VICTORIA — Following a wildly successful national celebration this year, British Columbia and Trans Canada Trail (TCT) celebrated reaching the ambitious goal of 100 per cent connection of The Great Trail in the province on Thursday.
Award-winning music producer David Foster was among the guests at the Inn at Laurel Point for the special event. David, a Victoria-born Trail Champion, generously donated to the City of Victoria to fund the future development of David Foster Way, the harbour path named in his honour, and one of the beautiful sections of The Great Trail in British Columbia.
“We are so grateful to our supporters for all they have helped to create in British Columbia – a connected trail that encourages locals and visitors to discover our beautiful Canadian landscapes,” says Valerie Pringle, Co-Chair of the TCT Foundation Board and Chapter 150 Campaign. “The Great Trail in B.C. is spectacular – from incredible desert scenery to magnificent mountain ranges connecting communities from northern B.C. to Vancouver Island.”
TCT enthusiasts, volunteers, donors and government supporters were also in attendance, including Her Honour The Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Hosted by Valerie Pringle, the joyous celebration also featured a performance of some of David Foster’s greatest hits, courtesy of the Victoria Conservatory of Music.
TCT is supported by financial contributions from donors in both the public and private sectors, including the federal government’s matching gift program, who all believe in TCT’s commitment to investing in vital infrastructure for safe, affordable outdoor activity, while fostering an appreciation for Canada’s spectacular natural heritage.
Every Canadian province and territory is home to its own section of The Great Trail, which is owned and operated at the local level. Volunteers in B.C. have been involved in connecting the Trail since the launch of this nationwide legacy project in 1992.
B.C. has proven to have an impressive trail culture. Municipalities, regional governments, provincial government, First Nation communities and trail groups across B.C. have worked diligently and enthusiastically to ensure the Trail was connected in 2017.
This tremendous feat means that British Columbia’s section of The Great Trail spans almost 3,000 kilometres, and includes some of the most scenic natural areas of the province.
Nationwide, The Great Trail now measures over 24,000 kilometres, connecting some 15,000 diverse communities across Canada. While the Trail is 100 per cent connected, its journey across Canada is in many ways just beginning.
“After this momentous year, we will continue to build upon what we have accomplished. We will add loops and spurs and convert roadway to greenway to create new adventures for trail users,” says Deborah Apps, TCT president & CEO.
“The future of the Trail still depends on the commitment and generosity of communities across Canada. The cross-Canada connection celebration marks the beginning of a new chapter – one that will see the Trail grow, improve and thrive for years to come, benefitting future generations. We invite you to continue on this journey with us.”
Moving beyond 2017, Trans Canada Trail’s mission will be to continue to enhance and improve the Trail. This plan involves converting roadway into greenway, creating more adventures by adding new spurs and loops, and supporting success at the local level. We will promote and assist in the development and use of The Great Trail by garnering support and continuing to nurture valuable relationships with Trail enthusiasts and partners across the country.