Communities in the Bulkley Valley are teaming up to host next year’s North Central Local Government Association convention.
The town of Smithers, District of Houston and Regional District of Bulkley Nechako will co-host the annual meeting. The Village of Telkwa decided not to take part.
The North Central Local Government Association is a non-profit, non-partisan association comprising all elected officials in North Central British Columbia. The association works to connect communities, identify common challenges and facilitate positive change according to its mandate.
Smithers last hosted the AGM in 2010.
The trio of local governments decided to band together to ease the workload.
A memorandum of understanding signed by all parties establishes an organizing committee.
Houston, Smithers, the regional district and the North Central Local Government Association have also agreed to each assume a 25 per cent financial responsibility should the convention result in a loss.
“I think it’s a great opportunity,” said Mayor Gladys Atrill when Smithers council was deciding on whether or not to co-host.
“It’s an opportunity to bring people into the community and showcase not only the community but businesses within and I recognize there’s going to be work attached. I appreciate the resourcefulness and figuring out how we could do this without putting pressure on current staff.”
Councillor Laura Leonard was appointed to represent Smithers on the Convention Organizing Committee. Councillor Sam Raven will be the alternate.
For Houston, Mayor Shane Brienen will sit at the table and for the RDBN, Director Stoney Stoltenberg, Electoral Area ‘A’ (Smithers/Telkwa Rural) will be on the committee.
An event planner will be hired as a part of the NCLGA conference budget to implement the event. The Town of Smithers will be hiring a part-time event assistant to support administrative activities and coordination between the co-hosting communities with funds from the COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant.
An inaugural meeting for this committee has been set for Sept. 27.
The convention will be held in May 2024.
-with files from Rod Link