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Port Coquitlam was selected as one of nine BC communities to take part in the province-wide Physical Literacy for Communities–British Columbia initiative. A working committee, made up of delegates from Fraser Health, School District 43, PoCo Sport Alliance, and the City, has received $50,000 in funding and support over a two-year term along with mentorship and support toward the collaborative design and development of the program. The objective of the initiative is to educate and activate local decision makers, build capacity by training leaders, and create the environment to develop physical literacy in multiple settings and sectors resulting in a positive impact on community health and well-being.

For the 2019 Winter Season, the City of Port Coquitlam’s Beyond the Bell Program will be bring new low-cost Sports and Games programs to nine Port Coquitlam Elementary Schools thanks to the Government of British Columbia and BCRPA’s Before and After School Recreation Spaces Grant.

In our Parks Division, rehabilitation to Fox Park Playground will be completed for spring of 2019, leash optional areas will be introduced at Chelsea Park and Skyline Park starting in the spring of 2019 and the dog waste services is expanding.

There is growing excitement among staff and within the community in anticipation of opening the first phase of the new 205,000 square foot Port Coquitlam Community Centre in fall 2019. Summer 2019 will be the reopening of the Centennial outdoor pool following a $2.5M upgrade, which includes the addition of universal change rooms. The project was supported by a $500,000 grant from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.


The Youth at the Booth initiative was carried out in collaboration between the City Clerk’s Office and the Community Social Development Department. The initiative created 88 positions for youth (15 to 18 years old) to serve as election officials for the Richmond General Local and School Election in October 2018. The youth were hired to assist voters with wayfinding and provid general information inside each voting facility. The Youth at the Booth initiative provided an opportunity for youth to gain valuable employment skills and to be exposed to the democratic process with the intention of increasing voting interest in the future.

In the fall 2018, the City of Richmond and Richmond Community Associations and Societies launched an expanded Recreation Fee Subsidy Program to improve access to programs and services for all Richmond residents. Expanding eligibility and program choice to residents of all ages who are living on low-income will increase participation, improve fairness and equity, and potentially improve health outcomes in the community.

Applicants who qualify based on their financial situation have access to subsidized opportunities for most programs and services offered at City of Richmond community centres, the Richmond Cultural Centre, aquatic centres, arenas, the Richmond Nature Park and heritage facilities.

The City of Richmond has been designated as one of the world’s first Global Active Cities. This designation honours cities which have worked hard to offer their residents the opportunity to have active and healthy lifestyles and improve their well-being. The City’s newly endorsed Community Wellness and Recreation and Sport Strategies outline the City’s approach to improving participation in recreation and sport and overall community well-being over the next five years. These strategies were developed with significant community and stakeholder consultation, reflecting the Division’s commitment to working in a relationship-based model.

This certification recognizes the City as a global leader and one that has embraced a management model that motivates people at risk of inactivity-related illnesses to take up regular physical activity and sport. In order to receive the Global Active City label, the City had to pass an independent audit with a stringent review of their physical activity and sports strategies and working practices.


The City of New Westminster Parks and Recreation Department has had an exciting and busy year working on several large capital projects. The renewal of the Canada Games Pool and Centennial Community Centre is currently underway and is at the schematic design stage, anticipating construction to commence in 2020. The project includes a leisure pool, 50 metre program tank, a community centre with multipurpose spaces, childcare, fitness facility and two gymnasiums.  A project overview and up-to-date information is available on the project website:  Equally exciting, the City is in the final stages of designing the Sportsplex, a multi-sport facility with an estimated completion date set for the end of 2019. This new facility will house the fantastic programs that took place in the Queen’s Park Arenex that unfortunately collapsed in 2016.

New Westminster continues to take pride in enhancing the cities outdoor spaces and facilities and this year is no exception as we embark on constructing a universal washroom to be built in historic Queen’s Park. This washroom will be gender neutral with secure toilet stalls connected to a common sink and baby-changing area. The design of this universal washroom will remove a variety of barriers to parents, children and people of all abilities. The building is currently under construction and anticipated to open in 2019.

New Westminster is also a community devoted to their canine companions. Parks and Recreation recognizes this importance to its residents establishing safe, well-appointed off-leash areas throughout the city, with the newest one being constructed in Ryall Park located in the Queensborough neighbourhood. This dog off-leash area will be completed by the end of 2018 and will include a bag recycling dispenser bin, benches and trees for shade.


On November 13 and 14, Metro Vancouver hosted its regional parks colleagues from: Capital, Central Okanagan, Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Fraser Valley, Nanaimo, North Okanagan, Okanagan Similkameen, and Sunshine Coast regional districts at the 2018 Regional Parks Workshop. Organized as a 2-day learning and networking opportunity for regional parks staff from across the province, sessions were designed to be most relevant to those managing large natural areas. Topics included: Cultural Engagement Through Archeology, Visitor Services and Social Science, Trends, Opportunities and Challenges of an Easily Accessible Backcountry, Climate Change and Urban Forestry Resilience, Loving our Parks to Death – Carrying Capacity Challenges in Parks, GIS Applications in Conservation and Planning, and Regional Parks Best Practices. Over 50 staff participated over the two days. The workshop featured a keynote address by Dr. Wade Davis, Professor of Anthropology, UBC. Murray Kopp provided an update regarding the national ‘Parks for All’ initiative and announced that a Canadian Parks Conference will be held in 2019 in Quebec City.

The Regional Parks Workshop was sponsored by BCRPA for the first time and we were pleased to have Rebecca Tunnacliffe join us both days, strengthening the relationship between the association and those who work at a regional level.


The City of Surrey is developing a new community hub in Clayton that integrates arts, library, recreation, and outdoor spaces in a single facility. Clayton Community Centre is a place where the community can connect with their neighbors to play, read and make. Designed in partnership with HCMA Architecture + Design, Clayton Community Centre will feature a unique mix of spaces that will deliver arts and culture programming alongside branch library services and recreational programs. These key services will be supported by a range of shared social spaces and mix of supplementary spaces designed to facilitate community-led programming. Features include: music and recording studios; a community kitchen, workshop, tool sharing center and rehearsal hall; a gymnasium and fitness center; child-minding, preschool and a café.

The facility—which is designed to feel like an extension of the surrounding forest and parkland—will feature a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system, triple-glazed windows and an exterior designed to minimize heat loss. The campus will include a great lawn, community garden, outdoor playground and sports court.

The $43.5 million project, which included extensive public consultation, is expected to complete mid-2020. The City of Surrey gratefully acknowledges funding from Natural Resources Canada ($1.3 million), the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund ($175,000), and BC Hydro ($30,000) which has resulted from our visionary goal to achieve Passive House Certification for a Community Centre.

This project—a North American “first” right here in Surrey—demonstrates the City of Surrey leadership and the Government of Canada’s commitment to working with the provinces and territories to improve energy efficiency and the environmental performance of our public infrastructure. It shows Canadians and the world that we are leaders in building innovation.”

The Seniors Volunteer Initiative is a 3-year pilot project that supports the work being done with 55+ volunteers. The project scope includes external partners and multiple city departments, with a focus on Parks, Recreation, and Culture. The project will conclude in December 2019.

The project vision is to:

  • Increase opportunities for seniors to contribute to their community
  • Enhance connections and a sense of belonging for seniors in their neighbourhoods
  • Strengthen the role of seniors as valued and integral members of the community
  • Enhance community partnerships to support volunteer management

In 2018, we began an in-depth study of our current volunteer engagement practices. We are surveying volunteers in Parks, Recreation, Culture, and Surrey Fire to measure their overall satisfaction and sense of community connection. The results of the study will inform future 55+ volunteer engagement practices.


The new Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre officially opened this summer with the Otter Co-Op outdoor water park experience. The outdoor covered pool is still running throughout the winter. The ice is now in at the arena. The fitness centre and recreation space have been a huge success, particularly the new functional Technogym Equipment now available.

There are also Kinesis Stations available at two of the Township’s recreation centres.

The fitness team has grown from 2-3 fitness programmers (coordinators) to six multidisciplinary programmers (coordinators) responsible for fitness, recreation aquatics, etc. In addition, a Fitness Recreation Leader has been added who works 30 hours per week. The recreation teams are constantly evolving and trying new and innovative ways to serve the community. As always, they try to stay on the cutting edge of providing experienced and educated staff such as Kinesiologists and Certified Exercise Physiologists to the staff team.


The 28th annual Island Fitness Conference, presented by Fitness Town Commercial, took place in Victoria, BC October 27 & 28 at Esquimalt Recreation Centre and Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence. 209 people participated. The Island Fitness Conference began in 1989 as a way to ensure Vancouver Island fitness professionals had access to quality educational training locally. What started as a small group of volunteers has evolved into a dedicated committee of programmers and instructors representing most of southern Vancouver Island.


West Shore Parks and Recreation carried out a number of accessibility projects on their grounds and buildings including additional curb drops, door power assist buttons and upgrades to the Administration area. These improvements were realized through support from the Federal Enabling Access Fund (EAF).

The BCRPA award winning program, Wild About Wellness, will continue through partnerships with the Ministry of Children and Family Development and Island Health. The program focuses on youth struggling with depression and anxiety and plays a critical role in getting youth involved in physical activity and group sessions to improve their well-being.


The District 69 Oceanside Recreation Master Plan is now complete and three priority recreation and sport infrastructure projects have been identified:

  • Expansion to Ravensong Aquatic Centre, located in Qualicum Beach
  • Rubberized athletics track up to 8 lanes
  • Centralized land purchase strategy for future indoor/outdoor sport and recreation complex in Oceanside area

Staff has begun preparing reports that will include project(s) timing, costing for both capital and future annual operating budgets and strategic implementation of the identified projects.

In addition, work has begun on advancing other recommendations from within the Master Plan using existing staff resources and operating budgets. These include service delivery recommendations of an increase in parks programming, developing cross sectoral collaborations, and undertaking planning initiatives (active adult programming).

The Play Oceanside Physical Literacy initiative has als been launched through support of the Physical Literacy for Communities program.


The Recreation Prescription Project is a collaborative partnership between the City of Nanaimo Parks & Recreation, School District 68 and Primary Care Providers to promote youth health and wellbeing. The project incorporates knowledge from a previous physician-prescribed recreation intervention to address positive mental health, social connectedness and physical activity.  The project is grounded in the five goals from the nationally recognized Framework for Recreation in Canada: Active Living, Inclusion & Access, Connecting People & Nature, Supportive Environments and Recreation Capacity.

Four local elementary schools, focusing on grade five students, have been invited to participate in the project which involves: photography using photovoice; pre, mid and post health assessment with a primary care provider; a wellness survey, and a 16 week recreation program.

The project was launched in October and runs through March 2019.  Joanne A Schroeder, MA, Leisure Services Administration, VIU – Nanaimo is the principal investigator.  Joanne will provide more information on the project at the Vancouver Island/Coast regional forum February 22, 2019 at VIU – Nanaimo.


CITY OF KELOWNA            

Planning for the BC 55 plus senior games is fully underway. The Games are coming to Kelowna September 10 – 14, 2019 and will attract over 3,800 participants. Kelowna has also been awarded as the host of the Memorial Cup for 2020.

LAKE COUNTRY             

The Rail Trail is the best thing that has happened in Lake Country as a recreation activity. We have a spectacular section of the rail trail which serves everyone of every ability to be active. It is accessible and it is free.  Everyone gets to see nature at its finest.  I invite everyone to try it out when they come to Lake Country.


Summerland has almost completed their brand new 10,000 square foot Skate Park. The grand opening is scheduled for spring 2019 and will be located adjacent to the Summerland Aquatic Centre.

There is a Giants Head Mountain Trail Redevelopment Plan. This plan includes bicycle trails, hiking trails and recreational outlook, and improvements upon other current trails.

DISTRICT OF PEACHLAND                    

Peachland continues to work on flood recovery as its number one priority project.  The shoreline was significantly damaged in both the 2017 and 2018 floods of Okanagan Lake.

The Community Centre expanded operating hours from five to six days per week and the standalone fitness facility was upgraded with a FOB security system to allow access during hours when the Community Centre is closed.

The District is working on a Parks Plan with Outland Design Landscape Architecture focusing on highest and best use of two premier parks – Heritage Park and Cousins Park – as well as one Wilderness Park and the old landfill site. The focus is to look at a location for future ball diamond development, spray park and other park amenities.

The Peachland Pier Society is nearing completion of a nearly 127m fishing pier in Heritage Park.


The City of West Kelowna is hosting Rogers Hometown Hockey on January 19 & 20.  It is a free hockey festival for families, celebrating the game of hockey, food, live music, activities and NHL alumni.  They also bring in a ball hockey court to play in the parking lot. Fun for the whole family.



The Creston Community Park project currently under construction at the Creston & District Community Complex will be a destination for outdoor space for the local community and visitors alike.  Enhancements to the park equipment and facilities along with attractive, well-designed social spaces allow the park to offer something for everyone to enjoy. These improvements will ensure the park is more of endpoint for events such as Canada Day and Family Day, picnicking for locals and visitors and other events or occasions where a well-designed, outdoor space is needed for community members to assemble and recreate.

The project ensures Creston and the Creston Valley can meet the community’s and regions needs for stronger ties with one another, improved community health, social resilience and cross cultural and intergenerational understanding and support. The outdoor spaces will be developed to be accessible and inclusive and will have positive, low cost, unstructured outdoor recreation experiences for all citizens regardless of age, ability or social status – truly a place for the “whole community” to enjoy.  The design objectives of the park project are to mirror the positive and dynamic community recreation experiences that people enjoy in the indoor complex and provide them  outdoors at the CDCC.

The Community Park project is a key asset renewal project where many outdoor assets and facilities at the CDCC requiring remediation will be replaced and upgraded to modern and high standards.  A major attribute of this project is that it is mostly funded through two capital grants (CBT and Strategic Priorities) that the RDCK had received, and will have very limited impact on local taxpayers.


The CDRD Recreation Commission approved the replacement of the Chiller at the Castlegar Complex.

A Plate and Frame Chiller was purchased and installed in August of 2018.  The new chiller reduces the amount of ammonia in the refrigeration, improving staff and public safety while reducing energy usage.


Health and Safety is a core value at the Nelson & District Community Complex (NDCC). In order to maintain the safest facility possible for users and staff, NDCC staff have been working with WorksafeBC and Technical Safety Authority BC to ensure compliance of major mechanical systems including the refrigeration plant and the aquatic centre chlorine system.

Highlights include:

  • Installation of emergency egress from refrigeration room to the outdoor environment;
  • Drainage and inspection of chillers to ensure safe operation;
  • Preparation for installation of automatic closing valves on the chlorine gas cylinders;
  • Updating and creating new Safe Work procedures for various operation tasks.

Residents can have be assured that their facilities are operating safely, with care and attention to detail always being considered by staff.



The new West Fraser Aquatic Centre celebrates its first anniversary in December. Over its first year the attendance and revenue figures for the facility have soared with almost all programs being full to the brim, and times of the day and week that used to be slow are now jam packed.

The stars aligned when Trish Morey started teaching swim lessons at the new West Fraser Aquatics Centre. Trish, a trained child support worker specialized in autism, has a full-time job at the Child Development Centre (CDC) in Williams Lake. The CDC and the Aquatics Centre have a long history of working together including a weekly CDC swim for children unable to attend regularly scheduled programs like swim lessons. With knowledge and training in both regulating child behavior and teaching swim lessons she, along with other staff at the CDC, have provided training and support for lifeguards and swim instructors. She brought forward ideas about visual learning, different ways to teach, and advices on addressing behavior during the lifeguard in-service sessions resulting in opening up dialogue among staff. To take things to the next level a special in-service organized by Nadine Overhoff, an Occupational Therapist at the CDC, brought together CDC staff, lifeguards and swim instructors, under the coaching of specialists from Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children. Children, instructors, lifeguards, and CDC staff have all flourished with new goals, approach, and technique applied to these sessions as well as everyday swim lessons and guarding.

Williams Lake will be making the transition to PerfectMind software in March which has meant staff have been working feverishly to make sure everything is ready to roll for the change-over. We will begin to let the public create accounts early in the new year and will fully transition to PerfectMind with the release of our Spring/Summer Active Living Guide.


Jump into Fall is a key program for the Quesnel Arts and Recreation Centre; offering children after school programs that take kids into nature and encourages them to push their imaginations through exploration and creation. In our program, we strive to engage children to participant in outdoor recreation, sports and leisure, to develop their creative arts skills and to recognize their own personal growth over the 8 weeks. We create opportunities outside of the school environment to develop friendships, and to connect with positive role models. One of our goals is to help children find a place where they belong without judgement.

This BCPRA program was very successful and included a Halloween Science Day were kids learned a range of things including how to make exploding ghost rockets and volcano pumpkins, to how to make apple pie. we had a Yoga instructor come in and take the kids on a Backcountry Yoga outing.  Participants also took part in an old fashion sports day with egg spoon races and a bean bag toss. Both were highlights. An all-time favorite this cycle was the day we made Play-doh outdoors using our favorite fall colors and flavors and then finished the day off with maple cinnamon pear smoothies. For the staff one of the greatest highlights is watching the children that take part in our programs make friends and the excitement and enthusiasm that they bring each week.

Outward Bound Quesnel is a great way to introduce your children to all the wonders of the winter season. This program begins in the new year and will take children outdoors once a week to explore and discover all that winter has to offer: snow volcanoes, hiking, winter yoga, gingerbread man decorating, snowshoeing and solar s’mores are all on the list and much, much more. This one-of-a-kind program is important to our community and reinforces being active for life. We here at the Quesnel Arts and Recreation Centre join BCRPA in supporting physical activity at a community level which has a ripple effect that will lead to healthier lifestyles and stronger community connections.  This program begins January 15, 2019.


It has been a very exciting year so far in Mackenzie.  We are currently very close to the end of construction on the Phase 2 Community Hall. Everyone has been eagerly coming to check out the new, modern feel of the Recreation Center! We have a renovated arena lobby, a community living room, community hall, tons of brand new strength and functional fitness equipment and have added new equipment in the library. In the pool we removed the diving board, and the new slide will be ready for use in late December.

Our Community got the gusto of all our friends and families – and together we voted for a new playground. Through the Annual BCAA Playground competition we were successful in winning the $100,000.00 prize. The playground was designed, built and operational in September of this year.  Our community has very strong voting power – and recently won another $100,000.00 from the AVIVA grant funding across the nation. So here in Mack Town – we get things done!

We have partnered with the library, School District #57 and shared the 5-2-1-0 philosophies, and are progressing on integrating the Stay Active – Eat Healthy principles in the community.  We hope to engage with with the company Alive in Motion to host M.O.V.E. Youth Inclusion Training. This is a new project from ViaSport and Jennifer Gibson from Fort St. John is a provider for the workshop series. This workshop series will be offered to coaches, front line staff, and anyone that is dealing with youth. These workshops will begin in Late January and run through to March 2019.

January 2019 will bring us to the final section of the Phase 2 renovations, when we open our indoor play structure and new climbing wall. Recruitment, hiring and training is currently ongoing, and coincides with the development of new employee positions within the District.

We are looking forward to hosting the Northern British Columbia Recreation Association training and Annual General Meetings in late May 2019. The BCRPA, RFABC, Technical Safety BC and WorkSafe are a few of the attendees, trainers and session leaders for the three-day event. It will be hosted in the new community hall, with lots of new ideas, trends and networking opportunities for all who are able to attend.


As part of the Winter City Strategy, the City of Fort St John has installed an outdoor Crokicurl rink, several outdoor ice rinks and our newest outdoor ice surface – a skating ribbon at Matthews Park. The City will co-host Party in the Parka, a one-day outdoor festival held in the downtown core featuring games, live music, food vendors sleigh rides and an outdoor dance.  The High On Ice Festival, the City’s signature winter festival runs on Family Day weekend. This year’s theme is Mukluk Rendezvous. To round out the winter festivals, this year will be the 8th Annual Crystal Cup Pond Hockey Challenge, the biggest pond hockey tournament in the North.