Since being founded in 2007, NPTGS has raised and/or leveraged over $4.5 million for projects and contributed nearly $3.55 million to local communities. Working with its partners, the Society has also built or restored over 230 kilometres of heritage trails, launched and/or completed 18 major projects and staged 165 events, performances, symposia and lectures. Check out our current projects and have a look at those we’ve completed with our partners along the Gold Rush/Spirit Trails.
Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park and Precinct Revitalization Project
NPTGS is proud to be among the partners in this exciting project led by the Spuzzum First Nation to preserve the historic 1926 Alexandra Bridge and develop the adjacent site’s heritage tourism potential. Project partners also include the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI), BC Parks as well as community organizations and local businesses.
Cariboo Waggon Road Restoration Project
The Cariboo Waggon Road Restoration Project will restore intact, accessible sections of the road in communities from Yale to Lillooet to Barkerville. The project is being coordinated by NPTGS, which has in partnership with First Nations, communities and other organizations restored or built over 230 km of heritage trails since 2009.
Chief Cexpe’nthlEm Memorial Precinct Revitalization Project
The Chief Cexpe’nthlEm Memorial Precinct Restoration Project is a partnership between the Lytton First Nation, Village of Lytton, the St. Barnabas Parish (Anglican Diocese of the Cariboo) and NPTGS. The project will see this historic site fenced, landscaped and considerable interpretive signage installed.
Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail Project
The Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail currently runs from 70 Mile House to Horsefly and is based on ancient trails, old logging roads and with some overlap on the Cariboo Waggon Road. The family-oriented trail system can be used by other outdoor enthusiasts like hikers, cyclists, bird watchers as well as snowmobilers, making it a year-round tourism asset.
Heritage Trails Project
Working with its partners, the NPTGS has built or restored over 230 kilometres of heritage trails in the Hope-Barkerville corridor. Current projects include the Xatśūll Trails (in partnership with the Xatśūll First Nation) and Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail (in partnership with District of 100 Mile House and National Trails Coalition).
Heritage Trails Funding: XFN Trails Project
In addition to the above, NPTGS will contribute $7,500 towards the Xatsull First Nation (XFN) Trails Project in 2020. The funding will go towards an 8.5 km extension of the existing Deep Blue Soda Trail to connect to XFN’s Whispering Willows Campground and beyond to the Ridge East overlooking the Deep Creek reserve.
Gold Rush/Spirit Trails Brand Marketing Strategy
NPTGS has played a leading role in this partnership with the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association and associated Regional Destination Marketing Organizations to reinvigorate the marketing of the Gold Rush/Spirit Trail brand.
Small Projects Grants Funding Program
The NPTGS Small Projects Funding Program provides funding to community-based initiatives that promote the Society’s core principles of economic development via heritage tourism, First Nations reconciliation and Multiculturalism.
Recently Completed Projects
Our heritage trails are more than just a walk in the woods. They’re economic engines that generate tourism opportunities for Gold Rush/Spirit Trails corridor communities. Interpreted and animated, they also tell a more inclusive story of our shared history. The NPTGS Heritage Trails Program has helped restore some of B.C.’s most famous pathways. Here are two of our recently-completed trail projects.
Nam Sing Packing Expedition Historic Recreation
A wagon train, historic reenactors and a large troop of riders in costume took part in the event, staged as a tribute to the resilience of Cariboo communities impacted by back-to-back record-setting fire seasons as well as to raise awareness of B.C.’s rich multicultural identity.
The tour not only promoted Barkerville Historic Town and Park and the Cariboo as a visitor destination, it gave hope to communities hard-hit by back-to-back, record-setting fire seasons. The Wright-Newman Theatre Company troupe performed “Mrs. McGinley’s Gold Rush Variety Show” to full houses and standing ovations.
The Harmony Project
Acknowledging the contributions of Chinese, First Nations and other nationalities to the building of the community of Ashcroft and the region, this is a joint initiative of the Ashcroft Rotary and Lions Clubs. NPTGS is proud to be a sponsor of this project, which will see the construction and installation of a large World Harmony Mosaic and Peace Bell at the entrance to the town.
Past Projects & Events
From rebuilding ancient heritage trails to recreating key moments in our shared history, NPTGS has achieved a lot with its partners in the last decade. We’ve produced an international award-winning documentary, staged ground-breaking symposia and lecture series – heck, we even put on a musical revue, all to help rebuild and promote Gold Rush/Spirit Trails corridor economies. Here’s a few of our favourites.
Jobs Creation Partnership Project
The Jobs Creation Partnership Project is a $400,000 initiative with the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation’s Community and Employer Partnerships Branch and other organizations. The participants are gaining valuable work experience and skills training while working on this multiphase project.
“Crazy Ant” Trail Grand Opening
This project in the traditional territory of the Secwepemc People is a partnership between the Xat’sull First Nation, NPTGS and the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT). NPTGS contributed $30,000 towards the project while NDIT provided matching funds. The multi-purpose trail links historic Gold Rush trails around Deep Creek and Soda Creek (Xat’sull). The trail opened in 2016.
Tikwalus Heritage Trail
This $98,000 project to restore a 13-kilometre loop on Lake Mountain in the traditional territory of the Spuzzum First Nation was officially completed in April 2012. Senators Vivienne Poy and Lillian Quan Dyck were among the dignitaries that helped Spuzzum elder Marion Dixon cut the woven cedar ribbon at the trailhead just north of Alexandra Lodge. Based on an ancient Nlaka’pamux First Nation route, the trail gives hikers and overnight backpackers spectacular views of the historic Fraser Canyon.
HBC Brigade Heritage Trail
The Hudson’s Bay Company Heritage Trail was officially opened in May 2016. The 74-km trail between Peers Creek near Hope and Tulameen (outside of Princeton) follows the historic First Nations/HBC route over the Cascades. The opening was the culmination of seven years of work by the Hope Mountain Centre and the other project partners, including NPTGS, which contributed financially to the trail.
Golden Miles of History Project
The Golden Miles of History Project celebrated its completion on August 2016 in Lillooet. NPTGS contributed $14,000 towards the project, which created an interpreted 10 km “Bridge to Bridge” trail. The final information kiosks were installed at the Lillooet Museum & Visitor Centre (formerly St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church) in November.
Songs of the Land Project in partnership with Kevin Loring and Savage Society
This joint initiative of Loring’s Savage Society Theatre Company and NPTGS is bringing ancient N’lakap’amux stories recorded on wax cylinders in the early 20th Century by renowned anthropologist James Teit to contemporary audiences. Since 2013, three plays have been produced in consultation with the community, all of them receiving critical acclaim.
The Motherlode Travelling Revue
The 2008 production of The Motherlode was a joint project between the New Pathways to Gold Society and the Newman and Wright Theatre Company (Theatre Royale, Barkerville). The Motherlode was a hit from Sparwood to Vancouver, Barkerville to Hope. This $230,000-plus production performed dozens of times in 45 communities in front of thousands of people. The troupe covered over 17,000km by train and van.
Completed Projects and Events List
- Jobs Creation Partnership Project/Gold Rush Snowmobile Trail warming hut installation (83 Mile House, 2016)
- Jobs Creation Partnership Project/Ice Caves Project trail opening (Bridge Lake, 2016)
- Jobs Creation Partnership Project wooden structure milestone vent (Sitka Log Homes site, 108 Mile Ranch, 2016)
- First Fish Ceremony/Alexandra Bridge public engagement event (Alexandra Bridge Provincial Park, 2014, 2015)
- Save the 1926 Alexandra Bridge “Quick Response” event at Klahowya Village (2014)
- Cariboo Waggon Road 150 Celebrations (in partnership with Hope Mountain Centre and Yale Historic Site, 2013)
- Stein Trail tour project (in partnership with Lytton First Nation, 2013)
- Fraser River Journey with the Secwepemc (2012)
- Senators’ Fraser Canyon Tour (2012)
- Tikwalus Trail Grand Opening (2012)
- Alexandra Bridge Project Site Concept Community Presentation (Hope, 2012)
- Alexandra Bridge Project Partners Strategy Session, Spuzzum (2012)
- Tikwalus Trail Upgrading (in partnership with Spuzzum First Nation, Hope Mountain Centre, 2011-12)
- 1861 Gold Rush Pack Trail Ride send-off at Klahowya Village event (2011)
- 1861 Gold Rush Pack Trail Ride, Keithley Creek to Barkerville (2011)
- “Kilometre Zero” Marker event at Tikwalus Trail (2011)
- Canyon War: The Untold Story (Chief David Spintlum) documentary (2010)
- Heritage Trails Report: Hope to Barkerville (in partnership with Professor Dan Marshal, University of Victoria, 2010)
- HBC 1849 Brigade Trail: Hope to Tulameen (in partnership with Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Education, 2010)
- Rose Charlie “Peace Piano” Project (in partnership with the Yale Museum, Yale Historic Site, 2010)
- McGowan March Historic Recreation (Hope-Yale, 2009)
- Boston Bar-Coldwater First Nations trade trail location analysis (2009)
- Education Caucus Symposium (Barkerville and Cottonwood House, 2009)
- Stephen Hume Lecture Series (Prince George to Vancouver, 2008)
- Langara College/Rick Blacklaws speaking tour (Prince George to Vancouver, 2008)
- The Prof versus the Toff: The Great Bulwer-Lytton Debate (in partnership with Village of Lytton, 2008)
- Fraser River War Symposium and river rafting expedition (Lytton, Boston Bar-Yale, 2007)
- Canada Day in the Canyon (keynote speaker Lt.-Governor Iona Campagnolo, Yale Historic Site, 2007)
Other Partnered Projects
- Shuswap Nation Tourism Symposium (financial support)
- 2010 Olympics heritage tourism promotion (BC STREET exhibit in Richmond, in partnership with the Cariboo Regional District)