BRVCA Annual Report 2020- FINAL

mountaintelegraph

2020 BRVCA Annual Report

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Contents

Contents 2

Purpose 3

Contact 3

Who We Are 4

What We Offer 5

Accomplishments 2020 6

Committee Accomplishments 2020 11

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We Are

Giving voice to the unique people of the Bridge River

Valley

Balancing growth to ensure a viable future

Protecting the natural beauty and resources of the

Bridge River Valley

Keeping the history of the valley alive

Building a Sustainable Community in the Wilderness

Purpose

BRVCA is an umbrella organization, driven by the interests of the community that encourages

autonomous group development and promotes the economic wellbeing of the Bridge River Valley.

Contact

Bridge River Valley Community Association

104 Haylmore Ave, Gold Bridge, BC V0K 1P0

250-238-2534

bridgerivervalley@gmail.com

www.bridgerivervalley.ca

www.brvca.ca

www.liveplay.ca

www.isurvivedthehurley.com

Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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Who We Are

Directors 2020-2021

Vanessa Abbott

Benno Chapman

Pat Dahle – President

Debbie Demare – Vice President

Norris Girling

Scott McKenzie

Michelle Nortje – Treasurer / Secretary

John Robins

Shayne Selluski

Dave Sharpe

Terri Smith

Staff

Jenny James – Business Services Manager, Editor-Mountain Telegraph

Cara DeMare – Financial Administrator, Special Projects, Admin Support

Janis Irvine – Museum Assistant

Emilie Larsen – Special projects, Summer Supervision BRVCA

Regan Dixon - Heritage Assistant - Haylmore

Laurie Reimer - Grant Writer

Contractors

Roger Geeves – Community Asset Coordinator

Susan Medville – Heritage Consultant

Suzanne Denbak – Economic Development Consultant

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Benefits and Services

● Financial Process

● Funding Access

● Creation of non-profits without all those headaches

● Shared and Pooled Insurance

● Year-round visitor services

● Assistance with grant research and development

● Insurance and Liability Coverage

● Advertising

● Legal Structure

● Access to training

● Pooled bookkeeping

● Heritage Management

● Community Marketing

● Shared office and operational costs

● Shared toll-free teleconferencing account

● Shared on-Line ZOOM meeting ( free)

What We Offer

Support for committees, societies, and groups as autonomous enterprises who have to follow a few rules, such as

financial accountability, that we all build and decide on together.

Pooled resources to simplify committee and group efforts.

Consolidation of legal/financial responsibilities of societies and delegation of these responsibilities to the BRVCA

board.

Time efficiency to save volunteers from attending meetings so their time can be spent making tangible

accomplishments.

A way to protect activities and groups with liability insurance and to assist monetarily with routine practices and

events.

A single point of contact for the Bridge River Valley as a “one shop stop” community services and administrative

office, central repository of information and a strong advocate on community issues.

We work to make a difference when and where it really counts!

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Accomplishments 2020

Under the Umbrella

Continued strategic direction to develop “umbrella” structure of BRVCA using the model of the Hornby Island

Residents & Ratepayer’s Association www.hirra.ca.

After operating as an informal group in 2020 we added the Bear Working Group as an official committee of the

BRVCA.

Maintained

In 2019-2020 we had 17 board members as a result of aging bylaws and significant interest.

There were 9 different staff/contractors throughout the year.

Board Governance

As a result of significant interest and outdated bylaws, in 2019-2020 we had 17 board members. An extensive

board governance and orientation process was completed.

COVID – 19

Developed specific COVID 19 safety plans for our operations including the Museum, Community Resource Building

and Haylmore Heritage Site.

Developed a tourism based COVID 19 plan and messaging and placed it on our websites and media.

Organized and delivered a Red Cross funded program to make personal protection equipment (PPE) available to

community residents in response to Covid-19.

Significant Advancements or Completions

Organized and delivered a Red Cross funded program to make personal protection equipment (PPE) available to

community residents in response to Covid-19.

Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office Building

The Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office Building was purchased in 2017 and is owned fully and outright by the Bridge

River Valley Community Association. The building was purchased with the intent of conserving this historically

significant building and undertaking the adaptive use of it primarily for the Museum.

Late in September the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District agreed to add the building to its Heritage Register which

will begin the process of official recognition of the heritage value of the building.

Normal maintenance and repairs have been ongoing. Due to damaged front stairs, a temporary repair was

completed to ensure their safety.

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Scope of work and estimates have been completed in 2020 for the structural repair of the Engineer's Wing,

correction of drainage issues in the courtyard which are affecting the foundation, painting the exterior and interior,

electrical and mechanical, repair of the foundation and complete replacement of the front stairs to return to 1939

look, accessibility upgrades, roof to seismic standards, replacement of floors. Using this work, two funding

applications have been submitted for a total of over $600,000.

Provided

Local newsletter - BRVCA has been publishing the Mountain Telegraph since March 2016. The paper is published

monthly with a regular paid subscription base and a growing number of digital subscriptions as well. It is delivered

at no charge into 135 local mailboxes monthly. Residents rely on the monthly publication for information on

upcoming events and important community notices.

Ongoing staff and volunteer support for the Bralorne Community Advisory Committee, the Heritage Committee, the

Trails Committee, the Economic Development committee, the Resource Management/Land Use Committee, and the

Gun Lake Boat Launch Committee, Bralorne TV Committee and the Bear Working Group.

Delivered the systematic outdoor Community Maintenance

Program: Gold Bridge sign, Cemetery, Community Resource

Office, Gold Bridge Community Complex, Bralorne

Community Hall, Boultbee Memorial Church, Bralorne Ball

Diamond, Haylmore Heritage Site and Gateway Entry Kiosks.

Business Services: phone, fax, Internet, photocopying,

printing, flyer development etc

Affordable teleconferencing for community organizations

and shared free Zoom meeting account

Equipment service including high quality LCD projector

and screen

Office space/other services to Minto Communications

Technology & Websites

Maintained a very active social media presence with 5 Facebook pages, a Twitter Account and 4 Instagram

accounts

Maintained an extensive internal community website www.brvca.ca & continued Community Advisory emails to

residents and regular visitors updated in accordance with the Canadian anti-spam legislation

Continued to refine our ability to supply financial reports to each committee, event, and group

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Maintained the website www.bridgerivervalley.ca . This site had 15,122 unique visitors during the year and 23,409

visits in total.

Maintained the website www.liveplay.ca with 3,715 unique visitors and 9,576 visits during the year.

Maintained the website www.isurvivedthehurley.com with 36,642 unique visitors during the year and 109,280

visits in total.

Grant Writing

Provided funding research and grant development and project support to Bridge River Valley Community Nonprofit

societies and community groups.

28 submissions totaling: $807,019

2 submissions (Area A and Area B partnering) totaling: $100,838

22 Approved totaling: $109,773

2 Declined

6 Pending

Assisted community groups with grant application follow-up activities.

Completed annual reporting for past and current grant funded projects.

Discussed society and committee options with community members wanting to formalize their group to advance

community-based initiatives.

Participated in Webinars, Workshops, and Training specific for improvement of community resilience and

advancement of community driven projects.

Cemetery

In 2020 there were no internments of cremated remains or casket burials.

Work has continued on refurbishment of the plots in the cemetery with an

emphasis this year on the plots in the centre of the cemetery, particularly

those of the children. Rock borders were re-aligned, landscape cloth put

down and new lava ash put on top.

A new wayfinding sign was erected.

Remembrance Day raised $102 for the Poppy Fund along with Wreath

Donations of $360 for the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #66 in Lillooet.

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Tourism

Maintained the externally focused website: www.bridgerivervalley.ca

Highly successful website on Hurley road conditions: www.isurvivedthehurley.com

Actively maintained Social Media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Continued participation in the Sea to Sky Biking Consortium led by Mountain Biking BC: www.mountainbikingbc.ca

Continued membership in Mountain Biking BC — https://www.mountainbikingbc.ca/project/caribou-chilcotin/ 4

gateway/entry kiosks throughout the Bridge River Valley which provide key directional, tourism, and hospitality

information

Maintained gold panning at the Haylmore Heritage Site

Haylmore Heritage Site- Tourism

The Haylmore Heritage Site operates as our Tourism Information Booth, a Heritage

Site, a location for local artisans to sell their products and a community venue. This

year two great staff members, Regan Dixon and Emilie Larsen, operated the

site. They did a fantastic job of greeting visitors knowledgeably, maintaining our

social media, and most of all, often going beyond the call of duty to look after visitors

whilst diligently maintaining Covid-19 safety protocols.

• We had 738 visitors during the 2020 summer season. The vast majority of

visitors this season were B.C. residents with few exceptions being from

Alberta and Ontario.

• 16 local artisans exhibited their products with total sales of $2,370.75

• Sales of books, hats, t-shirts, gold panning etc. totaled $3,205.63

• We hosted one event this year – A Bear Aware & Book Signing with 80+ attendees organized by Bear

Conflict Prevention Coordinator, Kenny Walker.

• Continued expansion of the Haylmore Garden – great work by Roger Geeves.

• We received several stories and historic photos of Haylmore and the site courtesy of the Bralorne Pioneer

Museum

• Upgraded the Square device to a touch free option in keeping with safety protocols.

Haylmore Heritage Site – Heritage

COVID 19 certainly slowed down work from a Heritage perspective at the Haylmore Heritage Site.

6 Interpretive signs were installed.

A research project was completed on the centre island including information on the top of the island, the flag pole

and the machine guns. It is hoped work will continue on this next year.

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Bralorne Church – Heritage

Work was completed on the Bralorne Church Foundation/Porch Project - in late 2019 - the front and back porch

were replaced and painted, and the cracks in the foundation that were letting water in, patched. After a winter of a

dry basement and hall, the washroom was drywalled, cupboards reinstalled, a new floor put in. The concrete steps

leading into the hall were repaired and a slip resistant coating put on. The outside was painted with two coats of

paint.

A very nice interpretive sign was installed on the lawn of the church.

Operations such as use of the Hall and Church have been limited due to both the construction and COVID 19.

General

The Heritage Committee held a public meeting in early September regarding

establishing a Heritage Register, seeking other heritage designations for four

locations in the Valley, and explaining the Heritage District Guidelines in the

Official Community Plan.

In late September, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District agreed to the first

step of adding the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office building to the already

existing Heritage Register.

The Heritage Committee was also in frequent contact with BC Hydro with

regard to Minto and its heritage aspects. Good progress was made on a mutual

understanding and steps that can be taken to protect what remains of that site.

The Heritage Committee met with representatives of Talisker Resources, the

new owner of the Bralorne Gold Mine and made plans to conserve the historic

maps of the original Bralorne Gold Mines as well as, discussed the preservation

and interpretation of some legacy artifacts on the Pioneer Mine Site.

Events

Canada Day

We were unable to organize a Canada Day Parade and hot dog cookout

due to Covid-19. However, with available funding, a photo contest

was organized via Facebook and Instagram. Prizes were awarded to

anyone who submitted a video or photo of their group celebrating

Canada Day in a unique and safe way.

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Winterfest

The BRVCA funded, coordinated and delivered the

11th annual Winterfest, a successful event with well

over 200 people attending for curling and hockey

tournaments.

Prizes from local businesses were raffled off as well

as sightseeing tours from Blackcomb Helicopters,

who were able to take and off and land on Little Gun

Lake again this year. Hot dogs and hamburgers

were sold by the Gold Bridge Hotel and the BRV

Snowmobile/ATV Club held a fundraising raffle

with a lot of fantastic prizes donated by area

businesses.

Committee Accomplishments 2020

Bear Working Group

In early 2020, the Bear Working Group developed a Terms of Reference and became a committee of BRVCA.

The Bear Working Group has a vision that human activity in the BRV supports healthy and sustainable populations

of grizzly and black bears and that the BRV region sustains healthy populations of grizzly and black bears, with

human activity in the region consistent with that vision.

Guiding Principles

We value biodiversity and recognize the critical role of conservation in sustaining bears in the rich and diverse

ecosystems in which they occur.

We believe that bears and humans can and should co-exist safely and without significant disruption to either

species.

We believe that awareness, education, and applied scientific research all contribute to the safe and non-disruptive

co-existence of bears and humans.

Specific Responsibilities

Engage and advocate with businesses, governments and outside groups that have a stake or interest in bear

conservation communication of information with regard to bear conservation and bear awareness and safety to

businesses, governments and outside groups.

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Bear Hazard mitigation through signage.

Bear safety back and front country via Bear Spray training in all formats – face to face, one-one, online, social media

etc.

Contribute to local monitoring of bear populations and their response to human industrial and recreational

activities, with outreach based on the results.

Activities

In 2020, in partnership with Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative, the Bear Working Group hired a Bear

Conflict Coordinator to implement recommendations in the Bear Hazard Assessment of the area done in 2019.

The activities of the coordinator included developing public awareness of residents and visitors alike on managing

attractants and safe use of our area with an eye to grizzly bears.

A very successful and COVID safe bear awareness day was put on in late August and included bear spray training.

A Facebook page was created - Bear Awareness in the BRV and has garnered many likes and been very active

Signage was placed a number of times over the summer and early fall indicating where grizzly bear sows and cubs

were seen.

Training Committee

Funding was received for a FireSmart educational event but due to Covid-19 the event and funding is being heldover

until May 2021.

All other proposed courses including Food Safe and Occupational First Aid are being held-over to 2021 as well.

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Economic Development Committee

• First Nation Relationship Building Forum held on October 13th with 19 participants. Follow up session

requested and scheduled for December 3, 2020

• Key players handy reference guide to St’at’imc and non-Indigenous communities initiated – Excel

spreadsheet of contacts produced

• Bridge River Valley Survival Guide produced for new residents as a downloadable PDF

• BC Hydro Community Open House scheduled for December 2, 2020 to review LaJoie Dam project

• Memorandum of Understanding finalized between BRVCA, SLRD, Talisker Resources, Blackstone Minerals,

Endurance Gold – will be presented for final approval to SLRD in December, 2020

• Summary of employment/skills needs for the next 4-5 years in development working together with major

employers in the Valley

• First artisan’s ‘lunch and learn’ session offered virtually – Introduction to creating a Business Plan – future

sessions are planned on topics of Logistics and on Social Media

• Supported the efforts of the Area A Regional Director related to access improvements on Road 40 and the

Hurley FSR

• Investigated potential locations for a pilot housing project and solidified relationship with Tsalhalh

Development Corporation as potential partner in development

• Initial review of BC Housing Community Housing Fund application requirements and identification of

potential Crown Land suitable for transfer to a Housing Authority

• Continued participation in Mountain Bike BC and Sea to Sky Mountain Biking Consortium – focus in 2020

was on COVID recovery and messaging safe and responsible travel through summer 2020

• New cooperative marketing campaign designed and grant application made to Destination BC Open Pool

Fund together with Tourism Pemberton and Tourism Lillooet

• As a part of the ongoing signage project begun in 2017, five timber

frame wayfinding signs were completed and erected.

Heritage Committee

Bralorne Pioneer Museum - Management Agreement

• Fourth full season using the Management Agreement between the Bralorne Pioneer Museum and BRVCA.

• Opened in late June once all Covid-19 protocols were in place for visitors.

• Museum Assistant 6 hours per week (Mondays) year around, total 46 weeks per year.

• Total museum revenue from merchandise sales was $1960.00

• Over 425 recorded visitors between June & Oct. 2020. This is slightly down from 2019 due to the late

season start.

• Completed two on-line fundraising drives – Giving Tuesday (December 2020) and Win $10,000

• Supporting and advising the relocation planning of the Bralorne Pioneer Museum into the Bralorne Pioneer

Mines Office.

• Supported the supervision of staff and work at the Museum via our Summer Supervisor, Emilie Larsen with

assistance of Heritage Consultant, Susan Medville and advice from the Heritage Committee.

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Collection Management Project

• The Museum has now received six gifts from donors (artifacts, photographs, paper, CDC’s) and Deed of Gift

forms have been sent and received for 2020.

• Collection Management Policy is being carefully followed.

• Continued work and hours of research for our up and coming “Heritage Community Project”. To date 7

draft pages of historical facts including photograph’s depicting the story and facts of this project. A 42” TV

was donated to project these pictures and story to the public.

• The Brexton Esso Sign will be sent to the Canadian Conservation Institute sometime in the Spring of

2021. The Canadian Conservation Institute apologizes for the delay because of Covid-19, stay tuned for

more on this valuable artifact.

Past Perfect Museum Collections Software by the numbers to date:

• 3482 photographs

• 1803 Objects

• 735 items in archives

• 376 items in the Library

• 44 Archival Boxes

Despite the Covid-19 restrictions the Museum has continued to have much engagement with visitors. Protocols

were in place and all visitors wore masks and were hosted in small groups. Visitors continue to be extremely

interested in the history of the Bridge River Valley and express their deep appreciation of the connections the

Museum is able to provide for them. It is truly rewarding for both Museum staff and visitors.

Trails Committee

Like everyone, the Trails Committee had a challenging year.

Our two-year Pilot Project, a partnership with the Lillooet Tribal Council (LTC) ended its term in June. The pilot

was initiated as a test to see how we could work through the process of collaboratively collecting data and

registering six key trails in the region.

With Covid-19 limiting interactions and providing uncertainties, our activities as the summer progressed, were

limited, although discussions were had, on how to best move forward.

To date, we have options we are considering, and look forward to some concrete action in 2021:

• Commence work on the Gun Lake Recreation Site and Trails, which will entail improvements to the

recreation site and the trail network around it (east of Gun Lake and south of the airport). This project has

been generously funded by the McLean Group.

• Work through potential options for partnership agreements or find another way to move forward

cooperatively with the St’at’imc as we collect data and work toward registering trails with the Province.

• Complete data collection on the six trails from the Pilot Project, and apply to the Province to register them.

• Facilitate coordination of people's efforts on trail maintenance and organize a trail maintenance work day in

the spring to increase awareness and help get trails ready for summer use.

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• Continue to administer TrailForks for the region, to provide quality mapping and information on the

condition of trails.

Trails are used by everyone, in some way or another. They provide an opportunity for us to reconnect with our

natural world and allow us to re-create ourselves, while we recreate. The Trail Committee is committed to finding

ways to maintain trails in the region for all user groups.

Gun Lake Boat Launch Committee

It seems improvements to the Gun Lake Boat launch pad were made just in time because we have seen a huge

increase in boaters enjoying the lake in the summer of 2020.

So far, our $2 User Fee donation box has collected over $800 since its placement 2 years ago. Proceeds go to the

insurance and maintenance costs and recently we purchased and placed an emergency oil spill kit.

We are working with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on a plan to remove the large, dead trees at

the site. MOTI is responsible for Keir Rd., as it is a public road to the boat launch.

BCAC

Planned events were unable to be carried out due to social distancing and gathering restrictions. However,

through overwhelming local donations, the BCAC had a fantastic firework display on Halloween night

The local ice rink in Bralorne will be up and running for this winter thanks to residents volunteering their time.

Bralorne Recreation Area – Sunshine Mountain

• Spring 2020 brought the huge success of an approved Rec Sites and Trails BC Section 57 Tenure for Bralorne

Recreation Area – Sunshine Mountain. We have been approved for works and working plan for Phase One.

The whole process took a long grind of over 8 years and wouldn’t have been possible without the support

from BRVCA, NDIT, SLRD Area A, Cascade Environmental, and the fundraising members and supporting

businesses. Thank you to all.

• Despite the crazy economic times of the year BRA fundraising memberships still raised $3,420.00 which is

over a 10% increase from the previous fiscal year, interest in the project is still growing. Funds raised go

towards the operational/administrative costs of keeping the cabin tenure going and infrastructure

development.

• SLRD Area A funds provided great support this year with $22,144.00 that went towards contracts for the

next steps of the revival plan. This included the brushing and clearing of the old ski run above and below the

cabin, reports and recommendations from a Qualified Environmental Professional and Cultural Sensitivity

Assessor, and a Licence to cut application for future gladed areas. As of November 2020, these contracts are

90% complete and we are waiting for final reports from the QEP and CSA before assessing our next steps.

• More information on the history of the area, future developments and revivals, and how you can help by

becoming a fundraising member can be found at www.bra-sunshine.ca

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Bralorne Ball Diamond

• Due to the Pandemic there was no Ball Tournament held this year.

• This spring the Ball Diamond dug-out was completely refurbished.

• Two used ovens and a grill were purchased and installed in the cook shack.

• Ball Tournament volunteers also installed a stainless-steel back splash and new flooring in the cook

shack.

• The 4 porta potties received new enclosures to make them less unsightly.

• A total of $13,292.00 in grants was received for this work.

• The SLRD have been asked to add the connection of a sewer hook up to the cook shack. This decision will

be made in the spring of 2021.

Bralorne TV Committee

Due to the elimination of the use of analog signals, which is what the Bralorne TV and radio service operated on,

we were required to buy new equipment to receive the new digital system such as new dishes, receivers, cables,

and realign the new dishes to the new satellite system. This would be a daunting and expensive task but,

fortunately, the government allowed us to receive in digital but continue transmitting in analogue. This allowed us

to continue using our antenna’s instead of new dishes and tv’s in our homes. The cost for us to do this switch over

was just under $ 2,500 and took about 6 months to complete.

As well, because we were analogue then digital, we were required to apply to the government for new transmitting

licences and swear to the safety of same. A very complicated process that has now been completed.

The goal of the Bralorne TV Committee is to provide information, entertainment, emergency warnings, and save

costs for our residents.

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