MLA Jackie Tegart (c) presents a cheque for $250

MLA Jackie Tegart (c) presents a cheque for $250

Grants mean more facilities for Hat Creek Ranch

Historic Hat Creek Ranch will be moving ahead with two major projects this year.

It will be another busy year on the building front at Historic Hat Creek Ranch (HHCR). After completing $1.5 million in water and fire safety upgrades last year, the ranch has secured funding to allow it to go ahead with the construction of a new gift shop; and on April 30 it received a cheque for $250,000 from the Ministry of Community, Sport, and Cultural Development to proceed with the construction of a new firehouse and service building.

Funding for the new gift shop has recently been secured from the Heritage Branch of the Ministry of Forest, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, the Friends of HHCR, and Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT). The NDIT funding was the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place, and Don Pearse, manager of HHCR, says that if all goes well construction will start no later than October 1 this year.

Robert Sharkey, vice-chair of the Friends of HHCR, says that they hope to have the new gift shop open by December, in time for Christmas. “It’s about increasing employment and revenues,” he says, which fits in with NDIT’s economic development mandate. “And it was a good business case; we’re not a start-up, and will be increasing economic opportunities.” He notes that HHCR received a lot of support from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District and local councils to enable them to receive the NDIT funding.

The gift shop, which currently occupies 670 square feet on the second floor of the entrance building, will move to a ground-level space in a new building that will be joined to the main one via a boardwalk. This will not only provide the shop with more space—around 1,000 square feet—but will mean that it is easily accessible for those in wheelchairs or with mobility issues, who have difficulty accessing its current location. The new building will also contain more washrooms, as well as storage space.

Sharkey says they hope to use the current gift shop area for meeting and boardroom space. “There’s a potential for corporate business there, with the accommodations and food service we can provide.”

On April 30, Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart was on hand at a gathering at the ranch to present Friends of HHCR chair Monty Downs with a cheque for $250,000. “Historic Hat Creek Ranch has come a long, long way,” she noted, remembering a time when the second floor of the roadhouse was off-limits because it was unsound. “It’s a tribute to the volunteers. Heritage facilities have seen a lot of changes in the way they’re funded, and a group of rural MLAs have made sure we get our share of funding.

“In recognition of the work done by volunteers and the importance of this facility, I’m presenting a cheque for $250,000 to build a new firehouse, to show the facility is safe and that it’s valued.”

Downs notes that the grant is not program money that would have come normally to the ranch. “Jackie Tegart single-handedly did this.” He says that the firehouse project was on their wish list, and was one of three priorities HHCR asked Tegart for assistance with.

“This means that we can move our operations to the front of the property, which is a huge component. It means that we won’t need to have motor traffic through the site. And there will be accommodation for staff upstairs.”

Downs noted the importance of increasing links with the surrounding communities and making the ranch a regional destination. “If we want people to come to our area for a week, none of us can do this alone. We need to work together, and market opportunities together.”

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read