Thursday, June 5, 2014

Beautiful BC

Natural Selection  

Tourism funding helps Harrison Mills set goals as a destination

Submitted by Summer Dhillon for Tourism Harrison Mills


The beautiful forest at River's Edge. Below, the gazebo is one of the eagle viewing spots at Rowena's on the Harrison River.


he community of Harrison Mills has launched a new destination brand strategy and website to differentiate the emerging tourist hotspot.


When asked what separated Harrison Mills from other communities, local residents and businesses felt that its heritage and history, soft adventure, natural phenomena, and untouched landscape were key focal points.

As stated on the website, Harrison Mills is "a land of pristine wilderness, cascading mountain peaks, tranquil river, and undiscovered treasures. A place where we honour the salmon and marvel at the world’s largest winter gathering of eagles. Where we gather in community and friendship. Harrison Mills– It’s in our Nature."

Located along the Harrison River, west of Agassiz and north of Chilliwack, Harrison Mills is a small community that is, often, confused with Agassiz or Harrison Hot Springs.


Harrison Mills is best known for destinations such as Hemlock Valley Resort, Rowena’s Inn on the River, Sandpiper Golf Course. and Kilby Historic Site.


Tourism Harrison Mills and the community received a huge boost with the recent signing of the Harrison River Salmon Stronghold Charter. There is also the annual Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival which celebrates the largest winter eagle gathering in the world.

Funding for the destination branding strategy was issued as a Community Tourism Opportunity (CTO) partnered funding grant awarded by Destination BC & Vancouver Coast and Mountains in the fall of 2013. The CTO is a province-wide program that provides cooperative funding for eligible tourism activities in communities throughout BC.


The program is designed to assist communities that are in a position to implement their own tourism building initiatives. Successful applicants must have matching funds for their projects, and receive funding after successful completion. The brand was designed by Nova Hopkins Design.

“Harrison Mills isn’t a name that everyone knows yet, but with the work that we are putting into creating awareness of the area that will soon change. The community has always worked in partnership, so moving forward and applying for this partnership funding was a natural step," says Shawna Leung, Director of Community Relations for Vancouver Coast and Mountains Tourism Region.


"It can’t be stressed enough that communities must collaborate with the goal of attracting visitors to the region. It’s about marketing the entire destination and establishing a foundation to build on. I’m confident with the direction Harrison Mills is taking and, speak on behalf of it when I say, they are grateful for the support and invite the world to experience their backyard,” she said.

Harrison Mills is 3 hours from Seattle, 1.5 hours from Vancouver, and 35 minutes from Abbotsford. Guests can arrive by car, boat or plane, or even parachute!

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