New funding for Barkerville work

VICTORIA – $247,000 will be provided to the Barkerville Heritage Trust for urgent infrastructure projects at the world-renowned provincial heritage site, announced Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts on Monday.

Funding will be used for repairs needed to strengthen the dike protecting the site’s sewage lagoon and for remediation work on the water supply line crossing Williams Creek. This work, along with repairs to an eroded bank at the confluence of Williams Creek and Conklin Gulch, will protect the historic site and surrounding area and ensure the reliability of the water.

Barkerville’s sewer system was constructed in the early 1980s and is located about three kilometres from the town site. The system, including the lagoon, services the town and one of the three campgrounds at the site.

“Barkerville is one of B.C.’s cherished provincial heritage sites and was just reaffirmed as a National Historic Site by the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada,” said Krueger. “The operation of Barkerville involves all partners bringing those financial resources and skills that we have available to us, to support the ongoing management and preservation of this site, for residents and visitors alike, for years to come. Barkerville was the site of the first July 1 celebrations of Canada Day, then known as Dominion Day. Canadian gold miners upstaged their American friends’ July 4 festivities and began a tradition for millions of their countrymen. The events of the Cariboo Gold Rush lead directly to British Columbia’s entry to Canada.”

British Columbia has many historic sites that showcase the province’s colourful history. The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts oversees the management of 11 provincially owned historic properties. Most of these properties are managed through site management agreements with community-based organizations.

“Barkerville is a huge tourism magnet into the region,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “It attracts visitors from all over the world to explore the province’s Interior and learn about our proud pioneer heritage.”

“The board is grateful that the Province is assisting us to resolve the problems we have had with the site’s aging sewer and water system. Excessive precipitation or a rapid snow-melt could have had disastrous consequences for the environment and the operation of the site. With this new funding we will now work quickly to ensure the site is prepared for the winter season,” said Sue Morhun, chair of the Barkerville Heritage Trust.

Barkerville Historic Town is the largest historic site in western North America and is internationally recognized for its historic significance in western Canada’s gold rush era. Barkerville is also a significant contributor to the Cariboo regional economy and is widely regarded as a unique component of the regional identity. 

The Barkerville Heritage Trust, as Barkerville’s operating and managing partner, works in conjunction with the Province of British Columbia to ensure that the site is efficiently managed.

To learn more about Barkerville Historic Town please visit: http://www.barkerville.ca

Media Contacts:

David Greer
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts
250 387-2799
James Douglas
Marketing and Communications
Barkerville Historic Town
250 994-3302 ext. 41
1 888 994-3332 toll free