The Government of British Columbia recently unveiled its plan to rejuvenate and add to the “Stop of Interest” signs located on highways across British Columbia, announced by Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone last week.
“Our province is rich with history and these heritage signs show our commitment to preserving the culture from the past, celebrating the communities of today and inspiring pride for the future of British Columbians,” Stone said in a press release. “We’re launching a public engagement period today so people can send us their suggestions for the locations and content for new signs, helping to mark special places in B.C’s history.”
B.C.’s Stop of Interest signs were first erected in 1958 to commemorate the province’s centenary and recognize some of the historical and notable landmarks scattered throughout the province. Within the Columbia Valley and surrounding areas — from Golden to Canal Flats — motorists and travellers can expect to come across six different Stop of Interest signs, some of which may be part of the revitalization project.
Last year, the province did an inventory of the existing signs, cataloguing 139 different signs — 75 per cent of which required repairs, reinstallation and, in some cases, replacement because the content and language was out of date.
North of Golden, the “Railway Surveyor” sign that was formerly there is missing and will be replaced, thanks to the new initiative. The “James Sinclair” sign located just south of Radium and the “Canal Flat” sign are both signs that are candidates for being refurbished, according to public affairs officer for the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, Kate Mukasa. Additionally, the “Apostle of the Rockies” Sign of Interest near Canal Flats that commemorates the first Jesuit missionary in the area will be updated in the future.
In addition to the refurbishment of the existing signs, the province announced that it will be adding an additional 75 new Stop of Interest signs with British Columbians holding the key to the new location of these signs.
“The new Stop of Interest signs will give the travelling public a glimpse of the province’s beauty and encourage them to explore the many authentic experiences B.C has to offer,” said Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond. “We wanted the public to help us create signage that would evoke excitement and cement our position that B.C is a premier tourism destination and a great place to do business.”
The period in which the public will be able to engage in the project is open through to January 31st, 2017 with submissions evaluated based on criteria including the impact of the place, person or event has had on the lives of British Columbians. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure expects to begin installing the new signs in late spring or early summer of 2017.
British Columbians can provide suggestions for the new Signs of Interest by participating in the consultation online at http://engage.gov.bc.ca/stopsofinterest/.