Community projects benefit from B.C. Summer Games legacy

NANAIMO – $65,000 used to purchase a stage, score clock and for bursaries for Nanaimo students.

The Harbour City will benefit to the tune of $65,000 from the 2014 B.C. Summer Games.

The games’ legacy fund was $120,000, with $55,000 going to future games and $65,000 to share between the City of Nanaimo, the Nanaimo Foundation and the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association.

In a press release, Bruce Hunter, chairman of the Games Legacy Committee, said the board identified capital projects, which when combined with legacy money, would benefit the whole community.

The business improvement association will receive $15,000 and it will team with the Young Professionals of Nanaimo and Nanaimo City Centre Association to purchase a $57,000 aluminum, portable stage, available for use by the community.

Corry Hostetter, downtown business association executive director, said the stage is something that Nanaimo has needed for several years. The old stage needed a lot of maintenance and wasn’t appropriate for dance, she said.

“We decided to partner with [the organizing committee] and bring in the Young Professionals of Nanaimo and the Nanaimo City Centre Association and partner together to purchase a brand new portable stage that we think is just going to be perfect for community events,” said Hostetter.

The business improvement association will be administrators for the stage. There won’t be a rental fee, but users will be charged for delivery and setup, said Hostetter. The stage is expected to be ready for Nov. 1, she said.

The Nanaimo Foundation will receive $30,000 from the legacy fund. It matched that amount for a total of $60,000, which will go toward a pair of annual $1,000 scholarships for a male and female student in the Nanaimo school district, beginning in April 2016, said Laurie Bienert, foundation development officer.

“They have to be alumni of the B.C. Summer or Winter Games, either as a participant, a coach, a volunteer or an official,” said Bienert.

The City of Nanaimo will receive $20,000 which will go toward a score clock at Merle Logan Field.

Ian Thorpe, city councillor and parks and rec commissioner said the two artificial fields at Merle Logan are well used. It hasn’t been determined yet, but Thorpe said two clocks could be purchased.

Jeff Lott, 2014 Nanaimo Games president, said the event was a huge success.

“We’ve heard nothing but positive comments on it,” said Lott. “We had a lot of feedback from athletes, when they were here, coaches and officials after they’d gone home. They took the time to contact us and we heard from parents too … about the great venues we have, the beautiful city.”