that will see some change include:

The potential for all types of businesses, like barbershops, salons, book stores and art galleries, to apply for a liquor licence, giving them opportunities to generate new revenue. As well, Theatres, if they wish, will be allowed to permit customers to consume liquor purchased on-site in both the lobby and licensed seating areas when minors are present, similar to arenas and stadiums

Streamlining regulations so Businesses can apply for a Special Event Permit, formerly a Special Occasion Licence, to reduce red tape involved in organizing events and festivals

Applicants will receive more timely decisions on their licence applications due to local governments and the Province being able to review liquor licence applications at the same time.

Those that own restaurants or bars also have more freedom as of today.

Restaurants can now apply to operate as a bar or nightclub after a certain hour, while bars can also apply for a restaurant licence to operate as a restaurant during certain hours.

Licensed facilities will also be able to make better use of available space for non-alcohol-related purposes while liquor is not being served.

The full list of the changes that take effect today build on previous changes that have been rolled into place over the last year, the full overview of the new era for alcohol consumption can be examined here.

However, while the options for accessing liquor may be increasing, the rules for consumption remain the same, with no change introduced towards the drinking age in the province.

As well, before you go rushing off to see if your local barber or hair salon is slinging Suds in between Snips, keep in mind, that municipalities can still put in motion their own local bylaws to control the growth of venues that can sell alcohol.

Last year, Prince Rupert introduced it's own prohibitions when it comes to the spread of options for the purchase of alcohol, a move that appeared to be designed to ensure that the local grocery stores did not take advantage of the loosened provincial regulations.

Considering their vigilance on that issue, one imagines that the city's elected officials will be keeping a watchful eye on some of the new elements introduced today.

Real Estate Tracker, week ending January 22, 2017

Our weekly review of the listings of the local real estate agents, tracking those properties which appear to be driving the local price structure for the North Coast.

Every Monday, we look over the listing prices of the past seven days and outline the Top 10 asking prices in the area, providing a snap shot as to where the Real Estate market may be trending on a week to week basis.

The listings below are purely for information purposes, for further background on the properties recorded, see our links page for access to the individual real estate listings.

The Archive for our weekly review can be found here.

Our list of the top ten priced homes for the week ending January 22, 2017 is below:

Prince Rupert Real Estate West Side week ending January 22 2017

Prince Rupert Real Estate East Side week ending January 22 2017

One new listing makes its entry to our list of ten, a three bedroom residence on the city's West Side, located on Borden Street close to the city's downtown core.

The rearrangement of the list of ten doesn't change the geography of the listings however, with eight properties still to be found on the west side of the city. The majority of them are in the Graham Avenue area, with a few sprinkled through the Sloan/Kootenay side of town.

Across the McBride Street dividing line, two properties continue to hold their placement as we move into 2017.

The pricing remains fairly constant from last week as well, with the lower range shifting upwards slightly to a value of $469,000, while our top end from the last week remains pegged at $829,000.

Below find our findings as of the Week ending January 22, 2017

2280 Graham Avenue                   $829,000  --  Remax
1208 Beach Place                         $629,000  --  Realty Executives
1805 Graham Avenue                   $575,000  --  Royal Lepage
2062 Atlin Avenue                        $548,000 --  Remax
1724 Graham Avenue                   $515,000 --  Remax
1253 Conrad Street                       $499,000 --  Royal Lepage
1731-1733 Sloan Avenue              $498,000 --  Royal Lepage
1311-1313 Sloan Avenue              $489,000 --  Royal Lepage
1325 7th Avenue East                   $489,000 --  Remax
853 Borden Street                         $469,000 -- Remax (new)
For more items related to Real Estate see our archive page here.

For background on Housing issues in the region see our past items here.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Blog Watching: Week ending January 22, 2017

Disappointing news for Prince Rupert's commercial sector and a stream of notes out of Lax Kw'alaams  made for the news items that dominated the views to the blog this week.

The dominant story of the week turned out to be focused on fashion, with the city set to see a long time retail outlet in Reitman's make plans to depart the North Coast.

Lax Kw'alaams also delivered a number of items for review this week,  a pair of them involving a visit by Premier Clark to the community.

Also making news over the last seven days, was the plan from the Lax Kw'alaams Band council to host three information sessions, taking place in three locations later this month, all of them set to review the latest items of interest related to the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project.

Provincial politics also grabbed the spotlight on the local level as the BC Liberal party moved forward with it's process of selecting a candidate for the upcoming provincial election.

However, the top story outlined some notes on the city's commercial  sector and the pending departure of Reitman's.

Reitman's set to join national retail exit from Rupert -- There will soon be a gap in the fashion options for Prince Rupert residents as national retailer Reitman's prepares to close their store in the city. (posted January 17, 2017)

That article was followed by:

Premier Clark heralds 'Durable Partnership' with Lax Kw'alaams during community visit -- In a speech to residents of Lax Kw'alaams, Premier Clark looked towards the future and more engagement with the community. (posted January 18, 2017)

Lax Kw'alaams members to hear update on Pacific NorthWest LNG planning -- Three members only meetings are set for later this month as residents of Lax Kw'alaams prepare to discuss issues related to LNG development in the region.   (posted January 18, 2017)

North Coast Liberals head into the home stretch of nomination campaign -- Our look at the final week of campaigning for the North Coast Liberal nomination found a large audience and the number of readers for our update on the final results of Saturday continued to grow overnight. (posted January 16, 2017)

From Lax Kw'alaams, Premier Clark outlines a potential campaign narrative for the North Coast --  For those that might be looking for some elements to the the Northwest election campaign this Spring, a review of Premier Clark's talking points during her recent visit might provide a bit of a blue print.  (posted January 19, 2017)

For a look at the top twelve items from our Blog Watching feature through 2016 see our list published on New Year's Eve here.

You can find our weekly Blog watching featured posted every Sunday morning by 9AM, a handy way to catch up to the week that was, at a leisurely weekend pace.

You can also review the full listings of the week just past from our Blog Archive index page found on the right hand side of the page.

For those looking for updates to items as they are posted to the blog, don't forget about our email alert access.

A daily review of the latest items on the blog can be delivered to your email in box, simply by entering your email address into the information bar, items posted to the blog will be delivered to your e-mail account each day.

You can find the link to that feature on the upper, right hand side of the blog. It can be found underneath the Follow the North Coast Review by Email indicator.

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching can be found here

Saturday, January 21, 2017

North Coast Liberals send Herb Pond to the campaign trail

Members of the North Coast Liberal Riding Association have made their choice and a familiar name to North Coast politics will once again take to the political circuit, with Herb Pond receiving the nod from party members on Saturday afternoon and now set to lead local Liberals towards the May election.

The BC Liberal party outlined the successful result of Saturday's vote, with an online Periscope stream cast delivering the news that Mr. Pond had received the largest amount of the votes. 

Liberal officials however did not release the vote tally that was recorded as part of Saturday's event which took place at the Highliner Inn.

Following the official announcement, contender Rodney Proskiw spoke first, calling it a good campaign and congratulating Mr. Pond on his success and promising to carry on with his support into the election campaign. 

He also thanked his team for their work on his nomination and noted that he was looking forward to celebrating a victory at Mr. Pond's victory party following the election.

For his turn at the microphone, Mr. Pond thanked all those in attendance for their work and took time to congratulate Mr. Proskiw on his campaign, observing that local Liberals are stronger for his efforts, adding that he looked forward to combining forces in the provincial election campaign to come.

The former Mayor of Prince Rupert and veteran of one previous provincial campaign offered up the theme for the Liberals on the day. 

That of moving them into the campaign period by urging those in the room to keep a focus on the one common goal that they all share.

"Whatever small differences there are in this room,  even within the team of people that support me I know we don't agree on every issue every time, but they pale by comparison to the view we have, the view we share relative to the people we want to replace. 

Rodney said it extremely well, this is not about bashing the NDP it is about making our riding the successful economic strong house that we know it can be, for us and for our children. 

Thank you very much, so lets have a little celebration and then let's get to work tomorrow." 

The new Liberal candidate made note of the work that lies ahead and issued a call for volunteers for the campaign, asking for help to deliver the Liberal message and vision for Prince Rupert and the North Coast.

Mr. Pond has a number of social media options available to follow his campaign including a website, Facebook page and twitter feed.

You can examine more notes on the election campaigns of the Northwest from our archive page here.