Heritage signs in Williams Lake will be updated thanks to the efforts of Downtown Williams Lake BIA, with support of the City. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Downtown Williams Lake embarking on rejuvinating heritage signage

With Rural Dividend grant funding, plus support from the City, 28 signs are being replaced

Signage depicting some of Williams Lake’s history will be getting a makeover, thanks to the efforts of Downtown Williams Lake BIA (DWLBIA).

City council approved $1,600 of its signage budget and some in-kind support toward painting the stands and replacing the heritage signs after receiving a request from DWLBIA to share the cost of the project.

Executive director Jordan Davis said the existing stands will be used for the new signs.

Marketing co-ordinator Brent Dafoe said the tops will be cut off and the new signs will be installed on top. The tops themselves will be easy to be replaced in the future, he added.

“I did a scavenger hunt around town to locate all the signs and saw that some were in disrepair,” Dafoe said, noting the words are gone from the signage on Stampede Hill.

Dafoe told council he has been working with the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin on updating the information and obtaining new historical photographs for the project.

“We went over each sign, I learned new things and we did some edits.”

The new signs will be made out of fabricated aluminum.

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Council members all voiced excitement for the project and Coun. Marnie Brenner said she’d like to see First Nations culture and other cultures represented in the future.

“Going forward there might be a way to add more,” Coun. Sheila Boehm added.

In a report to council, economic development officer Beth Veenkamp said there are 22 signs in the BIA district which will be paid out of the Rural Dividend Grant received by DWLBIA.

The City’s support will replace signs outside of the downtown core at Thompson Rivers University, Chevron, Station House Gallery, Kiwanis Park and the Cariboo Regional District Library.

There will be no corporate logos on the new signs, except for the City of Williams Lake and the Downtown Williams Lake logo, Veenkamp noted, adding the ones from the Stampede Grounds were vandalized and there was no record available as to what information was on those signs.

Veenkamp said they are recommending those signs be eliminated from the collection at this time and staff remove the posts because they are unsightly.

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