By Cindy Filipenko
The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District has received an Olympic/Paralympic Live Site grant worth $328,369 to enhance Pemberton and Electoral Area C’s new community centre. The B.C. government made the announcement late last week.
The money, which will be topped up with matching funds, will go to aid in the construction of a youth centre and amphitheatre. The funds will also pay for the purchase and installation of audio-visual systems in both the youth centre and the great hall of the community centre, as well as offset construction costs.
The mandate of the Live Site Program is to help fund projects of less than $1million designed to bring communities together around the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Electoral Area C Director Susie Gimse was delighted to hear that the grant had been approved.
“This will allow us to create a welcoming environment for the community,” she said. “And it’s important that the youth have their own space that they can feel comfortable in. Kids don’t need their parents breathing down their necks 24/7.”
The outdoor theatre is another feature of the new community centre grounds that will address the need for more gathering spaces in the community. Located adjacent the community centre, the amphitheatre is expected to become a focal point for outdoor celebrations. Gimse sees this unique community amenity as being completely inline with the Pemberton Valley area lifestyle.
“We’re an outdoor kind of people,” Gimse says of northern corridor residents. “We want to be outside.”
Mt. Currie received a Live Site grant last fall to aid in a major renovation of its community gymnasium. The Village of Pemberton had applied for Live Site funding as well, but was not successful in its bid.