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Fit for the Future 2022 Year End Summary

Beginnings:

In recognition of the challenge of flooding the outdoor hockey rink, Gary Wingate conceived of the idea of paving the rink, so that there would be a more even surface, and water would not seep through the sand when flooding.  An initial application was made to the RM of Alexander, and a grant of $5,000 was received.

In the spring of 2022, seeing many pickleballers coming to the BCC once the curling season was done, to play indoors, it was realized that it might be possible to install pickleball courts on the paved hockey rink, thereby making the surface useful in the summer and responding to the evident demand for more pickleball courts in the region.

The idea was enthusiastically embraced by many members of the pickeball community, who had joined the BCC.

At about the same time, it was also noted that there was also a need for a modern, well-equipped fitness facility.  The concept of a fitness facility was included in the overall master plan for the BCC building.

It was realized that such an expansion would be costly, and demand was unproven. The idea emerged that the upstairs lounge area within the existing BCC building might serve as an interim fitness facility location, until demand could be tangibly demonstrated and quantify.  An interim fitness facility would also generate revenue for the BCC.

The idea was brought to the July 12 meeting of the BCC Board.  The Board voted unanimously to proceed with the project, with the understanding that the use of the lounge would be temporary, while funding for the expansion was being raised.

With this decision, a survey was commissioned, seeking confirmation of interest in the projects.  Once the survey was developed, it was sent to a 600+ person mailing list.  Best efforts were made to send the survey to all BCC members, but at that point a consolidated membership list was not available, and not all BCC members were included in the mailout. 

The results of the survey were overwhelmingly supportive to the project.  There were 126 responses- 74 persons who responded indicated they would be likely or highly likely to use a fitness facility.  XX persons indicated they would use the outdoor pickleball courts.

Based on these responses, revenues of $2,000-2,500/month were projected for the fitness facility.

Even prior to the receipt of the survey responses, the Capital Campaign group began organizing itself.  Two primary committees were formed: the Ask Committee, which was responsible for approaching potential donors, and the Grant Committee, which would be responsible for developing grant applications for government funding support.

An advisory committee, the Sport and Fitness Advisory Committee, was formed to help guide decision-making throughout the project.  This group includes experts in fitness, fitness facility management, pickleball, basketball and yoga.

The Ask Committee experienced stunning results.  In less than 5 months of campaigning, approximately $290,000 was raised in donations and pledges.

In mid August the provincial government announced the Arts, Culture and Sport in Community (ACSC) program.  The program deadline was October 31, giving the committee less than 2 ½ months to prepare an application from scratch.  By virtue of extremely hard work from a dedicated group of quickly-recruited volunteers, plus excellent recommendations from the tennis court group, an application to ACSC was completed on time.

Support from the RMs of Victoria Beach and Alexander in the form of Letters of Support was timely and appreciated.  Letters of Support were also received from organizations such as the Social Scene, Cottage Owners’ associations, and individuals. 

The excellent core materials developed for this grant will serve as the basis of subsequent grant applications in the future. 

The provincial government is also to be commended for a policy that helps make the dream possible.  For both the ACSC and Building Sustainable Communities (BSC) programs the province will provide matching contributions for successful applicants.  In other words, if the grant applications are successful, the Fit for the Future Campaign will receive $290,000 from the province, making the total available for the project $580,000.

Now

As we approach the end of the calendar year, we are awaiting a decision from ACSC.  The decision deadline is January 31, 2023.  We are hopeful that that deadline will be met, so we can know with certainty that we can proceed with the project in 2023.

We are putting the finishing touches on the BSC grant application.  The deadline for submissions to BSC is January 16, 2023.  At this point we are viewing BSC as backup for the ACSC program.  By provincial government guidelines, applicants cannot access both programs simultaneously: it’s a “one or the other” situation.

We have also run a tender process for the paving of the hockey rink.  Bids have been received and are being evaluated.  Given the cost of this project, we will need to be successful in our bid for government funding in order to proceed.

The same goes for the Interim Fitness facility.  We have committed to waiting until the end of the curling season (late March 2023) before installing equipment.  We have been in touch with suppliers and have received quotes for equipment.  Once we know the result of the government funding question, we will be able to put the plan in to action.

So, to conclude, on behalf of the many volunteers working on this project, who have contributed over 2,000 hours of dedicated service to make this dream a reality, many, many thanks to you.  We will do our best to keep you informed of progress as it occurs, and look forward to your continued support as we move forward with this project.

 

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