BCRPA REGIONAL ROUNDUPS – updates from communities across our province.
The City of Coquitlam is currently running Park Spark – Bringing Our Parks Alive! The program offers a variety of opportunities for people to lend their expertise or experiences to connect with Coquitlam’s parks, such as ongoing park care activities by helping to take care of a park on your own schedule, drop-in volunteer activities such as garden bed planting, park or trail clean up, geocaching, nature walk, and trail marking, group park projects or park amenity additions such as Little Libraries. For further information, please contact Park Spark staff at 604-927-3669 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lights at Lafarge Winter Lights Display – Free pop-up activities and special theme nights, including lakeside caroling, took place that added to the magic of Coquitlam’s Lights at Lafarge. Opportunities were created for participants to add their personal touch to Metro Vancouver’s largest free festive lights display. Visitors took part in free onsite workshops by creating their own flower lights installed at Town Centre Park. The display included hundreds of thousands of lights, and many of the features were hand-crafted by community members as well as city staff, often using recycled materials such as milk jugs and pop bottles. Activities were run by Coquitlam’s Park Spark team – including community volunteers – who were stationed at the Welcome Tent near Town Centre Park Plaza from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Wednesdays to Sundays.
VANCOUVER ISLAND & SOUTH COAST REGION
GREATER VICTORIA REGION
Greater Victoria once again partnered with recreation centers across the region to offer a $25 Regional May Pass promotion. This exciting opportunity allowed individuals to purchase a Regional May Pass from one recreation centre that was valid for drop-in fitness activities at 14 other recreation centres in the Victoria (and Sooke) area. The annual Regional May Pass campaign is an effort to provide a wider and more convenient service for people wanting to access recreation in their daily lives.
WEST SHORE PARKS & RECREATION
West Shore Parks & Recreation Afterschool care program, the Afterschool care Trekkers, benefitted from the BCRPA Before and After School Recreation Program Grant for the 2017/2018 school year. The grant enabled West Shore Parks and Recreation to refocus the After School Care Trekkers program into a predominantly outdoor/nature based program. Specialist equipment such as GPS units and tents were purchased. Staff members are enjoying bringing new expertise and experiences to the program, and children are enjoying exploring their local habitats.
Over 100 children from West Shore Parks and Recreation preschool, after school care and camps participated in the Coast Collective Earth Day Children’s art show in April. Staff facilitated a combination of collaborative and individual art projects with children ages 5-14 with the theme of “Fantastic Forests,” which were then displayed in the Coast Collective Art Gallery.
Indoor cycling remains popular in West Shore, with participation in specialty indoor cycling classes on the rise. Swimming lesson registration as well as drop-in water fit participation continues to grow over last year. Registration for Together In Movement and Exercise (TIME™), a community-based program welcoming people with balance and mobility challenges to exercise, is also growing. This group exercise program is based on a model where health care and community organizations work together to make exercise more accessible, do-able and fun! TIME™ is designed by physiotherapists at Toronto Rehab, and led by fitness instructors in community centres across the country. Providing this program in West Shore communities has provided a safe and effective option for participants to exercise in their community.
With the end winter ice season, the dry floor went in at the end of March. Since this time West Shore Parks and Recreation hosted several large events including the Slegg Lumber Pro Show, Victoria Home and Garden Exhibition Show, and BC Indoor Archery Championships.
The countdown to the BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley is on. Venues are currently being upgraded to host events, and the push is on to meet the recruitment goal of 3000+ volunteers to help make Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games a success.
The Board of the Cowichan Valley Regional District has ended its current effort to tackle the issue of regional recreation funding, acknowledging that the Regional Recreation Select Committee was unable to achieve consensus. That committee will now be dissolved.
TOWN OF LADYSMITH
As a lasting legacy and in recognition of the partnership between the Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith and Canada 150, the Ladysmith Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture installed a culturally significant artwork at Transfer Beach Park. “The Salish Wind”, a traditional Coast Salish canoe, was carved by Stz’uminus elder, Manny Sampson, while the waves on the base were carved by chainsaw artist Dan Richey.
The Town of Ladysmith received almost $1.8 Million to upgrade the Machine Shop building at the Ladysmith waterfront. This iconic facility, once renovated after Expo ’86 with legacy funding from that event, will house a number of heritage, arts, and cultural amenities, with current tenants including the Ladysmith Arts Council, Maritime Society, Railway Historical Society, and others. The building will be a jewel in the Waterfront Development Plan recently approved by Ladysmith Council after extensive community consultations. This project is another step in realizing the joint vision of Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith for Ladysmith and surrounding area.
The historic Aggie Hall is undergoing significant upgrades to improve capacity and accessibility to the parking lot. In addition, after a thorough stakeholder and public engagement process, a development plan was created for revitalization of the Aggie playground to reintroduce natural elements to the playscape. This work is to be completed by the fall.
Mid-Isle Soccer hosted the Mini World Cup Soccer 2018 tournament in Ladysmith in May. The Mini World Cup is an annual Vancouver Island soccer tournament for players 7-10 years from all over BC. Each team in the tournament represented a specific country, making the highlight of the weekend the “Parade of Nations” where the athletes showed off their creativity with costumes, flags and team cheers. Forrest Field, Holland Creek ballfields and School District fields in Ladysmith were used to ensure the 1,000 plus players had plenty of places to play. The weather was great, and by all accounts the event was a success!
Ladysmith received an Age-Friendly Grant to be applied to a summer 2018 project which will include community dialogues, development of a scooter map, and infrastructure improvements to support the walkability of the community for people of all ages.
THOMPSON / OKANAGAN
The CSRD (area A) is working towards holding a referendum as part of the election process in October, 2018, to seek assent of Area A electors to be annually requisitioned the equivalent of 20% of the annual aggregate operating costs of the four facilities – a total amount at this time estimated to be under $100,000 per year.
Town of Golden Council provided support to the CSRD to conduct a feasibility study around the potential for an indoor aquatic centre. Timing of the study is to be determined.
There was a grand opening on June 14th for park upgrades and a new washroom building at Kinsmen Park.
The outdoor pool in Golden is open for the season. The strong interest in private lesson programs has been so great staff can’t keep up with all of the inquires! Attendance at Friday evening swims is also seeing record attendance numbers.
We are hosting a lifeguard academy with our local high school. This is a high school PE class that will allow students to be certified in Bronze Cross, Bronze Medallion and National Lifeguard.
A new two kilometer section of Rotary trail recently received a major surfacing upgrade, and it is getting some great community feedback. Stair and hand railing improvements are also being done on a steeper section of the trail.
A volunteer driven youth softball program has been launched and is seeing a great response. This community presently does not have any organized youth ball, so this program is addressing that gap.
Preparations are taking place for larger facility rentals including a 24hr mountain bike race, ST6, a multi-day, multi-town mountain bike stage race, and hosting a larger outdoor concert in our baseball diamonds this July.
Disc Golf Course layout and construction is getting underway in July.
Parks and Recreation staff continue to be involved in the recovery from the 2017 freshet and are actively working towards shoreline and critical infrastructure protection as part of the 2018 freshet.
In partnership with the Sncewips Museum, Peachland Museum, Peachland Visitor Centre and the Canada 150 committee, the District opened the exhibit: Gathering Peachlands’ Past. This display was made possible through the B.C – Canada 150: Celebrating BC Communities and their Contributions to Canada grant.
Spring time signature events continue to be strong with the Annual Polar Bear Swim/Run, Heart and Stroke Awareness workshop and Volunteer Breakfast.
The Recreation Department implemented a fob access system in the fitness room which allowed for extended operating hours. This implementation has resulted in a 43% increase in memberships.
Oliver Parks and Recreation is in full swing with parks, playgrounds, splash pads, outdoor pool and recreation programs geared up for summer.
Our organization will be participating in the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification Program for all facilities this summer.
A project continues in partnership with the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) to strengthen relationships, ensure welcoming spaces and assess the current provision of recreation services in Oliver.
Recently our department offered a very successful intro to lacrosse program in partnership with the OIB, putting over 200 elementary school students through the program in 6 weeks.
Our annual “Roots & Fruits Expo,” a celebration of Oliver’s agriculture and heritage, will take place August 18,th and will include a parade, free musical entertainment and family activities in the park all day, as well as multiple interactive exhibits with an agriculture or heritage theme.
In April the swimming pool finally opened after the energy efficient boiler upgrades, pump replacements and the Northern Health Operating Inspection. The opening of the pool was greeted with high attendance and support from the residents. It truly is a great recreational asset in our community.
The success of the Chamber of Commerce’s’ Trade Expo kicked off the spring dry floor season in style. It set the stage for all the next events to be in top notch gear for the rest of Mackenzie’s’ spring events. Since that time, Recreation Services has been adjusting programs and services to meet the demand and access challenges from Phase 2 Construction. The first in a series of Recreation Videos were placed on the Mackenzie Recreation Services Facebook page early in May. The next events at the Recreation Centre included the Library’s fundraiser, Touch a Truck, Cadets formal awards ceremonies, and Lacrosse Tournaments.
The next set of events came with the GO BY BIKE Week activities. These were hosted all over the community and included Scavenger Hunts, Contests, Celebration and Education tents and wrapped up with a Poker Ride at Little Mack. Northern Health, Mackenzie Schools (District 57) RCMP, Mackenzie Outdoor Recreation and Trails Association were just some of the volunteers, organizations and local groups supporting this week-long event.
Rolling into June, the season just got busier! In the beginning of June the Annual Rainbow Swim Meet and the Annual fundraising Rotary Duck Drop went off without a hitch. The swim meet had higher than anticipated turn out, which extended the meet and events well into the late afternoon on the first day. The Rotary Duck Drop had an excellent turn out, despite the quick heavy rain shower mid-event. Community Partners, organizations and many volunteers working with District Staff put on these great events on the same weekend.
This year there are a wide variety of summer programs being offered covering everything from being a tourist in your own town, what animals you can interact with, field trips and even community engagement opportunities. Recreation Services has launched a new Paddleboard Rental Program, an array of Swim Lessons and new Swim Schedules for the summer. There is also an excellent Kids Community Garden Club that will meet all summer long on Wednesdays from 3:00 – 5:00pm.
The City of Quesnel recently purchased a Paramill- a wheelchair treadmill! The idea was brought forward by the Inclusion & Accessibility Committee to the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee and then funding was secured towards the purchase. Quesnel Rotary stepped up with a donation as well as a successful IMAGINE Community grant through Northern Health. The balance of the purchase will be covered by the North Cariboo Recreation & Parks function. The Arts & Recreation Centre will house the Paramill in its weight room. So far, the response to the new piece of equipment is great and is being used by able-bodied and wheelchair users alike.
In Quesnel, we have now completed one full ice season in our new West Fraser Centre Arena. Residents and non-residents alike are enjoying our new facility! Many out-of-towners were overwhelmed at how open and bright the interior of the facility is. The amazing ice is just one of the items our community is proud to have. After this new build we are excited to tweak our amenities over the summer and tackle those small but important improvements. Overall, we have a building our community can be proud of for many years to come!
The newly renovated Sam Ketcham Aquatic Centre held its grand opening in December of 2017. Since opening day many families, children, youth and seniors have enjoyed the new facility and continue to keep our attendance rates high. Sam Ketcham Aquatic Centre upgrades included a new waterslide, leisure pool with lazy river, spray water features and a wide variety of swimming areas for youth and young children. The New Fitness Area has been an area of consistent growth. New fitness classes, functional equipment and a great wall of windows in front of the cardio equipment were also added.
The addition of new and innovative aquatic fitness classes includes the Hydrotherapy Range of Motion Class, and the Lazy River and More Program. These new classes provide more fitness options for community members and with warmer water temperatures more participants are able to increase their functional range of motion. Aqaumats were also added to the list of pool equipment to help facilitate Yoga, Core, HIIT, PiYo and Intro Yoga programs.
Recreation Services, in collaboration with Success By Six, Communities that Care and Municipal Services, are also introducing new Playboxes in three community parks this summer. These Playboxes will be filled with books and outdoor play equipment (balls, scoops, skipping ropes, etc.) for families to enjoy. The Playboxes are wrapped with colourful vinyl graphics and secured with combination locks. This program is successful in Abbotsford and we think it will work well here in Williams Lake.
CITY OF FORT ST JOHN
Storywalk® returns to the Fish Creek Community Forest in the City of Fort St John! Enjoy a classic children’s book and the outdoors together. Just follow along, read, and get lost in literature and nature at the same time.
Pound the Park- POUND fitness is the ultimate workout for those who love to rock! At POUNDfit, participants work out with drum sticks to make a beat while completing a combination of cardio and strength developing movements.
What is an Instameet? It’s simple really. Our staff at the Visitor Centre pick a location, let you know where it is, and meet you there to post pictures and win prizes! Location will be released through the City of Fort St. John Instagram page @fsjcity on the morning of August 4. Follow us today! Note: you will require a mobile device and the Instagram App for this activity.
T.G.I.F.S.J Thank goodness it’s Friday in Fort St. John! Kick off your weekend with a different free event at 100th/100th every Friday night this summer! Everyone’s invited so bring your friends and family out for fun theme nights and our Park Play Pay featuring multiple outdoor games like badminton, giant snakes & ladders, jumbo connect 4, spike ball, bocce and more!
DISTRICT OF TAYLOR
The District of Taylor is proud to have received the BCRPA Facility Excellence Award for Projects Under One Million Dollars for the new Taylor Community Services Hub, opened March of 2017. A small team of staff put great effort into the design, project management, and implementation of creating this fully-accessible, dynamic space to act as a hub for community innovation and customer service. Throughout the first year of operations, staff has continually worked to improve the service delivery from this new facility and think of new ways for it to better serve the residents of Taylor.
Over the course of the year, staff has seen an increase in walk-in traffic as they look to increase services and opportunities available from the Community Services Hub. The Hub boardroom space is used by local community groups, such as the Taylor Access and Inclusion Committee and the Emergency Social Services team, to serve as a meeting space and incubator for ideas and conversation. Through the successes and challenges of opening a new facility, staff has been proud of the great accomplishment in the execution of Mayor and Council’s vision for the Community Services Hub and is thrilled that the BCRPA has recognized this endeavor with the Facility Excellence Award.
In other District of Taylor recreation news, our Kids Kamp and Kids Zone Summer Programs will be beginning at the end of June and staff is busy preparing for this exciting time in the summer. Our goal is to keep local children healthy and active all summer long in our recreation-based program that is proud of being an ‘anti-bully’ program. Camp is selling out quickly and staff is looking forward to a summer of fun.