Barkerville strikes it rich with $2.4 million investment

B-Ville struck it rich with $2.4 million in funding from the province.

  • Jun. 15, 2012 2:00 p.m.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark tries her hand at gold panning during her visit to Barkerville June 13.

B.C. Premier Christy Clark tries her hand at gold panning during her visit to Barkerville June 13.

B-Ville struck it rich with $2.4 million in funding from the province.

Wednesday, Premier Christy Clark announced the cash infusion to support Barkerville’s operations as Western North America’s largest historic site.

“Our government is proud to support the preservation of Barkerville,” Clark said.

“With more than 125 historic buildings, Barkerville is a great place for families to learn more about this important part of our history and a fabulous destination for visitors to British Columbia.”

The funding is part of $21 million over three years announced in Budget 2012 for the 11 provincial heritage properties and provides support for both operations and maintenance of the sites. Each provincially owned property is operated by a site manager, such as the Barkerville Heritage Trust.

“We are delighted with this commitment to three-year funding,” Trust chair Sue Morhun said.

“Having financial certainty allows us to continue our stewardship of this world-class heritage attraction in the Cariboo.”

This year Barkerville is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Cariboo Gold Rush. In 1862, Billy Barker found gold at Williams Creek, a discovery that brought more than 100,000 people to the Cariboo between 1862 and 1870 to seek their fortune. In the 1860s, Barkerville was the largest city west of Chicago and north of San Francisco and was instrumental in the founding of the Colony of British Columbia.

While accompanying the premier on her visit to the Gold Rush era, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, Pat Bell announced exhibits featuring each of B.C.’s 11 provincially managed heritage sites will soon be on display at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

“B.C. is home to an exceptional mix of tourism experiences and our heritage sites play an important role in bringing tourists to all regions of the province,” he said.

“These displays will help delegates see beyond the walls of the convention centre and encourage visitors to return to B.C. and explore our world-class tourism attractions and sites.”

The 11 managed sites include: Barkerville Historic Town, Fort Steele Heritage Town, The Grist Mill at Keremeos, Historic Hat Creek Ranch, Kilby Historic Site, Point Ellice House, Cottonwood House, Craigflower Manor and Schoolhouse, Emily Carr House and Historic Yale.

The displays, on a rotating basis, will be located in the east building of the Vancouver Convention Centre and will feature one site at a time.

The location of the displays will enable our government to promote these heritage sites to a large number of local, national and international visitors. Last fiscal, the Vancouver Convention Centre had approximately 790,000 visitors.