Community was the word of the day as Encana announced that they would be continuing their sponsorship of the Encana Events Centre in Dawson Creek on Wednesday, Sept. 19.
The Canadian natural gas company will be lending its name to the facility for an additional five years as part of a new $600,000 commitment to Global Spectrum Facility Management.
“The Encana Events Centre is a catalyst for economic development and provides diverse recreational and entertainment opportunities [that] increase the quality of life [of] the citizens of Dawson Creek and [the] surrounding region,” said Ryan MacIvor, general manager of the Encana Events Centre. “This is another defining moment for the venue.”
“This is great for the City of Dawson Creek and obviously for the facility,” said Dawson Creek Mayor Mike Bernier.
“The last five years, it’s been the Encana Events Centre,” he continued. “It’s going to be great to keep that name recognition for another five years.
“It’s great to have Encana come forward.”
“Renewing our sponsorship for five more years is just another show of our commitment to the community over the long term,” said Michael Forgo, vice president of business services and stakeholder relations with Encana’s Canadian Division.
“Our community relations and investment program means that we want to participate and give back to the community,” he added. “So, this is just one way of doing that.”
In recognition of their support, Encana was presented with a pair of acoustic guitars signed by country music stars Gord Bamford and Miranda Lambert, as well as their set lists from shows at the Encana Events Centre.
A plaque thanking Encana and their Cutbank Ridge partner Mitsubishi Corporation for their support was also unveiled during the event, which was attended by Max Oda, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Canada and Shinya Miyazaki, CEO of Cutbank Dawson Gas Resources, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi.
“I’m very happy to have a chance to visit here,” said Miyazaki
“And we are enjoying very good support from the community and the province and the country itself,” he added, noting that Mitsubishi is working on other ventures in British Columbia as well.
Mitsubishi is one of three Asian-based partners, along with Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) and PetroChina Company, participating in the LNG Canada liquefied natural gas (LNG) project led by Shell Canada.
“Trying to get more and more involved in gas industry here,” said Miyazaki.
Miyazaki remarked that they don’t have the same opportunity to interact with the Dawson Creek community as their partner because Encana is the operator of the Cutbank Ridge project.
“But we do like to have more and more opportunity to visit and see many people here,” he said.
“I visited here in the winter and the summer as well,” he continued. “And we see it’s a very lovely, beautiful place, both in winter and summer.”
“They are very interested in learning more about the community, being part of the investment program this partnership brings to the areas in which we operate and really happy to be here today,” Forgo said of Mitsubishi.
Bernier was thrilled that the Mitsubishi representatives could take part in the sponsorship announcement.
“It’s great to have people from Mitsubishi who have come all the way to Dawson Creek,” he said. “They’ve obviously had a huge investment in the Cutbank Ridge play. But, more importantly, their comment to me is that investment also means [impacts to] the community. And they want to be part of this announcement today to make sure that they’re part of everything that goes on.
“Even though it’s going to be, technically, Encana’s name, this is a partnership with Mitsubishi as well. They have said that they want to be involved in the growing of Dawson Creek.”
“I think it’s important,” added Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom.
“Obviously, Encana is a major player in our area,” he continued. “From day one, when they came in, it wasn’t just about the resource. It was about saying, ‘We want to work with the community in the region. We want to make sure that as we extract this resource, we can maintain the quality of life. We can actually contribute back to the social well being of the region and the community.’
Lekstrom reiterated the importance of natural gas projects such as Cutbank Ridge to the provincial economy, but also noted that those economic benefits should never trump the health of the community.
“The partnership they’ve developed with Mitsubishi is one… where we all share the same thing,” he said. “The resource is important to us. We’re a resource rich province. It’s what drives our economy. But it’s never more important than actually maintaining our environment or the sustainability of our communities. So, a huge thank you.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Encana now going back to when I served as mayor of Dawson Creek. I think they do a tremendous job for us. And every day we’re always trying to find out what we can do better.
“And I know that’s their motto as well.”
Of course, even businessmen aren’t all business all the time.
Miyazaki added,“Very much looking forward to playing golf.”