HAZELTON, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Oct. 26, 2016) - Having safe, creative and welcoming gathering spaces where people can come together for educational, recreational and social events is critical for the health and well-being of Canadians. Community centres allow families and friends to support each other, share experiences and enjoy the quality of life that middle-class Canadians want and expect.

The governments of Canada and British Columbia today announced their financial support for the construction of a new recreation complex in the Upper Skeena.

The Upper Skeena Recreation Centre - also referred to as the Heart of the Hazeltons - will serve as the region's centre for activity. The inviting and accessible 5,050 square-metre facility will have an ice surface and seating for approximately 500 spectators, a fitness room, a gym, and a community rental space. It will also have spaces for community programming in various areas such as wellness and personal development.

The Government of Canada will provide up to $1,875,788 from the Major Infrastructure Component of the Building Canada Fund and $6,000,000 from the federal Gas Tax Fund. The Province of British Columbia (B.C.) will provide up to $4,000,000 towards the project. The rest of the project will be funded by contributions from local businesses, philanthropic agencies and individual donors. The total project will cost approximately $15,751,576.


"Funding public infrastructure is about building communities and connecting people with opportunities, while creating good, well-paying jobs that can help the middle class grow and prosper. The Government of Canada is proud to support the construction of the new Upper Skeena Recreation Centre, which will benefit the people of Hazelton and contribute to a healthy, strong and inclusive community."

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

"I know this will be an important gathering place for your community and a symbol of the collaboration of your incredible community spirit, as you have all pitched in on fundraising efforts to make this project a reality," said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone. "We are pleased to partner with the federal government, the Gitxsan and the local community on this important project to get construction started and be able to provide an excellent multi-use facility for families to enjoy for years to come."

The Honourable Todd Stone, B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure

"This project is the result of an extraordinary effort by the leaders throughout the region. I am very appreciative of the funding support provided by the federal and provincial governments to make this new recreation centre a reality."

Murry Krause, President, Union of B.C. Municipalities

"The Owners' Committee for the Upper Skeena Recreation Centre is very excited to collaborate with our Federal and Provincial partners along with the Regional District of Kitimat Stikine, the Village of Hazelton, the District of New Hazelton, the Gitxsan Government Commission, the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs and the Office of the Wet'suwet'en on this incredible project. Our new recreation centre will provide many years of sports and recreation, social activities, healthy living programming, and economic stimulation for the communities of the Upper Skeena region. The Upper Skeena Recreation Centre would like to thank the Federal and Provincial governments, our local governments, and community contributors for making our dream a reality."

Gail Lowry, Chair, Upper Skeena Recreation Centre Owners Group

"This announcement is great news! As strong and resilient as our community is, we have struggled with major economic, health and social issues. We have worked hard together on our Upper Skeena Recreation Centre project which will act as a springboard for us to tackle some of our health, education, and development challenges. We thank all those in the Federal and Provincial governments as well as the many people locally who have worked hard and contributed generously, to make our vision a reality."

Peter Newbery, Chair, Heart of the Hazeltons Fundraising Campaign

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada provides $265,940,736 in annual funding for municipal infrastructure in British Columbia through the federal Gas Tax Fund.
  • The federal Gas Tax Fund provides Canadian municipalities with a permanent, predictable and indexed source of long-term funding.
  • It offers local communities the flexibility to make strategic investments across 18 different project categories, including roads and bridges, public transit, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, and recreational facilities.
  • The Union of British Columbia Municipalities administers the Gas Tax Fund in B.C., in collaboration with the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

Associated links

Investing in Canada, the Government of Canada's new $120-billion infrastructure plan: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/index-eng.html.

Federal infrastructure investments in British Columbia: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/map-carte/bc-eng.html.

To learn more about the federal Gas Tax Fund visit: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/gtf-fte-eng.html.

To learn more about the Building Canada Fund visit: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/prog/bcf-fcc-eng.html.

Twitter: @INFC_eng

Contact Information:

Brook Simpson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Media Relations
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

Paul Taylor
Director of Communications
Union of British Columbia Municipalities

Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154