Business showcase set for weekend

SHELL CANADA, the main proponent of the planned Canada LNG project at Kitimat, has signed on as a sponsor

SHELL CANADA, the main proponent of the planned Canada LNG project at Kitimat, has signed on as a sponsor at this year’s Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce Business Expo.

It’s joining returning sponsors TransCanada, which would build the pipeline to carry natural gas to Shell’s plant, Spectra Energy, selected to build a natural gas pipeline to a planned LNG plant near Prince Rupert, AltaGas from Calgary which has its own LNG plans for Kitimat, and regional airline Hawkair.

Chamber manager Carol Fielding said the list of sponsors reflects the potential for a liquefied natural gas industry in the region.

And the participation at the business expo itself  does as well, she added.

“We have the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission,” said Fielding, which is the provincial natural gas industry regulator.

Two out-of-area modular home companies and a scaffolding company have also signed on as exhibitors, she said, a further sign of interest in the area’s economic future.

The business expo, to be held at the Sportsplex, will take up both arena floors.

“We have 87 booths [in the main arena] and have just half a dozen left,” said Fielding April 16.

Booth space in the main arena is dressed up so as to present a uniform appearance.

That’s not the case in the Hidber arena next door where RV and other automotive dealers will set up shop.

“In the Hidber they can spread out and that works for them,” said Fielding of exhibitors there.

Unlike past years, the business expo will be a two-day event from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 25 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 26.

The suggestion not to have a three-day event with a Sunday opening came from businesses who said it was difficult to provide employees for an event that would actually begin on Thursday with set up, said Fielding.

“And especially nowadays, we’re hearing how some businesses are having difficulty finding staff in any event,” she said.

Entertainment this year comes from the Terrace Pipes and Drums with a Friday night performance, music arranged by Steve Little on Saturday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Culinary skills will be demonstrated by Northwest Community College students on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

As a sponsor, Hawkair is providing a family trip with accommodation as an overall door prize and individual businesses often have door prizes of their own.