Tuesday, February 05, 2008




Nanaimo will redevelop its harbourfront Maffeo-Sutton Park into a venue for events and a community gathering place to mark BC150 and future celebrations, thanks to $500,000 from the Province’s B.C. Spirit Square program, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.

“Maffeo-Sutton Park is home to many of the city’s great events,” said Campbell. “This Spirit Square funding will help to further enhance this park, making it an even more inclusive and accessible gathering place that celebrates Nanaimo’s First Nations heritage, cultural strengths and community achievements. Residents and visitors alike will be able to gather and celebrate events like this year’s 150th anniversary of the founding of the Crown Colony of British Columbia, or simply spend time enjoying the waterfront view.”

The funding will be used to enhance multi-purpose trails that surround the park, increase the amount of green space along the waterfront, build a multi-purpose covered space for events, enhance historical and industrial interpretation within the park in the form of signage, artifacts and public art, and to make the area fully accessible for people with disabilities.

“We are known as the Harbour City and have a beautiful downtown waterfront that is one of the jewels of our community,” said Ron Cantelon, Nanaimo-Parksville MLA. “This project will see the park not only improved, but also increased in size. This is a good investment in Nanaimo for the thousands of people who consistently use this park or the trails it contains.”

“This park is the perfect spot for our Spirit Square,” said Nanaimo Mayor Gary Korpan. “It is bordered by restaurants, businesses and homes and is the launch point for the marine taxis that ferry people to and from Newcastle Island. We’re pleased to be making the area even more accessible to all, and cultivating a greener, more inclusive community.”

The $20-million B.C. Spirit Square program is helping to create or improve outdoor public meeting/celebration spaces based on 50/50 cost-sharing with local governments, to a maximum provincial contribution of $500,000. It is one of four programs announced by Premier Campbell at the 2006 Union of BC Municipalities convention, aimed at making B.C. communities greener and healthier places to live, with reduced greenhouse gases, improved air quality and increased energy conservation. The other programs are LocalMotion, Towns for Tomorrow, and the Green City Awards. For more information about B.C. Spirit Squares, and for links to these other programs, visit www.spiritsquares.gov.bc.ca. To learn more about BC150, visit www.bc150.ca.


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