(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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

RCMP ask for assistance to find missing Chilliwack man

Raymond Gene Jarvis has been missing since early July

Popkum fire chief urges caution after Saturday rescue from Bridal Veil Falls

11-year-old boy was stable, fire chief Walter Roos said, when delivered to a waiting ambulance

Chilliwack RCMP seeing surge in telephone-based tax scam

Victims are phoned by someone claiming to represent the Canada Revenue Agency, demanding money

Chilliwack Chiefs alum Jordan Kawaguchi named captain of North Dakota Fighting Hawks

The high scoring forward will lead UND into the 2020-21 NCAA Div-1 hockey season

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Mission spray park closed after children suffer swollen eyes, burns

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner brings ‘objectivity’ to the job

Vancouver lawyer Reece Harding is Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner, also a first for B.C.

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

19 times on 19th birthday: Langley teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Professional basketball in Canada begins return to action with COVID-19 testing

Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Bandits, six other CEBL teams arrive in Ontario for Summer Series

Most Read