(From left to right) MLA Laurie Throness, Harrison councillors Michie Vidal and Samantha Piper, FVRD chair Jason Lum, Minister of Tourism Lisa Beare, Sasquatch, Harrison mayor Leo Facio, Kent mayor Sylvia Pranger and Harrison councillor Gerry Palmer take part in the ribbon cutting for Harrison’s Starlight Skating Rink. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

‘Starlight Skating Rink’ welcomed to Harrison

The winning name was chosen by Harrison resident Wendy Baldwin

The Starlight Skating Rink is here to stay.

Around 25 people came out to Harrison’s boat launch parking lot Monday (Dec. 2) to witness the unveiling of the name and cut the ceremonial ribbon for Harrison’s synthetic outdoor rink. The name was suggested by Harrison resident Wendy Baldwin during a contest earlier this year.

RELATED: Harrison rink name to be unveiled today

Although the name reveal was the most anticipated part of the wet and rainy grand opening, Harrison mayor Leo Facio also took a moment to thank tourism minister Lisa Beare for the resort municipality infrastructure money that funded the skating rink.

“We are one of only 14 communities in British Columbia with access to funding to diversify our tourism infrastructure,” Facio said.

“We had concerns on how our RMI program would continue, and our minister said that she would champion our cause, and this lady has certainly championed our cause,” he continued. “(She has) not just spoke about it, but took action with her staff to continue our RMI program, and we know it’s safe for another three years or so.”

Tourism Harrison director Robert Reyerse — who was joined at the opening by Beare, FVRD chair Jason Lum, Chilliwack-Kent MLA Laurie Throness and most of Harrison council — also spoke about the positive impact the funds have had on tourism in Harrison.

“It has transformed Harrison over the last 10 years, from the plaza to the Esplanade,” he said. “It’s also allowed us to do some wonderful things, including the festival of lights you see along the Esplanade now.

“Last year alone, it brought in about 30,000 visitors, 25,000 room nights and probably close to a million dollar impact on our community at a time where we’re usually very slow.”

RELATED: Harrison sees massive increase in winter tourists for 2018

The synthetic rink will be open throughout the winter season until Feb. 29 this year, and Harrison has plans to expand for next year: additional decor and renovating the boat launch building to house a skate rental shop and concession. (The current concession is in a portable container building.)

“As you can see, there is quite a bit of space here in this parking lot,” Facio said. “This rink is just a starting point for us as a winter destination. We see so much potential to grow into this space with more winter outdoor activities and maybe even a new festival.”



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Tourism minister Lisa Beare (left) and Harrison mayor Leo Facio (right) watch the Mission Figure Skating Club try out Harrison’s synthetic rink. (Grace Kennedy/The Observer)

Just Posted

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from Dec. 16 to 22

Rotary CATT Fund volleyball fundraiser brings in toys and cash for two Chilliwack charities

Event brought in 435 toys and $33,000 for Chilliwack Community Services and Chilliwack Children’s Foundation

Chilliwack Fire Department battled two structure fires on Friday the 13th

Greenhouse fire had medical marijuana growing in it, house fire was up in Ryder Lake in Chilliwack

Celtic folk festival favourites Early Spirit live at Tractorgrease in Chilliwack

Vancouver-based folk-rock band caps off stellar year with live performance in Chilliwack on Dec. 28

Three Chilliwack entrepreneurs finalists for Small Business BC Awards

Woodside Enterprises, Pick Eco Refills and Culture Co. could win in different categories

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Chickpea at the Chilliwack SPCA

Chickpea is a one-year-old male domestic rat who’s up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Surrey councillor wants the policing transition process to ‘immediately stop’

Brenda Locke to make motion at Dec. 16 meeting to reconsider current plan

Man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in 2017 Stanley Park stabbing

Lubomir Kunik was found by a man out walking his dog on the beach late on Feb. 1, 2017

Vancouver homeless camp brings community, safety, home, says resident

Encampment in the city’s Downtown Eastside is one of many that have sprung up in B.C.

Most Read