The heavy snow falling during a recent funding announcement ceremony from the Province of B.C. didn’t dampen the spirit of the five communities involved in receiving grant funding from Ida Chong, minister of community, sport and cultural development.
Kamloops, Barriere, Chase, Clearwater and Sun Peaks all received grant monies under the province’s Families First Community Recreation Program. The $30 million program aims to help communities around the province with recreation projects that support healthy living, sport and recreation.
Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) received $400,000 towards a new multi-plex building currently being planned in the community. The new building will house a covered hockey rink, as well as a soccer field, and running track. It will also act as a venue for trade shows, indoor concerts and other activities needed to increase visitor numbers to the resort, especially in the shoulder and summer seasons when the resort visitor numbers are low.
Sun Peaks’ mayor, Al Raine, was on hand to receive the funding and was very positive about the move forward.
“I’m very pleased but we still have a lot of work ahead in getting this started,” said Raine. “We’re looking at a recreational multi-plex and this is really the first step. Once we have a roofed facility it’s really going to open the door for a lot of new things in Sun Peaks.”
Mayor Raine wasn’t the only Sun Peaks representative that was beaming after the funding announcement was made. Tourism Sun Peaks President Christopher Nicolson shared the mayor’s enthusiasm about the new project.
“This is certainly a great step forward, especially for the businesses of Sun Peaks. A covered building will allow for weatherproof opportunities for Sun Peaks such as tradeshows, conventions and tournaments especially in the shoulder seasons and summer months,” said Nicolson.
While Mayor Raine acknowledged that this funding is a step forward there’s still much work to do. The project is projected to cost more than $2 million, and is planned to be constructed in two phases. It will be funded from grants, surplus municipal reserves and municipal borrowing if necessary. A community referendum will be held should the SPMRM need to borrow funds for the project.
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