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COWICHAN VALLEY REGIONAL DISTRICT

This summer the World’s Largest Hockey Stick & Puck received a facelift by way of a lighting upgrade. Cogent Green Solutions installed new lights on the world famous stick and puck enabling changing colours and patterns in addition to the classic white lights.

World’s Largest Hockey Stick & Puck, Duncan

The community has been asking for some time to modernize the lighting capabilities.  Most recently, Canada’s hockey icon became a natural gathering place for those rallying in sympathy with Humboldt, Saskatchewan following the deadly bus crash in April 2018 involving the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team. Without the technology to change the colours of the lights it was an almost insurmountable challenge to find a way to reflect the Humboldt team colours on the dark background of the stick for a vigil held on the property.

The 665 new lights allow dynamic and colourful opportunities to celebrate and support community and centre activities. The new system is more energy efficient and easier to maintain than the older lighting. The new lights are also expected to hold up better in extreme weather conditions.

The World’s Largest Hockey Stick & Puck was commissioned by the Government of Canada for the Canadian Pavilion at the Expo 1986, in Vancouver, Canada.

Following a bid process, the “Big Stick”, as it is affectionately known, was dedicated at the Cowichan Community Centre in Duncan on May 21, 1988, two years to the day after Expo '86 opened.

WESTSHORE PARKS AND RECREATION (WSPR)

The Physical Literacy Indoor and Outdoor Markings Regional Initiative was unveiled this summer in thirteen recreation centres throughout the Greater Victoria. Through the regional Health and Recreation Partnership Committee,  Greater Victoria Active Communities were awarded a Community Wellness Grant in 2018 from Island Health to fund this project.

Physical Literacy Indoor and Outdoor Markings Regional Initiative

Participating centres had the opportunity to choose indoor or outdoor markings, or decals,  scaled and suitable for their spaces from a selection of colourful standardized templates. Finalized designs include line and zig zag patterns for running, balancing and walking, foot prints for skipping, and lines, dots and lily pads for one and two foot hopping. It is intended that the markings will not only provide an engaging physical literacy activity for centre visitors, but also serve as an educational and conversational piece for continued sharing of the importance of physical literacy and fundamental movement skill development. The markings have been a great hit with kids, parents, and staff and have livened up the hallway.

In September 2019 West Shore Parks and Recreation opened a 17,000 square ft space that was previously occupied by curling ice and has now been converted to an indoor playing surface. The space will remain polished concrete until early 2020, at which point 10,000 sq/ft of artificial turf and 7,000 sq/ft of multipurpose rubber flooring will be installed. The space will be used to accommodate the growing number of sports groups, recreational programming and childcare needs on the West Shore. Traditional sports groups such as soccer, floor hockey, baseball, lacrosse and rugby will benefit from the new space, as well as new and emerging sports and activities such as rhythmic gymnastics, roller skating and trade shows. There will also be an opportunity for the community to use the space for drop-in activities such as pickleball, floor hockey, soccer, and fitness programs.

WSPR was a recipient of a $1.3 million grant through the Canada Infrastructure Program for the Juan De Fuca arena improvement project.  Specifically this provides funding for the required arena floor replacement and other improvements including boards, spectator seating, and change room upgrades. The project will be scheduled for the spring of 2021 as preparations for the project will begin and user groups plan for any loss of facility space.

MAINLAND/SOUTHWEST

MISSION

The District of Mission is partnering with BC Housing, the Mission Association for Seniors Housing and the Mission Seniors Centre Association on the construction of 74 affordable housing units above a new ground floor senior-focused community centre. The community centre portion will be 11,000 square feet and include a mix of activity and meeting space. The facility will be located next to the Mission Leisure Centre and break ground on construction in early October 2019.

Mission has been awarded the provincial launch for Culture Days. On Sept 22 a unique event titled, Mission: A Mosaic of Cultures, was held at Heritage Park Centre and showcased the diversity of the arts and culture community in Mission including visual arts, performing arts, culinary arts, a community collaborative art project, and a special pre-taped message from local multi-platinum selling artist Carly Rae Jepson. The launch set the stage for a full weekend of activities during Culture Days Sept 27-29.

The youth and fitness staff are once again working together to host the 7th Annual Mission Strong Fitness Challenge from Sept 30 – Oct 26. Mission Strong is a four week youth fitness challenge that aims to get youth active. For $30 youth are provided a pass to the Leisure Centre that includes access to swimming, skating, gym, racquet courts, the weight room, special classes specifically for youth, entrance into the tough mudder-style obstacle course at the end of the 4 week period, a t-shirt, and numerous amazing prizes. The popular event sees over 100 youth participate each year.

NEW WESTMINSTER

Construction of the Queen’s Park Sportsplex in New Westminster has officially commenced! The new indoor facility will provide program space for gymnastics, trampoline, ball hockey, badminton, volleyball, and preschool playtime programs.

The Sportsplex will include transparent hockey boards to enhance the playing experience for ball hockey, and allow for spectators to view sporting activities taking place in the facility. Universal washrooms will also serve the community equitably and inclusively. The building, constructed of a pre-engineering frame clad with metal panels, will apply advanced green building principles and will be equipped with high performance passive heating and cooling units, as well as solar panels on the roof. For more information on the project please visit: newwestcity.ca/sportsplex.

Parks and Recreation has partnered with Save Your Skin Foundation and the BC Cancer Agency to offer free sunscreen to the public at Westminster Pier Park from August 14 – September 30, 2019, as part of a pilot program. The pilot will feature an automatic and touchless dispenser with Health Canada approved SPF 30 sunscreen, available to all park users. New Westminster is the first city in the lower mainland to pilot sunscreen dispensers.

New West Skate Park
New West Skate Park at Queen’s Park

The recently completed New West Skate Park at Queen’s Park was the third stop of Canada Skateboard’s National Event Series this summer. The series helped to establish the Canadian National Skateboard Ranking List and created a platform for Canadian skateboarders to earn the potential opportunity to represent Canada at events leading into the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The bowl-style destination skate facility is designed for all ages and abilities.

Other completed Parks projects include two new off-leash dog areas: one in the Queensborough neighbourhood at Ryall Park, and another downtown at Simcoe Park. Improvements were made to the Queen’s Park Playground and Spray Park, and Tipperary and Grimston Parks saw significant accessibility improvements throughout.

Parks projects currently underway include redevelopment of the play area at Connaught Heights Park, Hume Park master plan, and new play area design in Westminster Pier Park. New tree planting within parks and open spaces will continue to improve the urban tree canopy.

Proposed design for New West Aquatics and Community Centre­

In the spring of 2019 the City of New Westminster conducted a broad community engagement process to check-in with the community about the developing design for the New West Aquatics and Community Centre­. The process included public information sessions, an online survey, presentations to City Committees, engagement with the NWACC Advisory Panel, the formation of an advisory panel regarding privacy swims, engagement with the Muslim community, and urban Indigenous engagement.

The community expressed their strong support of the proposed facility with over 90% of respondents agreeing that the design supports the goals that were established at the project outset. Many specific functional interests that were expressed have been integrated into the project design as a result of this engagement process. The next step for the project is to establish a name, and over the fall the City will embark upon a process that involves local First Nations, urban Indigenous peoples, and then broad community consultation. For more information please visit the project website: youractivenw.ca

PORT COQUITLAM

PoCo Community Centre Opening
August 27th 2019
Photo: Lisa King

Port Coquitlam celebrated the grand opening of its new community centre in style, with a free barbecue, entertainment, skating, and family activities on August 27. An estimated 5,000 people gathered to explore Phase 1 of the bright, modern Port Coquitlam Community Centre (PCCC) and get a sneak peek at the amenities in the project’s first phase: two of the three planned ice arenas, Terry Fox Library, multipurpose spaces for all ages, a lounge and kitchen, games room, and a concession. The leisure pool and fitness areas will open soon. On full completion in 2021, the 205,000-square-foot (19,000-square-metre) facility will also feature a spectator arena, gymnasium, children’s playrooms, outdoor plaza, large hall, and underground parking.

Pride Public Art installation, Port Coquitlam

On August 2, residents celebrated the City’s first Pride Public Art installation. The artwork wraps the fountain area at Leigh Square, next to City Hall, with the Pride Flag (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Indigo, Violet) and the Transgender Flag (Light Blue, White, Pink). The patterned tiles embody the idea of having the confidence to be different and stand out. This area is a place where members of the LGBTQ2+ community and the general public should feel safe, welcomed and celebrated. The installation reflects the City of Port Coquitlam’s continued efforts to embrace all members of the community. The artwork was designed by Steve Baylis, an internationally recognized artist who was born and raised in Port Coquitlam, and was created in collaboration with the Port Coquitlam community.

RICHMOND

Richmond Arts Strategy

Richmond City Council adopted the Richmond Arts Strategy 2019-2024 in July 2019. The Strategy is the result of many months of consultation and public input and will serve as a guide for decision-making to empower ideas, people, and resources around a shared vision and set of goals and strategies. It is rooted in the local context and positions the arts as a means to achieve community goals in economic development, health and well-being, infrastructure, and tourism. Visit www.howartworks.ca to read the strategy and for regular updates.

Richmond World Festival

Celebrating its fifth year, the Richmond World Festival brought music, dance, food and culture from around the world to Minoru Park on August 20 and 31, 2019.

The festival featured over 100 acts on eight stages, including many community-based cultural groups and dance troupes, 60 food trucks and a culinary stage at the FEASTival of Flavours, cutting edge and provocative multimedia art in the Your Kontinent Digital Carnival, spoken word at the World of Poetry, Cowell Kids World and Imagination World at Richmond Public Library. The festival marketplace featured 85 vendors and exhibitors offering everything from traditional indigenous art to exquisite Japanese kimonos.

Richmond’s Family Friendly Drag Showcase

As part of Pride Week Celebrations in Richmond, the City Centre Community Association, in co-operation with the City Community Centre, presented a free family friendly show featuring local drag performers and dancers. The event, which celebrated the LGBTQ2S community, attracted a wide audience of families which included children, youth, and seniors. In addition to the musical and dance performances, there were themed art presentations and an LGBTQ2S history display. The highlight of the evening was when the audience was invited onstage to dance to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”.

New Richmond Lawn Bowling Clubhouse

Richmond City Council has approved the Richmond Lawn Bowling Clubhouse program. The replacement facility will be a 4,900 square foot single-storey building located in the City Centre precinct in Minoru Park. The expanded facility will accommodate larger tournament and club events, with an expanded multipurpose room, change room facilities, and kitchen. While the Richmond Lawn Bowling Club (RLBC) will be the primary user group, community groups will work with RLBC to access any unused space. Next steps in this project include development of form and character and detailed design, with construction beginning in 2020.

Richmond’s Dementia-Friendly Community Action Plan

In September 2019, the City of Richmond joined other municipalities in creating a Dementia-Friendly Community Action Plan for their community. Through the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Age-Friendly Communities Grant, the Dementia-Friendly Community Action Plan will ensure the built environment and programs and services allow those living with dementia to continue to utilize the outdoors, be physically and socially active, and stay  connected.

The City of Richmond received Age-Friendly designation in 2015. Age Friendly communities focus on their social and physical environments with respect to a mix of land-use, street connectivity, access to green spaces, and neighbourhood aesthetics to promote healthy aging, as well as to support residents to maintain social ties to family and friends. Richmond's Dementia-Friendly Community Action Plan builds upon past Age-Friendly initiatives as well as aligns with several other City strategies.

With the involvement of community partners and stakeholders, the actions outlined in the Dementia-Friendly Community Action Plan will ensure all Richmond residents living with dementia and their families and caregivers are connected, supported and valued through public awareness and education, inclusive programs and services and well designed, accessible and supportive built environments.

To learn more, visit the Richmond’s Dementia-Friendly Community Action Plan website.

SURREY

Nicomekl Riverfront Park

The City of Surrey is planning a new riverfront park on the south side of the Nicomekl River in South Surrey. We are in the process of acquiring the last few pieces of parkland that will eventually form a 3 km riverfront connection. This 3 km linear park will extend from Elgin Rd to 40th Ave and includes two large park spaces located at 3652 Elgin Road/14391 Crescent Road and 3600 King George Boulevard. The park will combine environmental, cultural, art, heritage, recreation and social spaces. For more information on this project, visit the City of Surrey's website.

North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex

The North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex opened for user group use on Tuesday September 3. This striking new 110,000 sq. ft facility is home to three sheets of ice, a fitness studio, weight room, cycling studio, yoga / stretch facility, and community meeting spaces.  Designed and built by Francl Architecture and Lark Projects Ltd., the facility features soaring wood ceilings and natural light, and highlights the public art project “Guardian Spirits” by Katzie First Nations artist Trenton Pierre. Ice sheet number two can accommodate 500 spectators and will be home to the Surrey Knights Junior B hockey team. All ice sheets are accessible and designed to accommodate para ice hockey though use of removable benches, clear lexan boards in penalty boxes and player boxes, and level access from ice and dry surfaces. Outdoor features include two sport courts, a playground and a 400m walking and running track.

WHISTLER

The Meadow Park Sports Centre is presently undergoing a cardio room expansion and stretching room addition project with construction valued at $1.4 million. Construction is anticipated to be complete by April of 2020 and this project would not be possible without a generous anonymous donation provided through the Community Foundation of Whistler of $400,000.

THOMPSON/OKANAGAN

ENDERBY

Enderby is the official winner's of ParticipACTION's Community Better Challenge and crowned Canada's Most Active Community, and awarded $150,000 towards physical active initiatives. We had a record breaking aquatic Aqua fit season at Enderby Pool – smashing a record with 80 participants in one class. Enderby is beginning to look at a new outdoor pool facility, and the architect hired for design to present to community.

We are working on fundraising for a 5th diamond at Riverside Ball Park. We now have more requests than space for our ball diamonds.

Other highlights:

  • Proclaimed National Health & Fitness Day;
  • Enderby Recreation Services became a “True Sport” Member;
  • Fall Programs have been very successful with most classes filling and wait lists started;
  • Fun Hockey program has become very popular with over 20 players registered;
  • Increase in number of classes and participation in fitness programs;
  • Our biggest challenge continues to be space (especially in the evening) and trained staff to lead programs.

OSOYOOS   

This past summer Osoyoos welcomed the Wibit inflatable waterpark to our community providing even more fun for tourists and locals.

This fall we are excited to provide some new programs including “Introduction to Parkour” and a new partnership with Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre who will be providing early years programming for children 0-6 in the community.

West Bench Dog Park was completed and is being used well.

We are in the process of installing direct digital controls at our community center to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and become more carbon neutral.

The Accessibility and Age Friendly committee has been pro-active in identifying issues related to the needs of the community. We have also been awarded a grant to offset the installation of a wheelchair lift at the Sun Bowl arena.

OLIVER

The Oliver Parks and Recreation administration office is currently being renovated, operations have moved over to the seasonal pool building now that it has closed and the target end date for the project is October 31. Thanks to the support of the local community and the project being a $100,000 BCAA Play Here contest winner, construction on the Oliver Small Wheels Park will begin on October 22.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is waiting with much anticipation for notification about the status of our application to the Canada Investing in Recreation Infrastructure program for capital improvements for the 50-year old Oliver & District Arena.

SUMMERLAND

Phases one and two of the Giant’s Head Mountain Trails Redevelopment Project were completed in September.  This project focused on building a trails plan, which balances recreational opportunities with conservation and protection of environmentally sensitive areas. Project components included trail improvements, trail decommissioning, a new multi-use trail, safety guardrails, wayfinding signage and park entrance improvements.

The previous Parks & Recreation Commission Bylaw was repealed and was replaced with the creation of Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee to bring it in alignment with other committees of Council.

The District of Summerland has engaged a consultant to conduct community engagement and develop long-term recommendations for outdoor Pickleball courts, tennis courts and off-leash dog parks in Summerland.

At the 2019 Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Convention, the District of Summerland and partners are seeking meetings with provincial Ministers of Education, Health, Municipal Affairs and State for Child Care to identify the support and partnership opportunities for the creation of a Summerland Community Health and Wellness Center. In recognition of community health and wellness needs and aspirations within the South Okanagan and the opportunity for a joint partnership, the District of Summerland, School District 67, Penticton Indian Band, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen and South Okanagan Similkameen Division of Family Practice will look to sign an agreement in principle to commence a process for the creation of a Summerland Community Health and Wellness Center. The District of Summerland and SD#67 Board of Education agree that a collaborative approach is the best way to fulfill many needs: clinic space for primary care teams; a recreation complex that includes a new gym for high school / community use; swimming pool and recreation facilities and childcare space. The opportunity to make efficient use of land resources in the community and respond to urgent health care needs such as childcare and health related space, would provide a long-lasting impact for our community.

WEST KELOWNA

The City of West Kelowna is currently undertaking a Recreation Programming and Facilities Master Plan. The intent is to evaluate current programming availability, determine strengths, gaps, and weaknesses and then establish if there are any renovations to facilities or new facilities necessary to improve the programming in the community.  Expedition Management Consulting has been contracted to undertake the process and produce the Master Plan. Community consultation took place in mid September with a draft plan created by early 2020 and the final plan to be adopted by City Council at the end of April of 2020.

GOLDEN

The summer outdoor pool season has now wrapped up. It was a good summer for Golden, however we had our struggles with being short staffed at the start of the season. As a result we had some great local folks dust off the whistles and get re-certified to lifeguard for us this summer.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is just in the process of kicking an indoor pool feasibility study into high gear. More to come as the consultant is announced.

A new trails alliance working group has formed to serve the greater region. This is another CSRD lead project with the Town of Golden Recreation Department sitting on the committee.

Our cycling club constructed a new mountain bike jump line trail on Town of Golden parkland. Lots of great reviews on this new park feature, with funding c oming through grants secured by our cycling club. We are also supporting our cycling club with the development of an Adoptive Trail, with funding provided by the Resort Municipality Initiative.

Our Rec Plex gymnasium is busier than it has ever been!  Some of our drop in programming is growing. Most notably a new walking program that has integrated various low impact workout stations and regular guests including our community paramedic.  Private fitness operators are now booking up the majority of our down time in the building.

Our new disc golf course has been very well received with 35+ people heading out for a round daily. Volunteer efforts have tackle a bunch of brushing work on the course. This serves a double purpose for the course and interface forest fire management.

The arena is busy with our usual number of Calgary groups booking up tournaments for all weekends that we have minimal local interest.

We have been working away at various edits on our space allocation booking policy.

CARIBOO

PRINCE GEORGE

The City of Prince George and the Blackburn Community Association are working together in an exciting partnership supporting the opening of a new RE/MAX all wheels adventure park this fall.

The new Wood Innovation Square opened in downtown Prince George this summer. It’s the first new park space downtown since the creation of Canada Games Plaza, which accompanied the opening of the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre in 1994. As indicated in the 2018 Annual Report for the City of Prince George, enhancing the downtown area is a Council priority. In addition to Wood Innovation Square, the City has been leading initiatives related to improved safety and security, increased and coordinated delivery of housing and health care services, and enhanced recreation and culture. Prince George has nearly 120 parks covering close to 12 square kilometres – nearly three times the area of Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

In order to provide for employee succession, provide resources to achieve Council’s work plan priorities and balance workloads, the City of Prince George went through some organizational changes this summer to better serve our community. The Prince George Community Services portfolio will include responsibility for Emergency Programs, Aquatics, Conference and Civic Centre, Exhibition Park and Community Arenas, Police Support Services, and Sports and Civic Events. Our Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships division was expanded, in order to better focus on the increasingly complex area of social health and wellbeing. Additional resources were added including a Supervisor, Community Well-Being and Partnerships and three City Community Coordinators transferred to this newly-formed division.

WILLIAMS LAKE

Through community collaboration, a fourth Live 5-2-1-0 Playbox is being installed in one of the City’s main parks. The funds for the box were donated by the Ladies of the Royal Purple and the box will have the traditional green imaging replaced with the donor’s color of purple. Williams Lake businesses and organizations have been generous to sponsor one free public skate per month and a local pizza company is donating pizza for three Family Swim and Pizza nights during the winter months.

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