The ground may be frozen during the 2015 Canada Winter Games, but the heart of the city could have a river running through it.
On Monday night, city council will hear from the consultants charged with making over the Civic Plaza for the Games. Vancouver-based van der Zalm and Associates have zeroed in on a design concept known as The River for the space, which will be the medal ceremony and celebration hub during the two-week event.
The designers came up with two concepts, the other known as The Cell, before putting them out to various stakeholders for consultation. The stakeholder groups surveyed included mayor and council, the public library, Tourism Prince George, the Lheidli T'enneh, Two Rivers Gallery, the advisory committee on accessibility and community policing.
A report to council from community services director Colleen van Mook said that 81 per cent of those surveyed indicated the River design's "fluvial geomorphology" theme - the way the land is shaped by movement of rivers - "provided a more authentic connection to the regional character of Prince George."
If council supports the concept, van der Zalm and Associates will move forward with more design details and cost estimates.
The city has budgeted $50,000 for the design work and $500,000 in total for the plaza facelift.
The general public will have the chance to view the design and provide feedback during an open house at the Civic Centre on Tuesday, between noon and 2 p.m. and again between 5 and 7 p.m. Any changes to the design would be made before the project goes out to tender in early 2014. Construction is expected to begin in early spring, with the official opening scheduled for next November.
Council will also vote to approve changing the name of the Civic Plaza to Canada Games Plaza/Place des Jeux du Canada. Finalizing the change is a requirement of a promise to incorporate the word "Canada Games" in an official facility name made in the hosting agreement for the 2015 event.