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The road to Maple Ridge
The City of Maple Ridge will be hosting the 2020 BC Summer Games and more than 2,800 athletes, 550 coaches and 350 officials will gather in Maple Ridge for four days of celebration and competition from July 23 – 26, 2019. Sports included in the 2020 Games are athletics, baseball, basketball, canoe/kayak, equestrian, golf, lacrosse (box and field), rowing, rugby, sailing, soccer, softball, swimming, synchronized swimming, towed water sports, triathlon, volleyball (indoor and beach) and wrestling.
“The BC Games are a unique opportunity to bring together many partners in a positive celebration of sport and community,” said Alison Noble, President and CEO of the BC Games Society. “We look forward to providing a Games experience that will inspire our young athletes to achieve success and build leadership skills both on and off the field of play.”
Maple Ridge Parks, Recreation & Culture (PRC) staff are currently supporting the recruitment of the Executive Committee. A volunteer recruitment drive is slated to kick off in late 2019.
Community Champions: Telling Our Citizens’ Stories
Community Champions is a new, Maple Ridge Parks, Recreation & Culture (PRC) citizen recognition campaign (run for the first time in Summer 2018) where the community nominates their exceptional neighbours according to five categories: artists, athletes, volunteers, storytellers and barrier breakers. Four nominees are chosen by a panel of judges, and will each participate in a photoshoot and interview. The Community Champions will also be featured on the front cover of our four seasonal program guides including an interior full page spread that shares their interview and connects citizens to the resources, services and activities that make each of them unique.
The recognition campaign will run for the second time in 2019 and those chosen will be featured in upcoming 2020 guides.
To check out the latest Community Champion, you can view the PRC program guide here.
Children’s Art Festival 2019
BC Family Day marked the 11th annual Children’s Arts Festival public event in Richmond and welcomed 2,000+ guests. Children and their families were invited to spark their imagination through music, hands-on art activities and literary and performing arts experiences. Taking place at the Richmond Cultural Centre, the community enjoyed a vibrant, colourful atmosphere with interactive workshops, activities and events tailored for children ages 3 to 12.
The week-long festival also continued from February 19- 22. During these days, the festival hosted nearly 2,000 students from 19 participating schools through field-trips to the Children’s Arts Festival. Students had the opportunity to learn from professional artist instructors, enjoy a large assortment of drop-in arts activities, and take in performances, while teachers experienced new methods and ideas to take back to their classrooms.
Neighbourhood Celebration Grant Program
Neighbourhoods are the cornerstone of Richmond’s communities. The Richmond Neighbourhood Celebration Grant Program was designed to facilitate grassroots events such as picnics, BBQs, block parties, or even a family-friendly movie night in the park. These events aim to create a sense of neighbourhood pride and identity, while connecting residents with their local streets, parks and green spaces.
City Council has allocated $75,000 to this grant program for 2019. Overall, a total of 54 applications were submitted, 44 of which received some level of funding ranging from $300 to $2,400. Projects will take place between April and September of 2019 throughout various neighbourhoods in Richmond.
Recreation and Sport Strategy
The City of Richmond Recreation and Sport Strategy 2019-2024 was adopted by Council in December 2018. The purpose of the strategy is to guide the work of the Community Services Division, and especially the Recreation and Sport Services Department, over the next five years.
Building on the vision for the Richmond Sport for Life Strategy (2010-2015) and the Sport for Life philosophy, the new strategy will focus on ensuring that exceptional recreation and sport opportunities are available in Richmond. The Recreation and Sport Strategy 2019-2024 is a commitment by the City of Richmond to work with its partners, stakeholders and citizens to enhance the quality, reach and scope of recreation and sport services, programs, facilities, and amenities for the benefit of all Richmond residents. The Strategy provides an opportunity to help inspire residents to be physically active and connected to their community for a lifetime.
You can view Richmond’s newly adopted Recreation and Sport Strategy 2019-2024 here.
With the building of both a new curling and arena facility, the City of Chilliwack has been in full construction mode these past few seasons.
The Chilliwack Curling and Community Centre was completed in November of 2018 and has already been extremely busy. The facility, which is operated by the community curling club, hosted its first major event, the Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships, March 22-28, 2019 with 14 Men’s and 14 Ladies teams from each province and territory. The community space in the new facility allowed for the victory banquet to be catered and hosted in house for the very first time.
The third sheet of ice, located next to the existing Twin Rinks facility, is fast on its way to being completed. Although the building will be stand-alone, it will complement the two existing sheets of ice right next door to it thereby initiating a name change from Twin Rinks to Sardis Sportsplex.
After a “soft” release of the Youth Engagement Program last fall, the winter saw a more aggressive marketing of the program in January. YEP as it is abbreviated, is the third stream of the City of Chilliwack Neighbourhood Grant Program and focus on initiatives created and implemented by youth between the ages of 13- 19. The City of Chilliwack will match funding for any project, event or program that meets the criteria of the programs, and also provide a staff liaison to assist.
As with many other communities, the City of Chilliwack is in the process of implementing the new Perfect Mind software program which went live at the beginning of January.
The City of New Westminster Parks and Recreation is continuing down the path of upgrades and improvements this year, recently completing the new Queen’s Park Skate Park in March. The bowl-style destination skate facility is designed for all ages and abilities and is located next to the future site of the Queen’s Park Sportsplex. The new, 12,000 sqft steel structure will accommodate all the programs that took place in the previous Queen’s Park Arenex. Construction is expected to begin at the end of August with completion set for March 2020.
The future New Westminster Aquatic and Community Centre project has now moved to the design-development phase. The intent is to create an iconic building within the City that will act as a destination and a beacon of the community. The centre is set to be a widely used indoor & outdoor recreation and socialization space for all ages. This spring, presentations of the schematic design will be presented at open houses and through various engagement channels. Design construction is projected for 2020. For up-to-date project information please visit the project website.
Several parks and parklet spaces are also in the midst of planning, construction and upgrades. The well-known Expo Tugger on the Waterfront Esplande has reached the end of its life cycle and will be replaced with a new place space featuring three smaller tug boats pulling a barge with climbing mounds and seating, paying homage to the history of New Westminster and the Fraser River. This project is set for completion by August 2019. Construction has begun on the fully accessible pedestrian overpass from Sixth Street to Westminster Pier Park. Queen’s Park will open its new public washroom featuring an innovative gender-inclusive design and public art in May 2019. Tipperary Park received updates to it pathways and proposals for a Quayside Riverfront Park (expanding Westminster Pier Park) and a revamped Connaught Heights Park Playground are well underway.
VANCOUVER ISLAND / SOUTH COAST
A gathering was held for Vancouver Island/Coast Region BCRPA members February 22 at Vancouver Island University – Nanaimo. The weather contained itself enough to enable almost 90 members from across the region to attend this networking gathering. The morning included Holly-Anne Burrows presenting an update on all the activities BCRPA has underway, a lively panel on the challenges and benefits of four generations in the workplace and a presentation by Joanne A. Schroeder, MA on “Recreation Prescription Project” – a research project underway in the Nanaimo area. The afternoon was spent in facilitated table discussions on a range of topics relevant to the parks and recreation field. The room buzzed with energy and feedback was very positive.
West Shore Parks and Recreation
Over the past year West Shore Parks & Recreation has made big steps towards increasing knowledge and programming in Physical Literacy.
WSPR staff have been working with Sport for Life and the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) to learn the tools and techniques to engage all our participants in Physical Literacy. This included taking the lead in the PLAY Sooke – West Shore, a collaborative group to help educate, train and sustain the Health, Recreation, Education, Sport and Media community in their Physical Literacy journey. Partners within this collaborative include: SD62, Island Health, PISE, SEPARC, CRD and UVIC along with a number of others.
In addition to these partnerships, WSPR has also added programs where the sole purpose is engaging children in Physical literacy. Staff have been running Before & After school programs with David Cameron Elementary, John Stubbs, and Spencer Middle schools, along with in-school program times with West Shore Learning and Shoreline Community schools to help get children and youth active and engaged in Physical Literacy.
WSPR could not achieve this engagement without support from the Physical Literacy for Communities grant, (supported by BC Physical Activity Strategy and delivered by Sport for Life), Island Health Wellness grant, and Jumpstart Funding.
An increase in registration in a number of program areas is notable. “The RunSport Times Colonist 10K Training Clinic,” has seen an increase of 44.4% in participation in Winter 2019 over Winter 2018. As well, the demand for specialty art, dance, yoga, and cultural programs for children is increasing in the community. The JDF Pottery Studio drop-in usage is at an all-time high, selling out of drop in passes in early Winter. The studio will host its first Smoke Firing Workshop in April.
The Victoria Grizzlies of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League, who play out of the Q Centre, are having a season to remember! After winning the Island Division and then winning their first 2 rounds of playoffs against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs and Powell River Kings, they are moving onto the 3rd round against the Prince George Spruce Kings. The Grizzlies, which boasts four NHL draft picks, including Alex Newhook, a potential 1st rounder, hopes to continue playing hockey long into April.
Four local elementary schools, focusing on grade 5 students, have been invited to participate in a project which involves photography using photovoice; a pre, mid and post health assessment with a primary care provider; a wellness survey, and a 16 week recreation program.
Enderby’s recreation department is continually expanding and evolving. Enderby and District Recreation Services programming has increased to offer adult fitness classes, youth programs, Self-Care Workshops, Babysitting Courses, Spring Break Camps, Skating Programs, Hockey Programs, Aquatic Fitness, Swim Lessons, and Training programs.
Our community is proud to welcome back Enderby Minor Baseball to add to our large ball community. Enderby is now home to 4 Minor Baseball teams, 12 Minor Fastball teams, and 28 Adult Slowpitch teams along with a 40-team Funtastic tournament. With the increase of ball users there has been a feasibility study done to add a fifth diamond to Riverside Park.
The beginning stages have commenced for a new outdoor pool in Barnes Park to replace the current pool which was built in 1953. It will be adjacent to the new Spray Park which was built in 2017.
We are working with the Shuswap Trail Alliance on the Rail Trail from Sicamous to Armstrong.
The Enderby Memorial Arena will be painted this summer and flooring replaced. The Enderby Drill Hall which hosts many programs, will have its floors resurfaced this summer.
Municipalities in the Central Okanagan were successful in a UBCM Child Care Assessment Grant. The funded project will collect information regarding the child care needs of the community (Lake Country to Peachland); create an inventory of existing child care spaces; identify space creation targets over the next 10 years; and identify actions that can be taken to meet those space creation needs. It will also help to understand the specific needs of underserved populations in the Central Okanagan and identify actionable steps to address them. This was a collaborative grant application with the City of Kelowna, City of West Kelowna, District of Lake Country, and District of Peachland.
In 2018, Peachland Recreation added a new seasonal part-time Rec Clerk position. The new employee, Tamie, works evenings and Sundays from September through April. Since implementing the position, Peachland Recreation has been able to expand service to include programming on weekends and during the late evening.
After years of planning and contributions by the Peachland Pier Society comprising members of the Peachland Lions Club, Rotary Club of Peachland, and the Peachland Sportsmen’s Association, construction of the Peachland Pier is now complete. The 800’ long, wheelchair accessible pier includes 9 fishing bays, 3 of which will be wheelchair accessible, 8 benches, historical information plaques, and ambient lighting. Fishing poles will be available for day use.
A new dog park has opened in Osoyoos! The previous dog park has reverted back to a second baseball diamond. While pickleball continues to be the most popular program offered, archery is growing in popularity. The Sonora Community Centre has run three extremely successful archery programs over the last year, targeting children, adults and seniors. Work is also currently being done to create a Community Garden in partnership with Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre.
2019 is going to be an exciting year in West Kelowna as one major project, a new staff member and a Master Plan are all on the horizon.
Construction will begin in the immediate future on a new Multi-Sport Facility that will allow for indoor soccer and other sport use. Designed as a Super 8 sport dome, the facility will have an approximately three quarter size fields that can also be divided into two small fields, or four even smaller fields, to accommodate games, practices and other uses. The City is looking forward to local sport organizations usage and recreation programming opportunities to enhance existing sites. The facility will be open year round and will be air conditioned for the summer months. Construction is to be concluded by the end of October, just in time for the winter season of indoor programming.
New Staff Addition
The Recreation and Culture Department will be adding a Recreation Assistant position to assist in the introduction of the Multi-sport facility and assist office staff and recreation programming staff keep up with community demand. The position is scheduled to begin the latter half of 2019, will be full time, and will have a broad cross section of work responsibilities to make the Department more efficient.
Recreation Programming and Facility Master Plan
Staff are currently reviewing submissions by consulting firms to conduct a Recreation Programming and Facility Master Plan. It is hoped that the hiring of the selected firm will be concluded by the middle of April and work will begin immediately thereafter with a final report completed by the end of the year.
The Plan will be in two phases:
1. Evaluate the existing provision of Recreation Services in West Kelowna and determine where the strengths, weaknesses and gaps exist. The evaluation will not be solely of the City provided programs but all programs offered by partners such as Boys and Girls Clubs, Active Living (Johnson Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre), Seniors Centre, and other providers in the community. The resulting assessment will take into consideration any demographic shifts the community is experiencing. Extensive community consultation will be undertaken to gather the information needed to do this assessment.
2. Using the information gathered, an evaluation of needed recreation facilities will be undertaken to make the City aware of what types of facilities are needed over the next 20 years to meet the recreation programming needs of the community.
Stay tuned and keep your eye on West Kelowna as 2019 progresses.
Regional District Okanagan Similkameen
Recreation service has been enhanced in 9 electoral areas, including increased staffing for recreation.
We have received Plan H grant to develop Regional Recreation Approach. These funds supported:
• increasing physical activity in the region;
• targeting priority populations (child/youth, older adults and First Nations);
• five key strategies – walking initiative, older adult, child/youth engagement, First Nation engagement, and Mobile physical activity (PAT).
• creating Terms of Reference for a Task Force who provided insight, shared best practices and were passionate and committed;
• providing leadership training, workshops and delivering quality programs;
• making connecting and collaborating as a priority – a Rec Hub (website, online registration, shared Activity Guides).
Some milestones of note:
• August 2017 – awarded Plan H Grant – Regional Recreation Approach.
• November 2017 – meeting of Task Force and went live with new website: rec.rdos.bc.ca.
• December 2017 – RDOS Play logo
• January 2018 – Trailer wrap and sponsors
• February 2018 – Community Physical Activity survey
• March 2018 truck – PAT’s first visit OSHLC Health Fair – over 60 visits
• May 2018 – Regional Walk Week, Play Boxes for 4 First Nation schools (play boxes)
• Leadership training (Nordic polling, FMS, and others)
• March – Sept 2018 – PAT is on summer tour
Some successes of note:
• Task Force – committed, passionate, cross sector
• Branding and Promotion – website, social media
• Committed sponsors – Jafa, Sunfm, Communities for Kids, Castanet.
• Recreation Hub – rec.rdos.bc.ca
• Leadership training opportunities – FMS, Older Adult, Nordic Polling
• Increased PA opportunities for Priority Populations
• Elevated partnerships – communities, businesses, municipalities, Pacific Sport
• Conducted community physical activity assessments – baseline data
• PAT – trailer, vehicle, equipment, operational strategy
• Support of RDOS organization and recreation team
Our Region is in a state of readiness. This past year there has been terrific momentum around building the Regional Recreation Approach, with energetic partners ready to begin developing and activating a multi-sector community plan. We applied for the Physical Literacy for Communities project, supported by BC Ministry of Health, BC Alliance for Healthy Living and Sport for Life. The project objective is to educate and activate decision makers, build capacity by training leaders and develop physical literacy in multiple settings and sectors.
This is a multi sector approach, as we know it takes a community to raise a physically, socially, intellectually, mentally and emotionally healthy child.
The project outline includes:
• Launch in Sept to provide insight into the What, Why and How of physical literacy;
• Developing the Terms of Reference for Leadership Team
• Leadership Meetings November – December
• Developing Milestones for each Sector
The Summerland Skatepark’s grand opening event is scheduled for June 22, 2019. The $600,000 skatepark had a soft opening in March as the finishing touches were completed.
After an extensive community engagement process, the District of Summerland recently completed three major plans: Cycling Network Master Plan, Trails Master Plan, and Sidewalks Master Plan. You can view them on the District website.
Summerland youth have filled up the new afterschool program #ChangeYourMood. A grant received through BCRPA allowed this program to be subsidized to make it more affordable. The program encompasses strategies to improve mental and physical wellness for youth grades 5-8.
A new program for children and youth, Parkour, was extremely successful with two classes filling up and a third class added due to popularity. Parkour is a fast-paced movement class with participants learning to climb, jump, land, roll, flip, vault and trick with flair.
The Summerland Recreation Department is participating on the Summerland Healthy Living Coalition and participating in the planning of the Summerland Health and Wellness Series (Mental Health Literacy, Candid about Cannabis & Vaping, and Healthy Communities for Youth & Families).
The Lifeguard Academy
In the Spring of 2018, our recreation coordinator made a very pro-active effort to streamline the lifeguard certification process. In partnership with Golden Secondary School and the Golden Swimming Pool a PE course branded the ‘Lifeguard Academy,’ was hosted as an elective class. 13 students enrolled in a class that tacked Bronze Medallion, Bronze Cross, Standard First Aid and National Lifeguard Certification. Three of the students from the program were hired to support 2018 pool operations and five have been hired to help pool operations for the 2019 season.
A programming goal for 2019 is to introduce more lifesaving society courses that are aimed to get youth hooked on aquatics and perusing lifeguard certifications.
For more information, check out this video that re-caps the program.
Fall / Winter Program Diversification
This season has brought significant changes to the operations at the Mount 7 Rec Plex Gymnasium. Drop in programming is now more diverse than ever, with 9 different programs offered over 20 different time slots. This growth has also been complimented in new user groups filling many of the open gym times hosting activities such as aerobics, aerial dance and youth basketball. The facility stage is actively being used as a studio space while other programming is happening on the gym floor. Bookings for children’s birthday parties and public events is also on the rise.
Our winter walking program saw some great growth this past winter with the introduction of various low impact workout stations placed in the centre of the gym, while walkers lap the inside walls of the facility.
Pickleball continues to expand in our community and we are now feeling like we have similar dramatic stories and love for the sport as other communities in our region.
A new Sunday kids play program was introduced that allowed kids to bring runner bikes to the facility challenging a course with some small ramps.
Rotary Trail RMI / Rural Dividend Grant Enhancements
The rotary trail(s) between the campground and Keith King Memorial Park received some major upgrades thanks to grant funding. The new multi-modular trail received a compacted gravel surface upgrade stretching over 2.5km. Hand railings and stairs were added to the original section helping improve the access. Old shortcut and straight lines that presented environmental concerns are now managed with a fencing that directs traffic to the formal trails.
Disc Golf at Keith King Memorial Park
Working in partnership with the Crux Int, an 18 hole disc golf course was built. Construction was completed in mid-November with a grand opening planned for the Spring of 2019. The course is free for all to play offering a forested cover challenge to players of all abilities. Grant funding for this project was secured by the Crux Int NFP Group, with the Town Recreation Department helping administer the project.
Point of Sale
We continue to work on launching our new point of sale system provide by Mais ERec. This past winter we launched sales of drop in, punch card and season passes. We are now attempting to go live with swimming lesson registration for pool operations.
CSRD Pool Feasibility Study
The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is taking the lead on a pool feasibility study for Golden and Area A. The Town of Golden Recreation Department staff will be support the project process through sharing stats and information collected from the operations of the outdoor pool and other facilities.
CSRD Recreation Facilities Referendum
During the fall BC provincial election, the CSRD hosted a successful referendum that now provides 20% operational budget support funding for 4 Town of Golden Recreation Facilities. The Civic Centre (Community Theater / Hall), Mount 7 Rec Plex (community gymnasium), Golden Swimming Pool (outdoor facility), and the Seniors Centre are subject to this tax-based funding. As a result the Town of Golden is making additional contributions to facility reserves.
Quesnel Recreation Services
The City of Quesnel offered a very successful pilot nutrition program this past winter. To date we have had a high volume of inquiries and the program is scheduled to start up again in April 2019. The second program has been delayed due to the huge success and requests the City has received from our community. This program is supported by BCRPA and the Quesnel Arts and Recreation Centre.
Here are a few highlights from the program, Nutrition 2.0 – Nutrition & Lifestyle Coaching Program. This program helps participants answer one of the most important questions one can ask themselves: How can I live the longest, healthiest life possible? Each participant has different needs and goals when it comes to health and wellness, but one thing is certain: a balanced, healthy diet is crucial to being fit and it’s more complex than simply calories in – calories out. Getting professional advice and coaching can help you lose weight, gain muscle and improve your overall health.
Led by nutrition consultant, Joelene Berry, this 8 week program covers topics such as portion sizes, benefits of strength training, learning nutritional values and important roles of fats, proteins and carbs in our diet and how they work with our bodies. Reading food labels, what really is in the food we eat, and many other important questions that relate to everyone in the program. She covers topics of mindfulness and meditation, how to overhaul your kitchen, how to create healthy habits and most of all how to stay on track and make this a life change.
This program is about creating a workable plan that is tailored to the participant’s unique needs and goals. Everyone will take away something a little different depending on what their personal goals are. We in Quesnel are very excited about this program, and the success of it, along with the lifelong changes people can make in their lives moving forward.
The second program the City of Quesnel is featuring is back by popular demand: BCRPA Stomping in the Mud for children ages 5-13.
BCRPA Stomping in the Mud is a great way to introduce children to all the wonders of the spring season. This program takes children outdoors once a week to explore and discover all the warmer weather has to offer. They will create tree tic-tac-toe boards in the forest, make egg sprout “men” and watch them grow, build butterfly feeders, paint an acrylic northern light “paint-pouring” masterpiece and play old-school favorite games like potato sack racing, spoon and egg races, and much, much more. Children are provided with a healthy after school snack, as well as hot chocolate and marshmallows on those cold spring afternoons. This program is hosted in the Quesnel Arts & Recreation Centre, with most of the interactive activities outside.
Quesnel – bringing kids into nature.
Photo submitted by Tarin Lefebvre, City of Quesnel Recreation Services
Over the past two years, the City of Prince George has partnered with Engage Sport North and six Prince George Community Associations to provide Sport Discovery Community Try-It! events. These Try-It! events are a free opportunity to try a sport lead by an experienced instructor with all the equipment provided. Some of the Try-It! events include archery, jiu jitsu, curling, cross-country skiing, pickleball, wheelchair basketball, soccer, badminton and much more. This year we added a whole new dimension and expanded some of the lengths of the programs. Mini-programs of 4 – 6 weeks were put into play to provide participants an opportunity to explore a sport further and enhance their skill development by practicing once a week for 4 to 6 weeks. There is a nominal fee to participate in the Mini-programs. These programs are dependent on partnerships, spaces, and capacity that has grown over the past two years to the success it is now.
Another program that has been very successful is the Heritage Heroes Certificate. Developed by the Heritage Commission (a Prince George City Council appointed Commission), these attractive certificates are signed by the Mayor and are given out by the Heritage Commission to individuals, organizations or businesses that have tried to either preserve or restore a heritage building or have initiated some sort of heritage education or outreach program. The Heritage Heroes Certificates are a nice way to acknowledge the good work of community members. Many of these Heroes are volunteers and residents in our community that help us to savor our past and keep it alive for our future.
The District of Mackenzie has been working hard to put all the new amenities from recent renovations into operation. Recreation Services Staff have worked hard to become trained and skilled to be ready for participants on the new Climbing Wall. The climbing wall, which is located in the same room as our new play-gym, can engage six to eight patrons rotating through four routes at a time. The routes vary in difficulty, ensuring a full climbing wall experience for everyone. The current attendance fees at the Recreation Center include access to the new wall. If participants do not have your own climbing equipment, equipment can be rented. Climbing shoes and harnesses are available at the front desk on a fist come first served basis. Trained staff members are also on hand for approximately 75 minutes per participant. The sessions are scheduled, and blocks of time are important to ensure all patrons get a chance to try out this wall. The staff at the Recreation Center are looking forward to this new community amenity! As the Staff become accustomed to the operations of these pre-planned sessions and courses, bouldering and drop-in Climbing times will be added after the spring trial period. The climbing community, especially OVERHANG in Prince George and our key partner High Performance Climbing Walls (Andrew Higginson), have supported our training, development and the start of our new operations. We would not be ready without this supportive environment.
The second new feature as a result of the recent renovations is an upgraded, state of the art play-gym in the Recreation Center. The new play-gym has scheduled hours of operation to ensure that young ones are being supervised when using the amenity. The play gym is available for children 9 years and under, and is geared to those youngsters not yet ready, or just starting school. This is an excellent interactive area with a slide, balls, climbing, rollers and more. The newest addition to the guidelines allows parents and guardians to engage a babysitter (certified with the babysitting course or over 16 years) to assist with the supervision requirements. We have had some growing pains, as there have been a few issues with the use of the play-gym, the facility design and age limits. Comments forwarded to Recreation Services helped us be responsive as the space becomes more and more utilized.
The Family Frostville Event was held in Mackenzie at John Dahl Park on Monday February 18, 2019. This event was free for and all residents as a part of the Family Day Celebrations. The John Dahl Park features walking trails, large wide-open spaces and is a favorable terrain for winter activities. This event featured the nordic sport of biathlon. The local Mackenzie Air Cadets performed the event in real time, and we cheered them on while they demonstrated their skills. After the demonstration, families were able to participate in the experience by performing similar skills to those required in the sport of Biathlon – namely cross country skate skiing and target shooting.
This event had a bonfire to warm up and hot chocolate and hot dogs for anyone needing to refuel after the activities. The Recreation Center rented out snow shoes, which were used in place of skis, and the shooting skills were competitive, using airsoft guns. An oval was groomed to ensure a flat, easily accessible ski track that allowed all ages and fitness levels to test out the sport and enjoy a fantastic event.
The purpose of the Frostville Family Day Event was to encourage families to engage in a new and physically active sport in the outdoors. The idea that the whole family would be able to participate together was paramount for this event. This type of special event activity aligns closely with the strategic goals and priorities set by the District of Mackenzie’s Mayor and Council. Specifically, the goal to remove physical and social barriers that may impede full participation of all our citizens in every aspect of community life.
Family Day was introduced in BC in 2013 to recognize the great contributions that families make to our lives, our communities and our province. Supporting families to be strong, happy and healthy is essential to building a healthy BC. Family Day is a day to get together with all the people who, for each of us, make up our family. Communities around the province created special events and activities to help bring families and communities together.
Event grants were made available by the Province of BC, in partnership with BCRPA, to support local governments and First Nations Bands/Councils in coordinating family-based, admission-free events in celebration of BC Family Day. Mackenzie Recreation Services applied for and received $1000 through this grant opportunity. These funds assisted in the ability to host the Frostville event for participants free of charge. The Fire Department, Public Works Department and Recreation Services all contributed to the success of this event.
The Prince Rupert Recreation Complex recently hosted yet another highly successful, “All Native Basketball Tournament,” celebrating 60 years of nail-biting game play and exciting competition! This tournament continues to grow year after year and recreation staff are thrilled to be involved with such a great community event.
During the annual Earl Mah Aquatic Centre shut down, much needed repairs were completed to the mezzanine doors, skylights, and grouting. Additionally, the hot tub received a complete rehabilitation and now boasts new lighting capabilities for patrons to enjoy. These renovations were not only necessary, but also significantly improved energy efficiency within the facility.
Renovations done to Earl Mah Aquatic Centre
The newly named Terrace & District Aquatic Centre re-opened on November 22, 2018, with virtually every aspect of the facility receiving a repair, update, or replacement. The renewal project took 18 months to complete and the community has embraced the renewed facility with average attendance around 300 per day.
Renovations within the Terrace & District Aquatic Centre
Smithers is finishing up the 2018-2019 ice season with some incredible success in all areas. In 2018 we launched our first ever Free Public Skate imitative. With support from local sponsors, we were able to offer all Public Skate programs FREE of charge to all residents for the entire season which also included free rental equipment. The implementation of this initiative resulted in record-breaking participation numbers. Last year we averaged 7 participants per Public Skate Program and this past season we were averaging 68 participants. With the Ice season coming to an end, we are currently working to convert our arena in to a multi-court Pickleball venue as this new sport is rapidly growing within our community. We are also so excited to get outside as the weather heats up and make special use of our fields and parks!
Smithers’ public skate
Winter and early Spring have been busy months in Kitimat. The Leisure Services Department co-hosted with LNG Canada the Montreal Canadiens Alumni for a charity game for Kidsport, and also assisted in hosting the Jr. All Native Basketball Tournament that attracted 84 teams from around BC. During the first week of April, the department is playing host to the Haisla LNG Tradeshow, with over 100 vendor booths and upwards of 1000 delegates. This event will be hosted at both the Tamitik Arena and Riverlodge Recreation Centre.
The Spring and Summer months are shaping up to be a busy time in Kitimat as well. Some of the highlights coming up in Kitimat include; a community concert by 54/40, Kitimat Mud Games, and the Kitamat Open Basketball Tournament. Canada Day festivities will see Kitimat host its annual parade and firework show along with show and shine, and the Hill Climb Drag Race.
Other projects ramping up include outfitting the Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre with all LED lighting and control system, completion of the Leisure Services Master Plan, and refurbishment of the main score clock in the Tamitik arena to LED.