Aboriginal tourism in British Columbia

Aboriginal tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in British Columbia's tourism industry, with total revenue increasing by $32 million over the past 9 years. In order to capitalize on this growth, Aboriginal Tourism BC turned to the Strategic Partnerships Initiative


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Transcript: Aboriginal tourism in British Columbia

Narrator:  Aboriginal tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in British Columbia's tourism industry, with total revenue increasing by $32 million over the past 9 years. In order to capitalize on this growth, Aboriginal Tourism BC turned to the Strategic Partnerships Initiative.

On-Screen Text:
32 Million Dollars Over Past 9 Years
Strategic Partnerships Initiative

Visuals: 
Mountains, bear, eagle in flight, quiet lake, totem poles, tourism operator     fishing

David Russell:  The Strategic Partnership Initiative, also known as SPI, was launched in 2010 to support Aboriginal participation in major economic opportunities throughout the country. 

On-Screen Text:
Lower Third: David Russell
Director, Lands and Trust Services, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Visuals:
Interview with David Russell, Mountains, old rock paintings

David Russell:  The program coordinates and leverages the efforts and investments of multiple federal departments and agencies. It also supports coordinated interaction with the province, communities and the private sector.

On-Screen Text:
Multiple Federal Departments & Agencies

Visuals:
Forested cliffs, calm lake, old railway above white water rafting site, interview with David Russell

Narrator:  Since 2013, the Strategic Partnerships Initiative has made significant investments through the Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC (ATBC) to help develop market-ready tourism products throughout the province.

On-Screen Text:
Vancouver, British Columbia
Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia
ATBC
Market-Ready Tourism Products

Visuals:
Map of Canada, Vancouver shoreline

Keith Henry:  Aboriginal Tourism BC is not only the leader in Canada, it's really a global leader in terms of Aboriginal or Indigenous tourism.  It really provides such a strong relationship around culture, and Strategic Partnership Initiative has been extremely valuable. 

On-Screen Text:
Lower Third: Keith Henry
CEO, Aboriginal Tourism BC

Visuals:
Interview with Keith Henry, BC shoreline, nature tourism operator showing a tourist an eagle in flight, traditional Aboriginal dancer

Keith Henry:  We worked with the regional staff, and so we just started the conversation.  Eventually we created the work plan together.  It was an excellent process.  And I'm just glad to see that the Government of Canada is continuing to move forward with these initiatives.

Visuals:
Fish frying on an traditional fire, heron in nature, forest and mountains, interview with Keith Henry

Narrator:  SPI Funding supported ATBC in the development of an Indigenous cultural tourism strategy, advisory services to support market-ready tourism businesses, and the expansion of the Authentic Aboriginal Certification Program to include Indigenous performers and artisan products.

On-Screen Text:
Indigenous Cultural Tourism Strategy
Advisory Services
Market–Ready Tourism Businesses
Authentic Aboriginal Certification Program

Visuals:
Snow-covered mountains, forest, tourists on a lake at an Aboriginal tourism site, traditional Aboriginal watercraft, totem poles

Keith Henry:  SPI came in, helped us meet our 5-year-plan investment targets.  Today we have roughly 72 businesses and our goal is to reach 100 by, of course, 2017. We've also launched the Authentic Indigenous website which has roughly 200 Aboriginal artists from British Columbia. 

Visuals:
Interview with Keith Henry, Aboriginal drummers, bracelets, sunset on a lake, traditional Aboriginal masks

Keith Henry:  Working with SPI did help create new partnerships and reconfirm existing ones.  SPI and having those funds allowed us to go and leverage with Western Economic Diversification. The other side of what Strategic Partnership Initiative did was allow us to go back to the province around their marketing dollars to help support the industry.  It's been paramount to the success of implementing our 5-year plan.

On-Screen Text:
Reconfirm Existing Partnerships
Western Economic Diversification

Visuals:
Lake, white-water rafting, British Columbia flag, ATBC office, interview with Keith Henry
                            
Narrator:  Skwachàys Lodge is just one example of a business that has benefitted from SPI's investment in ATBC. Skwachàys Lodge, Canada's first Indigenous art hotel, is located in downtown Vancouver.

On-Screen Text:
Downtown Vancouver

Visuals:
Skwachàys sign, rooftop waterfall, traditional bird painting,

David Eddy:  Skwachàys is really unique in our portfolio of buildings. Three floors occupied by Aboriginal artists. Art gallery on the main floor, and then we have the 18 hotel rooms on floors 5, 6 and 7. We actually provide the subsidy for those artists living in the building, through the profits of the hotel and gallery. We're really strong supporters of the ATBC mission and mandate and it's really been beneficial for us.

On-Screen Text:
Lower Third: David Eddy
CEO, Vancouver Native Housing Society
Aboriginal Artists
Art Gallery
18 Hotel Rooms

Visuals:
Interview with David Eddy, Aboriginal artist wood-working, Skwachàys art gallery, Aboriginally designed hotel rooms

Maggie Edwards:  I think our relationship with ATBC has been an extremely positive one. I think they've been a really big help to us. We partnered with them on a Social Media campaign, training tools, create funding streams for marketing programs.

On-Screen Text
Lower Third: Maggie Edwards
General Manager, Skwachàys Lodge
Training tools
Funding streams

Visuals:
Maggie Edwards working, interview with Maggie Edwards, authentic Aboriginal art in the Skwachàys gallery

David Eddy:  The highest level of the ATBC authenticity program allows us to sell art in our gallery which means that we provide artists with fair compensation and it's phenomenally successful. 

On-Screen Text:
Fair Compensation

Visuals:
Authentic Aboriginal art in the Skwachàys gallery, Interview with David Eddy

Narrator:  Indigenous entrepreneurs across the province are becoming market ready thanks to ATBC and SPI. One business, the Kekuli Café, has been featured on the Food Network's "You Gotta Eat Here!"

On-Screen Text:
Strategic Partnerships Initiative

Visuals:
Mountains and river in British Columbia, Merritt town sign, Kekuli Café entrance, Sharon Bond serving coffee

Sharon Bond:  Aboriginal Tourism BC has really helped us out in a lot of the marketing for our business; the brochures, the pamphlets, the different events that they do, and our website actually. 

On-Screen Text:
Lower Third: Sharon Bond
Owner, Kekuli Café

Visuals:
Interview with Sharon Bond, Bannock in the kitchen and in the front

Sharon Bond:  Being a small business, and starting out, it's been awesome. We get people find out that we're here and coming to check us out. ATBC really helped with getting us marketed across Canada, even in Germany, China, so it's kind of neat to be put out there on the map.

Visuals:
Sharon serving customers, interview with Sharon Bond, bannock ready to eat, customer with coffee, Sharon talking with customers

Narrator:  Thanks to help from SPI, more authentic Aboriginal tourism experiences than ever have become market ready in BC. ATBC is transforming the tourism industry in BC and helping Aboriginal entrepreneurs create viable and sustainable platforms to share their culture with the rest of the world.

On-Screen Text:
SPI
Aboriginal Entrepreneurs

Visuals:
Trees, totem poles, field of flowers, dolphins swimming

Keith Henry:  Without SPI, we wouldn't be where we are today.

Visuals:
Interview with Keith Henry, eagle in tree, ATBC logo

On-Screen Text:
Aboriginal Tourism BC
our story. your experience.

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