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Tourism Discovery Centre
Williams Lake’s extraordinary Tourism Discovery Centre officially opened its doors in October 2006. Designed by Bernard Perreten Architect Inc., the Discovery Centre is more than just a tourism information centre. This building is a “one of a kind” in the province and poses as a gateway to demonstrate the City’s growing industry and economy as well as its rich history and culture.
The Tourism Discovery Centre is, in total, a 14,596 square foot log structure. The log and timber frame was built by local log home builders, Pioneer Log Homes and Durfeld Log and Timber. The building was finished by general contractor Sprucelee Construction and their sub-contractors.
Pioneer’s grand log post and beam structure comprises the front of the building that houses the reception area, administration, gift shop and washrooms. Using a combination of old world craftsmanship with modern technology and highly skilled craftsmen, Pioneer has integrated intricate mortise and tenon, dove tail notches, and log post and beam to produce sold wood joinery with engineered steel apparatus hidden in the joints, bringing the architects design to life. The centre post with its flared root in tact is approximately 10 feet across and rises over 52 feet. It was sensitively harvested from Bella Coola and estimated to be 745 years old. These feature type posts are one of Pioneers trademark signatures. Natural forked posts, nature
Durfeld’s unique engineered wood truss system covers the main exhibit area in the rear of the building, creating a spacious venue for the Centre’s range of displays. The creation of each of these truss chords was adapted from European traditional timber framing techniques where larger diameter timbers were not always available and so the solution was to put 2 or more timbers together to provide an incredibly strong beam; a technique rarely even seen in Europe anymore. The steel elements tie the truss together and provide the tensile strength to the bottom chord of the truss; they also give the truss a lighter and more modern feel.
The display and exhibit package for the TDC has been developed by AldrichPears Associates of Vancouver. The displays range from striking images to 3D elements, all designed to provide an exciting prelude to what the City of Williams Lake and surrounding region offers in regards to travel destinations, entertainment, outdoor recreation, history, art, culture and more. The centre piece of the displays is a 25’ by 25’ scribed log “lodge”, designed and manufactured by Durfeld, which will house a small multi-media theatre.
Development of the Tourism Discovery Centre was supported by a $2 million grant from the Canada-BC Infrastructure Program and $1.2 million from the Northern Development Initiative Trust. In addition, the project received significant contributions from Pioneer Log Homes, Durfeld Log and Timber and their respective sub-trades and suppliers in excess of $200,000. Sprucelee Construction, the General Contractor for the project, submitted an extremely competitive bid that reflected contributions from themselves as well as their various sub-trades. Other contributors to the project, to date, include the BC Ministry of Environment, Cariboo Regional District, Terasen Gas, Tolko Industries, West Fraser Mills, United Concrete and Peterson Contracting.
For more information about the Tourism Discovery Centre, please contact Alan Madrigga, Manager, Economic Development for the City of Williams Lake at 250-392-1764 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tourism Information and Visitor Centre
The Williams Lake & District Chamber of Commerce manage the day to day operations of the Tourism Discovery Centre and a BC Visitor Centre for the City of Williams Lake. The Visitor Centre, located in the Tourism Discovery Centre on Highway 97, offers information on attractions, events, community contacts, and other visitor resources.
Visitors coming to Williams Lake from around the world can rely on the Visitor Centre for travel planning information such as local accommodations, restaurants, and interesting activities. The Centre provides visitor information on Williams Lake, the surrounding area, and the province of British Columbia.
Toll Free: 1-877-967-5253
Local Phone: 250 392-5025
1660 S. Broadway,