ʔaq̓am Community Enterprises Quarterly Update
ʔaq̓am Trading Gas Station
ʔaq̓am Trading continues to perform well. We are set to exceed our sales and net revenue goals for 2019 with one month (December) left to report. Trading has three newly recruited (ʔaq̓am Community members) casual, on-call staff who are fully trained and ready to support the business.
Utility Scale Solar Project
ACE has renewed its relationship with FortisBC by signing the amended Memorandum of Understanding for another three-year term. The legal site survey is currently being completed for the project site, which will allow ACE to request the start of a lease application with the ʔaq̓am Lands department. Once the lease application is started, we can then continue work on the archaeological and further environmental assessments. This will allow our team to continue to work towards being “shovel ready” when the opportunity for a power purchase agreement with the Province occurs. This is and will continue to be a long-term project and we will continue to be as ready as we can when the investment opportunity presents itself.
D&B Flagging & Traffic Control
D&B completed its’ first full year of operation in a net profit position. The 2020 budget and rates have been approved by the D&B board of directors at the board meeting on Wednesday December 18, 2019. D&B lost its current manager to another career opportunity. We are currently interviewing and working towards hiring a new manager for the upcoming season. We a very much looking forward to a prosperous 2020.
Renewable Forest License A92027
ACE continues to manage its’ renewable forest license alongside the Lands department. Revenues from the first completed deal with British Columbia Timber Sales are now being received. We are also in negotiations with Canfor on a potential deal for 2020. The Canfor team is putting together some revenue projections on a few selected blocks that we have agreed upon and we will continue negotiations with them in the New Year.
Business Development Assistant
Ryan Philips-Clement is doing very well in his support role for the corporations as the Business Development Assistant. Ryan has returned to College of the Rockies and will be taking two courses this term as he works towards finishing his business diploma.
Adventure Park Project
After receiving three quotes for feasibility studies, ACE has decided to reach out to two of these companies with a redefined scope and budget. We have received updated proposals and will be reviewing them at our next board meeting on January 14, 2020 to decide on a company to complete our feasibility study.
We are working through negotiations on a quarry agreement with a local company with the intention of having the gravel pit operational in 2020 if a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached.
Cannabis Cultivation License
The process of ACE applying for a federal cannabis cultivation license is currently stalled, as we do not have all the necessary information to complete the application. Ryan has been communicating with Kirk Dressler, who is an Economic Development Officer for Williams Lake Band. They have established a cannabis cultivation facility, and multiple cannabis dispensaries throughout their community. Kirk has expressed interest in meeting to discuss the process Williams Lake went through to get to where they are, and to provide a tour of the community and its businesses. It could be beneficial to do a site visit and connect with a few communities who are already up and running. We will continue to strategize on a business model and site location as we continue our conversations with those already established in the industry.
Indigenous Agriculture Food Systems Initiative (IAFSI) (applied). $50,000K If successful, this grant will be used towards our agriculture feasibility and business planning.
Indigenous Agriculture Development Program (IADP). $5000 in grant money has been secured. Step one of the IADP is called the Agriculture Opportunities Assessment. Upon full completion and approval of this assessment, projects will be eligible for step two, which may provide an additional $10,000 in funding for business planning purposes. The money we have secured has been used to hire an Agrologist as a consultant for ʔaq̓am’s Food Agriculture Project. We are currently waiting for the agrologist to provide ACE with initial reports for our project so that we may proceed in applying for step two of the IADP.
BC Indigenous Clean Energy Initiative (BCICEI) – applied for $105K To support the Utility-Scale Solar Project. We have yet to hear back on the status of this particular grant, although we remain hopeful that we will be considered.
On December 19, 2019, ACE submitted a proposal to the City of Kimberley for the purchase of the Kimberley Riverside Campground. The City of Kimberley is currently reviewing and scoring all submitted proposals and we expect to hear back from them mid-January.
ACE will continue to identify new business opportunities/endeavors in the new-year as part of our 2020 work plan.