Visitors and motorists through downtown Grande Prairie will be seeing new signs by the end of the month.
Some $320,000 has been invested in the signage upgrade, the Grande Prairie Downtown Association (GPDA) last Thursday (Oct. 20).
The former Welcome to Grande Prairie signage will be replaced with City Centre branding which will feature an outline of the downtown cityscape.
“We’ve incorporated 214 Place, Nordic Court, Windsor Court, the RCMP station, Montrose Cultural Centre, and the Telus building,” said Wendy Bosch, GPDA executive director.
“This project will enhance the ongoing revitalization of the heart of our city, promoting vibrancy, sustainability, tourism, and economic development.
“We want everybody to feel that they have somewhere special in their city,” she said, “the core has that magical feeling of something special.”
Most of the funding ($240,126) comes from the federal government’s Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF).
The city has also put $25,000 into the new signage, said Bosch, and the GPDA is covering much of the other costs, along with gifts-in-kind from local businesses.
“This project adds to the quality of life we in Grande Prairie value – a visual symbol of pride.”
The funding will go into a welcome sign as well as 22 branded poles indicating the border of the city centre.
Bosch said, hopefully, people will realize how big the downtown core is with the new signage.
“Most people think it's 100 Ave. and that it, but we stretch out 101 Ave all the way to 97 Ave. and then from 102 St. to Junction Point,” she said.
She noted the signage and poles will feature lighting that can change colours for different causes or holidays.
"This is a great next step that builds on previous city investments in critical downtown infrastructure to create an urban, modern, and investment-ready downtown,” said city Mayor Jackie Clayton.
“Downtown cores and amenities are vital for the quality and enjoyment of life for communities across Alberta,” said Randy Boissonnault, minister of tourism.
“We’re pleased to support Grande Prairie’s investments in the downtown, which will increase opportunities for cultural and community events while attracting visitors and investment for years to come.”
The CCRF was set up to help communities recover from the pandemic, and is set to assist non-profit organizations, municipalities, community groups and indigenous groups across Canada to build and improve community infrastructure projects, said the news release.
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News