WHAT’S YOUR STOMPING GROUNDS STORY?
Lots of people in PG consider downtown their ground – for a variety of reasons.
Heather Gloster, Prince George Public Library
After experiencing Prince George for the first time during a high school debate trip, and a second time fulfilling a university co-op term, Heather Gloster didn’t need much convincing to come back a third time and make the city her permanent home.
Being here to gain work experience also meant she got to know the social side of the city’s downtown. And what she found pleasantly surprised her. During her first few months she enjoyed Theatre North West shows, music gigs at Nancy O’s and having lunch with friends at Zoe’s Java House.. These experiences – and the people she met – stuck with her when she graduated from the University of British Columbia and looked to start a career in an affordable and active community.
She found the perfect job at the Prince George Public Library and jumped at the chance to return to what she calls “PG Paradise”.
“Prince George has given me amazing experiences and I have met the most incredible people. In the landscape of this community there is a place for people starting new careers, immigrants starting new lives and everyone in-between.”
Andrew Adams, Business Owner
Andrew Adams, owner of Hope Farm Organics, and his wife Janie, consider themselves “regulars” of downtown Prince George. They can be found each week at the Farmers’ Market offering locally grown vegetables to market-goers and local restaurants.
As certified organic farmers, the couple moved to Prince George eight years ago with a passion and plan to increase food security in the North. And, as might be expected, their favourite part of being downtown is the food!
“When we’re downtown making our deliveries to restaurants and customers twice a week, we love to stay a while and be ‘the customer’ at one of the many awesome restaurants”
Andrea Palmer, Walker
On a regular basis, Andrea Palmer gladly laces up her footwear and walks the seven or eight minutes it takes to get to her work, her children’s school or her favourite downtown eatery. But it’s during springtime, with the smell of lilacs wafting in the air, that this downtown resident truly feels most happy about hitting the pavement.
Walking is a way Palmer stays active year round. For her, it just makes sense to get to the places she needs to be, regularly, whether it’s the office, returning books to the library, walking up Connaught Hill, running errands or hitting the Farmers’ Market with her family.
“I love being able to walk to the amenities I enjoy like restaurants, grocery stores, retails shops, the public library and local parks and trails. I’m also so close to other friends, visiting is easy.”
Shayna Dolan, Downtown Arts and Music Scene Enthusiast
Consider yourself warned if you’ve ever muttered anything about there not being enough to do in Prince George. Downtown arts and music enthusiast Shayna Dolan has made it her mission to set that thinking right. She frequently, and easily, offers up her review of some of the best places to enjoy live music and art in the neighbourhood. Dolan has lived in PG for the past five years after moving here for university and has found the city overwhelmingly welcoming, especially the arts community.
One of her favourite places is the Omineca Arts Centre, which she describes as a diverse space with visual exhibits, live music, open mic opportunities, workshops, book launches and readings. That’s not to be outdone by the Legion, which may sound like a familiar place to seniors, but has a wide mandate to support veterans and their families and “is quickly becoming a hub for local music and hip young folks.”
To round out her review, Dolan recommends Nancy O’s downtown on 3rd Avenue where yummy food and live music in a variety of genres keeps the place bursting with great energy.
Ignacio Albarracin, Celebrating Craft Beer for a Cause
In recent years, there’s been no shortage of fun, inclusive events downtown. Take AleFest, for example, and one eager resident who is happy to sing of its praises.
Kiwanis AleFest is a Northern BC craft beer festival, held annually on the last weekend in January. For Ignacio Albarracin, it’s a chance to mingle with locals and visitors, taste some incredible hand-crafted beers and support a worthwhile community cause.
“Whereas other places might target warmer seasons for such events, AleFest embraces the winter and reminds everyone that the true warmth of a community stems from the quality of its people, not its climate.”
Hosted at the Two Rivers Gallery, AleFest goers enjoy separate beer tastings, tapas from the city’s finest restaurants, and live music and art exhibits. Money raised goes to Kiwanis’ initiatives that support children, globally.
Danny Bell, Musician
Danny Bell was successfully recruited to the city 10 years ago by a determined relative who knew how much the young musician would love it here. But now it’s Danny who does the recruiting of musicians and artists to PG, encouraging them to explore what the downtown arts and culture scene has to offer.
When he learned of the city’s goal to revitalize the downtown, he got on board right away recognizing the potential for a thriving entertainment scene on the streets and in local venues. That work has continued through his own entertainment business and opportunities to partner with others in the music industry.
“That’s the great thing about this city: if you want to make something happen, chances are, there’s a place for it.”
Krystin St. Jean, Cyclist
Krystin St. Jean often hops on her bike on Saturdays and heads downtown to explore the Farmers’ Market, enjoy lunch, and complete weekend errands at a variety of stores. She also makes sure to fill up her growlers at one of the local microbreweries while she’s downtown.
St. Jean also likes attending the many events hosted in the downtown. She usually figures out what’s going on and plans dinner at one of the many amazing restaurants located in the downtown around her event of choice. There’s always a concert, comedy show or community show to attend and, lucky for her, she lives close enough that she can cycle downtown any time she wants to go to an event.
“Cycling is the best way to explore downtown! It gives me an opportunity to slow down and see the many sights and sounds that the city has to offer. You miss so many gems when you’re driving in your car.”
Darrin Rigo, Spends Weekends Downtown
Darrin Rigo expected a lot of things when he moved to Prince George: affordable housing, access to great outdoor activities year-round, and a central location in BC that makes travel to other major cities a breeze. But while these were all reasons why he chose to move to Prince George, one of his favourite parts about living in Prince George is spending his weekends downtown.
Rigo loves to spread the word about all of the great things happening downtown on weekends: from the Farmers’ Market, to shopping at boutique stores, and enjoying coffee, a drink, or a meal at one of the many local restaurants, there’s plenty to do in the downtown on weekends. He also enjoys attending the many events hosted downtown regardless of the weather, including the CrossRoads Street Festival series, SummerFest and WinterFest.
For those who enjoy being in nature without leaving the city, Rigo recommends packing a picnic lunch and gathering with friends or family on the grass outside of City Hall or heading up Connaught Hill, which is just on the outskirts of the downtown.
Downtown Summerfest is one of Downtown Prince George’s signature festivals! Every year you can ‘take to the streets’ and join the party to celebrate fun, food, activities, and entertainment with Prince George locals and guests!
Downtown Prince George, along with its partners, brings you Winterfest.
From snow & ice carvings, mini snow golf, street hockey, to an ice slide, Winterfest has it all!