First Ever Aboriginal-Themed Cruise Ship Port of Call Opens



    CAMPBELL RIVER, BC, June 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The first of its kind in the
world, the First Nation-themed Wei Wai Kum Cruise Ship Terminal officially
opened today with the arrival of Regent Cruises' 700-passenger Seven Seas
Mariner. Owned and operated by the Campbell River Indian Band, this
$24.5 million terminal development will bring huge, long-term economic
benefits to Campbell River and the entire regional economy with the creation
of over 200 jobs and estimated average annual impacts of $11.4 million.
    "The Campbell River Indian Band is extremely excited to welcome our first
ship and to see our vision of cruise ship come to reality," said Chief Robert
Pollard. "This is not just a great day for the Campbell River Indian Band but
for the City of Campbell River and surrounding communities. This is a success
story for a joint working relationship between a City and a First Nation. It
shows that if governments work together we can create a sustainable community
for all."
    The terminal includes a marketplace area that will introduce visitors to
Laichwiltach culture and traditions and provide retail space for Aboriginal
businesses and entrepreneurs. The First Nation's marketing company As Wild As
You Like will offer passengers a variety of shore packages including First
Nation experiences and adventures, arts and culture, fishing, wildlife
viewing, sightseeing adventures, golf and educational tours.
    Financial support for the project came from Indian and Northern Affairs
Canada ($6.25 million), Western Economic Diversification Canada ($3.2
million), the Province of British Columbia ($4 million) and the City of
Campbell River ($2.3 million).
    "This is a very special day and I want to congratulate and commend the
Campbell River Indian Band for the tremendous effort it put into making this
port of call a reality," said the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Indian
Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and
Non-Status Indians. "A total of $9.45 million in federal funding was provided
to support this project - a project that will not only bring economic benefits
and opportunities to Campbell River Indian Band members but to their
neighbours and the entire region."
    "The Campbell River cruise ship terminal will serve to showcase Canada's
Aboriginal heritage to visitors from around the world," said the Honourable
Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister for
Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification
Canada. "Canada's New Government is committed to working with First Nations to
support their goals of promoting economic development and entrepreneurship and
strengthening communities across Canada."
    "The cruise ship industry is a vital part of BC's tourism sector. In
2006, almost 1.3 million cruise ship visitors contributed more than $1.25
billion to the province's economy. I commend the Campbell River Indian band
and the City of Campbell River for their dedication in bringing this project
to completion," said BC Tourism, Sport and the Arts Minister Stan Hagen. "The
celebration of First Nation culture and history, the draw of wildlife viewing
tours and the excitement of outdoor activities like rafting, kayaking, hiking
and sport fishing that Campbell River offers will leave shore visitors eager
to return to BC for more adventures."
    "For years the people of Campbell River have been watching cruise ships
passing us by. The first stop of the Seven Seas signifies the beginning of a
new phase in the community's long standing tourism history," said Campbell
River Mayor Roger McDonell. "Cruise ship passengers will be greeted at the
First Nation-themed facility and find they have first class opportunities for
shopping and tours while at port in Campbell River."
    "We are pleased to be the first cruise line to call in Campbell River,
and look forward to introducing our guests to the unspoiled natural beauty and
authentic First Nation cultural experiences offered in British Columbia's
newest cruise destination," said Michael K. Pawlus, Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Vice President, Product Planning.

    The Campbell River Indian Band is located on Vancouver Island and has a
population of 628 members. The First Nation has played a significant role in
the growth and development of the local area and region over the past few
years, including the highly successful Discovery Harbour Centre and Marina.

    This release is also available on the Internet at
http://www.inac-ainc.gc.ca or http://www.wd.gc.ca




For further information:

For further information: Jodee Dick, Campbell River Indian Band, (250)
286-6949, cell.: (250) 287-6051; Mayor Roger McDonell, City of Campbell River,
(250) 286-5704, cell.: (250) 203-1573; Valerie Barrett, Indian and Northern
Affairs Canada, (604) 775-7520, (604) 202-5242; Don McDonald,  Ministry of
Tourism, Sports and the Arts, (250) 356-9869, cell.: (250) 213-1667


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