Sun Peaks Skate Park Foundation seeks to secure land for long-awaited park

‘A place for not just kids, but the whole community’: Sun Peaks Skate Park Foundation advocates for free recreation infrastructure.
Sun Peaks Skate Park advocates gather to support a park location.
Community members who want a skate park in Sun Peaks came out for Go Skateboarding Day. Photo submitted by SPSF

Sun Peaks Skate Park Foundation (SPSF) is continuing ongoing efforts to fundraise for a skateboarding park in the community, with recent events to get wheels rolling like “Go Skateboarding Day” June 21 and a flash tattoo day by JuggerBean Tattoo Parlour July 19. While these events are important to gain community and financial support, members of SPSF said a land commitment from Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) is key to moving forward with grant processes.

Olivia Martin, the communications director for SPSF, recalled that growing up part-time in Sun Peaks offered few low-cost summer activities.

“All there really was to do was go to the pool,” Martin told SPIN. “Mountain biking was obviously a cost, golfing, but there was really a lack of a financially accessible and easy activities to do for kids at the time.”

A skate park would help fill this gap Martin said, but while SPSF has focused heavily on grant applications since they started working toward a skate park in 2012, they’re struggling to secure further funding.

“We’ve gotten really close to a lot of things and now it’s becoming this chicken and egg circle,” Martin explained. “Nobody wants to give you substantial money until you have the exact location.”

To date, the foundation has raised $66,000 to build the park with SPMRM promising $50,000 in matching funds. Other financial contributions include $25,000 in in-kind donations from Powder Ventures Excavations. However, the exact amount needed to fund the project is highly dependent on the available space to build before the foundation can get accurate site design quotes.

In terms of location, Peter Wilson, the president of SPSF said the organization would ideally model Sun Peaks skate park after Parkgate Skatepark in North Vancouver.

Photo submitted by SPSF
Sun Peaks Skate Park Foundation president Peter Wilson stands holding a sign with community members at Go Skateboarding Day. Photo submitted by SPSF

“It’s wedged between the library and local pool,” Wilson explained. With the lack of available space in Sun Peaks, the conditions match the small space of Parkgate Wilson said.

Shane Bourke, chief administrative officer for SPMRM, meets frequently with SPSF and said the municipality initially considered a site location for the skate park at the P5 school portables but the land had to be reallocated because of increased enrollment.

“That was more urgent, so we have been looking for a new site and we’re discussing with the school district,” Bourke said.

However, finding a suitable location has been challenging because the municipality owns minimal vacant land.

While there are ongoing discussions with School District 73 about having a skate park when a school is built in Sun Peaks, SD73 has not committed to the project.

“The municipality approached myself and asked if we could consider looking at options for the location of the skate park,” said Art McDonald, director of facilities for SD73. 

“We’ve agreed to look at it, but there was no commitment on our part.”

SD73 has other needs to consider for a future school, including supporting infrastructure like parking, playgrounds and fields, McDonald said.

Wherever the skate park ends up, Martin and SPSF believes it will provide a gathering space for the community.

“It’s a skate park, but it’s not just for skateboarding,” she said. ”It would be open to bikes… scooters, rollerblading. A place for not just kids, but the whole community to gather [for a] free and accessible activity.”

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