Within 3-5 years, total spending impact by out-of-town visitors is estimated at $3.2 million in the local area, supporting 30 local jobs.
The BC Forest Discovery Center (BCFDC) has educated visitors about the BC Forest Industry’s past, present and future for over half a century. While forestry has advanced over the decades, the BCFDC exhibits had not been updated since 1978.
This project, led by the BCFDC and supported by private sector forestry partners, created a new “Innovations in Modern Forestry” exhibit to showcase modern forestry on Vancouver Island. The new exhibits highlight advancements in forestry technology, harvesting practices, processing and product development to the public. In addition, the project modernized the museum entry and façade, and developed an interactive mobile app to engage visitors across the outdoor exhibits. The center also serves as a new tourism hub for forestry-related tourism activities – directing visitors to interpretive walks, lumber mills, logging operations and other points of interest throughout the region.
Opened to the public in May 2019, the new exhibits will attract a wider range of visitors, including forestry workers, potential job seekers and people interested in modern day forest management. The project is expected to double the length of the operating season, and is estimated to increase visitor traffic to over 100,000 annually (43,000 increase). Anticipated outcomes include direct job creation from the increased operating season, as well as direct and indirect benefits to hospitality and tourism-related businesses. The project will also support forest sector recruitment and benefit regional manufacturers through the promotion of locally made wood products.