Participants in the 2014 Tribal Journeys celebration pass by Cape Mudge on Canada Day on their way to Bella Bella.

Event expected to attract 5,000 people to the Campbell River community

City of Campbell River lends financial support for Tribal Journeys event

The City of Campbell River will chip in financially to help two local First Nations host an event expected to bring 5,000 people to the community next summer.

Council has agreed to give a $25,000 cash donation to the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre which is organizing the prestigious Tribal Journeys 2017 event on behalf of the host nations – the Wei Wai Kai and the Wei Wai Kum.

Ron Bowles, the city’s corporate services manager, said the event is expected to cost $750,000 and bring 5,000 guests to the community.

“The Tribal Journeys 2017 event will be a monumental event in the community,” Bowles said. “Financial support will go a long way in ensuring its success.”

The donation from the city is expected to help the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre secure funding from Heritage Canada as the grant application requires a commitment of financial support from the host government.

Mayor Andy Adams said council is pleased to help out in whatever way it can because the event is not only important to the two local First Nations, but also the City of Campbell River.

“I think it will be a great showcase in collaboration for Campbell River,” he said.

The event celebrates the histories and cultures of various First Nation families from around the world who will be canoeing into both Campbell River and Quadra Island where they will be welcomed with a public feast, traditional ceremonies, and a gift exchange.

The canoes will arrive at Cape Mudge on Quadra on Aug. 5, 2017 and then Aug. 7, 2017 in Campbell River.

Jodi Simkin, executive director of the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre Society, told city council last month that volunteers are expecting to serve more than 70,000 meals over the duration of the event to all of the canoe families who will arrive in the area.

More than 500 volunteers will be recruited to help bring all of the plans for the Tribal Journeys event to fruition.

Event organizers have asked the City of Campbell River for help with in-kind donations (removing street parking during the event, social media and communications, and tourism) on top of the $25,000 which is expected to go towards waste management and recycling, signage, traffic control and a gift bag from the host city to canoe families.