ʔaq̓am Community Enterprises Quarterly Update
Board of Directors
Jacey Raey’s term as an ACE director has officially ended, Jacey has dedicated four years with us and we would like to thank her for all her hard work. We have recruited two new directors, Debbie Whitehead and Becky Pelkonen. We look forward to working with our two newest directors. ACE is now on the hunt for a fifth director, if you have an interest and feel you can positively contribute to the business growth of our development corporation please contact Christopher McCurry, ACE CEO.
ʔaq̓am Trading Gas Station
Our new gas station continues to perform well after our first full season of business. We had a very busy first year and our opening last fall aligned well with the brand new RV Park opening over at St. Eugene Resort. We recently brought in fireworks and we are getting set-up as a new BCLC retailer. We continue to find new products to bring in to grow our sales. This business continues to support full and part time positions for the ʔaq̓am community.
Utility Scale Solar Project
We are all feeling positive about the exposure our project is getting and the general sense that we indeed have the best location for a large-scale solar project in the Province. We continue our relationship with the provincial government looking for an avenue to obtain an Energy Purchase Agreement since the cancellation of the Standing Offer Program. Our project continues to be stalled without an Energy Purchase Agreement. We are now completing the survey for the project site, which will give us boundaries to work within to complete our remaining lease requirements such as an archaeological assessment and the remaining environmental assessment work.
Renewable Forest License
We continue to strengthen our relationship with BC Timber Sales (BCTS) after our first sale of 2019. A training day was collaboratively organized with BCTS and ourselves, which was a component of our first deal with BCTS. This training was offered to all the Ktunaxa community citizens on Wednesday October 9th, 2019. We also continue to have conversations and negotiate with Canfor on a potential deal. Our renewable license continues to bring in valuable revenues to support the ongoing growth of the development corporation.
Our newest position of “Business Development Assistant”, within the development corporations, is being held down by Ryan Phillips-Clement. Ryan has just completed his 6-month review. Ryan continues to learn and grow in his position and brings valuable insight to the development corporation with his passion for numbers and being an ʔaq̓am member. Ryan is planning to go back to the College of the Rockies for the January 2020 term to complete the few courses he needs to finish his business diploma. He will prioritize finishing school in the New Year and fitting in the shifts and hours, he can with ACE.
We have completed the research phase of our project, visiting twelve indoor park models in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. We are now in the phase of choosing a consultant to work with that will complete a feasibility study. This study will identify if we have the location, population and visitor numbers to start our own business. As well, the study will tell us what is currently in our market for competition and what the business opportunity truly is.
We continue to explore and negotiate partnership opportunities to get our pit up and running in 2020. We will be spending the winter negotiating opportunities to see if there is a beneficial deal for us to get the gravel pit operational. At the same time, we are exploring capital investment opportunities in equipment to assist in developing our pit.
We continue to work through the federal cultivation license application. Pieces of this application are identifying the location of the business on ʔaq̓am Lands. Our first priority will be identifying the business location and applying for a lease with ʔaq̓am. Once the location and lease is completed this will allow us to move onto the next steps of the application and continue to explore business models and do further market and business research.
PEOWG (Procurement, Employment, Opportunities Working Group - with Teck Coal) Capacity Funding and Reporting Tool Update
This new 2019 program, created in partnership with Teck Coal and the Ktunaxa Nation Council provides capacity support funding to each of the Ktunaxa communities. ACE has used the funding to proportional fund our newest position in the development corporation, the Business Development Assistant.
Agriculture Business Planning
ACE has submitted two agriculture grants, Indigenous Agriculture Food Systems Initiative (IAFSI) and the Indigenous Agriculture Development Program (IADP).
If successful on one or both of these grants ACE will be looking to hire an agrologist and business planner to create a feasibility study and business plan to identify our agricultural opportunities.
New Business and Investment Opportunities
ACE is always on the hunt for new business and investment opportunities. If you have an opportunity that you feel we should explore please contact us!