Energy Interpretive Centre takes leap forward

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The Saa Maa Centre for Energy and Culture is closer realization after a fundraising organization was chosen by the City.

On Monday, Fort St. John City Council approved EWD Consulting Corp., along with Duckworth & Associates to begin fundraising for the new energy interpretive centre.

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Although originally, Mayor Bruce Lantz had said the City would only contribute a maximum of $1 million towards the Centre, the City will be contributing an initial $50,000 to get the project off the ground. However, that money is considered seed money, which the City is expecting to recover after some of the fundraising money collected.

The City has also applied for a Northern Development Initiative Trust grant, which would go towards the project, says Grace Fika, director of Corporate Affairs and Human Resources. Fika says the grant would potentially be $35,000.

Part of EWD’s plan is to conduct a campaign planning/feasibility study, which Fika says is done to find out whether there is enough money available, both in the community and through grants, to actually fundraise. She says the reason for doing the preliminary work is to ensure the fundraising campaign would be successful.

The “Edge of the Sun” Centre is expected to cost around $17.5 million and will incorporate the building, the surrounding land and a proposed RV park. The vast majority of the project’s funds will come from fundraising.

Fika says the City has a lot of confidence in the company partnership as they have considerable proven experience in conducting similar multimillion dollar campaigns.

According to the partnership proposal, the companies expect to complete the feasibility study by the end of June.

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