September 28, 2020
Joint Media Release:
Community Foundation Assists Nitehawk Fundraising Initiative
Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park has partnered with the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta to support its Landslide Recovery Fund.
Up to $2 million or more is needed to fund a new lift and related infrastructure after a landslide in May caused significant damage on the ski hill. An agreement with the Foundation allows Nitehawk to solicit charitable donations from the community towards a special project for the first time ever.
Since the Foundation is a registered charity, it can accept donations on behalf of Nitehawk and issue charitable tax receipts where applicable. Donations can be made at https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/51709.
“This is a pretty cool partnership,” says Johnathan Clarkson, Nitehawk General Manager. “A lot of things changed here for us with the landslide. The main objective and goal for the next six months is to raise money for a new lift. What that looks like, we’re not sure yet as we continue working on the geotechnical engineering side of things.”
A bore hole drilling program begins in the coming weeks and a final report from Parkland Geotechnical is expected by the end of November. These details will assist in decision making on how recovery should unfold. The Board and Management are seeking a long-term, sustainable solution.
“Ideally, we’ll be able to raise the funds for this project by the end of the 20/21 Winter Season,” says Clarkson. “That’s a lofty goal, something to work toward so we’ll be ready for next season.”
Replacement of lift infrastructure would take six to eight months – whether a chair lift or T-Bar – so ground-breaking needs to begin in the spring to ensure the ski hill can return to normal operations for the 2021-2022 winter season.
Laura LaValley, CEO of the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta, says the agency is eager to help Nitehawk get back to its position prior to the landslide.
“We certainly recognize the challenges all community groups are having with the pandemic,” she says. “Our hearts really went out to Nitehawk having to deal with that and a natural disaster on top of it. We’re really willing and excited to work with them to forge this relationship.”
Nitehawk will be open this Winter Season; but the chairlift will be out of operation. Use of the Platter Lift, the 100-foot Conveyor Lift and the 600-foot Conveyor Lift will still allow for skiing and snowboarding on the top of Showoff run, the Halfpipe, Willoway, and Bob’s Bump runs, and the Terrain Park. The Aquatera Tube Zone, the Adventure Zone Toddler Play Area and the Aquatera Toddler Tube Lane will also be open.
In a normal season, Nitehawk provides school programming to more than 7,000 local students, 20,000 visitors and 1,200 members.
Clarkson is looking forward to the community rallying behind Nitehawk.
“Grande Prairie never ceases to amaze, even in down times, in its willingness to give,” says Clarkson. “Nitehawk is a community asset that’s been here for 60 years. It’s an important part of the region and community and a key attraction for bringing people to the region.”
LaValley says Nitehawk is near and dear to her and her family.
“I grew up in small town DeBolt and, as a kid, there wasn’t a lot to do in the winter. Every Friday night in my years growing up, I’d get on a bus and go to Nitehawk. That was a big deal to me and all of my friends. As a mom, that’s where I want my kids to be on a Friday and Saturday night.”
“Nitehawk is really a regional recreation spot for people to enjoy,” says LaValley.
She’s confident the community and region will respond to Nitehawk’s needs.
“Communities in this area are phenomenal at rallying together and taking something that seems like a really large task and making it happen. I know the community has a heart for Nitehawk and we’re really excited to work alongside them and do what we can to help their recovery. We know they are going to be successful.”
Media inquiries may be directed to:
Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park