Spring Skate Jam planned at Bralorne 

Bubba Shaw, the brains, muscle and money behind the Castle Grayskull skatepark in the Bralorne Community Recreation Centre, is hosting another open Skate Jam in the park on Saturday, May 24.

The event is a fundraiser for Castle Grayskull, which Shaw will be rebuilding in July in preparation for the youth skateboard camps he hopes to host in August.

Bralorne is a former mining community with less than 70 year-round residents, and about a dozen skaters, although the number of skaters is growing slowly. The town itself is inaccessible by highway during the winter, located along the Hurley Road, but has become a snowmobiling hub because of the local terrain.

The recreation centre was built in the 1930s when Bralorne was a booming mining town, and is still used by locals for everything from fitness to community meetings.

Last year Shaw, an avid skateboarder and a new home owner in the area, got a grant from the Community Futures program and began putting together a respectable skate park in the centre. He bought most of the park from the SuperPipe Camps for $1,000, and was given a small vert ramp last year by a Whistler family. The park now boasts a vert ramp, a spine ramp, boxes, and other park features.

Over the winter the park hosted school gym classes from the Gold Bridge area, and Shaw has hosted two skate events in the park that have been well-attended by people from Whistler and Squamish.

Although everything is going well, Shaw has had a few run-ins with members of the community that aren’t enthusiastic about the skatepark, or with anything that brings more people to the community. Although there have been attempts to sabotage the park – last winter a resident actually removed the hydro meter from the side of the building – Shaw says most locals are supportive of the park and Shaw’s attempts to bring visitors to Bralorne.

The May 24 Skate Jam gets underway at about 10 a.m. and will feature live music. Everyone is welcome to come out and skate, or just sit back and watch. Admission to the Jam is $10, and the event will run as long as the crowd wants, says Shaw.

For more information on the Skate Jam, renting Castle Grayskull, or the youth skateboard camps in August, you can contact Shaw toll-free at 1-866-320-7604.

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