Beginning next Tuesday, Prince George will have the opportunity to show off to a host of government leaders from across the country.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities board of directors converges in the city for the final batch of quarterly meetings before their annual conference in Vancouver at the end of May.
Coun. Garth Frizzell was elected to his fourth year as an FCM director last year and has spearheaded the planning of the Prince George visit.
His plan is to have the more than 150 people consisting of delegates, their guests, federation staff and representatives from the coinciding North Central Local Government Association executive meeting leave town buzzing about the city.
"These people are the most influential leaders in local government across Canada," said Frizzell. "So if they're telling a story of how modern Prince George is, that's 10 steps ahead to telling the rest of the world about how we really are in Prince George - smash some of those preconceptions."
Following the first full day of FCM committee meetings, the city is hosting a reception for delegates, on what will also be the city's 98th anniversary.
Mayor Shari Green, Coun. Murry Krause, FCM president Karen Leibovici and a special guest will talk about the city's plans for the centennial.
Delegates have also been asked to bring a stone from their home community which will eventually be used in a piece of public art.
"In Kamloops for instance, Coun. [Nancy] Bepple went into the river nearby and pulled out an amethyst stone that she's bringing to contribute. And Coun. [Heather] Deal from Vancouver went kayaking and picked a stone out of English Bay that she's bringing to represent Vancouver," Frizzell explained.
Following two more days of meetings, delegates will be treated to a special dinner at the Northern Sports Centre March 8.
"The idea was to have them leave Prince George with a picture of everything new and give new perspectives," said Frizzell, who outlined a sports-themed night coinciding with the provincial high school basketball championships and a presence by the 2015 Canada Winter Games.
But the key will be to drive home the idea that it takes a variety of partners and ideas to bind the various northern municipalities.
"So the theme to all of these people as they leave and spread back across Canada is that they didn't just come to Prince George, they came to northern B.C. and that we're stronger because we work together," said Frizzell.
It also took a host of partners to put together the four-day event at no cost to the taxpayer - an estimated $20,000 - thanks to Frizzell bringing in a variety of corporate sponsors and partners from outside Prince George. FCM covers the expenses for the board meetings themselves.
"It's funny that we're starting this on the night that Price is Right is coming to town. Because as far as the Price is Right goes, I think zero dollars to the city is pretty right," he said.
Organizers also found a way to keep visitors in town for an extra night, by organizing study tours for the Saturday afternoon once the board meeting is officially concluded.
Two full bus tours will showcase both the city's bioenergy and medical operations.
"All the reservations [at the Ramada] that had been set aside for the FCM got fully booked quite a while ago. Now there's that extra night that they're going to be in the city, too," said Frizzell.