The Burns Bog Conservation Society is getting more than $100,000 in funding from the provincial government to help get their escape room-style program off the ground.
The funding will come from B.C.’s Job Creation Partnership, and will be used to pay four employees to develop the escape room adventures.
Bog Escape manager Kirsty Peterson said four people have already been hired and are currently doing research for the program. Later, those employees will move on to puzzle development and storylines.
The employees were hired through WorkBC as part of the Job Creation Partnership program, which allows unemployed EI-eligible people the opportunity to gain work experience while they look for long-term employment.
Because of this, more people may be hired for the Burns Bog project as employees move on to new positions.
The Burns Bog escape rooms aren’t entirely new: Peterson helped to create two trial escape rooms, the most recent of which happened in October for Halloween.
Escape rooms are already extremely popular, Peterson said, and moving them out into the bog is an opportunity to help people engage in nature.
“As you carry through the trails, the plant life changes quite a lot,” she said. “They’ll actually have an opportunity as they walk through to see the biodiversity that exists in the Delta nature reserve, and then be able to actually engage with the environment.”
There will be three different escape rooms coming out in May tailored for high school field trips that fit into the new B.C. curriculum.
There will also be four other games open to the general public happening every other weekend in July and August, plus the Halloween escape room will return next fall.
The program couldn’t have happened without funding, Peterson said.
“There’s absolutely no way that we could have pulled off a project of this scope without the government funding, or without some sort of funding anyways.”
The Burns Bog Conservation Society will receive monthly instalments of that $103,270 from the Job Creation Partnership project until February 2018.
*In the print version of this story, Kirsty Peterson was incorrectly identified as “Kristy.” We regret the error and have corrected it above.