Welcome to The First Step business accelerator program.

This program was developed at the request of The Village of Burns Lake and Rio Tinto.

Their want?  A Business Accelerator Program designed to assist small business to transition to the digital world.

I am thrilled that they believed in our vision to help small Canadian business grow during such an unprecedented time.   As a Canadian small business, Fresh Pixel has certainly seen our share of small business challenges and we hope that our experience and knowledge can now benefit others and showcase that you can do this, you can succeed.

We are now hopeful that with additional collaborations between Rio Tinto and towns/cities across the country, this program will be available to small businesses across Canada.

Our Program Sponsor


We are the largest mining and metals company operating in Canada today, with more than 15,000 people working at over 35 locations across the country. As one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, we strive to achieve long-term partnerships with the communities where we operate – whether it is enhancing health and safety infrastructure or supporting educational and sustainability initiatives.

Our extensive operations in Canada include mining interests in iron ore, diamonds, and titanium dioxide. We undertake exploration activities and operate research and development centers, port and rail facilities, technical and sales centers, and hydroelectric facilities in British Columbia and Quebec.

We have longstanding partnerships with communities, businesses and customers across Canada, creating mutual value, improving our performance, and ensuring we lead the way in responsible production. We are invested in Canadians and our communities, and are a committed partner in the stewardship of Canada’s natural resources and sponsor of The First Step Business Accelerator program.

In addition to mining, we are proud to operate some of the most energy efficient and sustainable alumina and aluminum smelting and processing facilities in the world, right here in Canada. In 2019, we achieved Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI)  certification for all of our Canadian aluminum operations, becoming the first company to meet these rigorous performance criteria for responsible production, ranging from greenhouse gas emissions, waste management, and material stewardship, to human rights and protection of biodiversity.

Our Pilot Sponsor


Burns Lake is a diverse community with numerous prosperous business opportunities, industrial activities, and supporting business amenities. We have a strong and proud history of entrepreneurship, with expertise and business clusters in the forest products and related industries. We are surrounded with a wealth of natural resources, beautiful outdoor scenery, exciting recreational activities and events, and we pride our unique and diverse First Nations culture.

The Village of Burns Lake is open for business and our Council is committed to supporting economic development in the community. The municipality works closely with the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako to facilitate business expansion and retention for the Lakes District. The Village Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw offers five full years of tax discounts to encourage industrial developments that utilize local wood fibre, employ local residents and is an excellent way to offset start-up costs. This bylaw is just one of the ways that we are promoting business development in our community. There are numerous capital projects that will be starting construction soon and will help support a myriad of business related opportunities.

The Lakes District has many commercial and industrial properties that are among the lowest cost in the Province, and are certainly an added incentive for investors to the area. The fully functioning Baker Airport located just 15 minutes from the Village of Burns Lake provides a convenient form of transportation with a fully lit 5,000 ft runway to accommodate commercial, camp transfer, and recreational flights. Burns Lake is conveniently located on Highway 16 which is a major trading route for imports and exports from the shipping port at Prince Rupert. We also boast rail services that provide bulk shipping capacity to all destinations in North America.

If you are interested in bringing The First Step Business Accelerator to your community, please contact us here.


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