Pemberton’s plans for a vibrant town centre got a $240,000 boost last week from the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation, which agreed to contribute the money towards a community barn project.
The project, which is supported by 18 community groups, is part of the Village of Pemberton’s Downtown Enhancement Strategy and will create an open-air venue with 7,500 square feet of covered space. The venue will host the weekly farmers’ market during the summer months, and will host additional community events such as film and theatre productions, barn dances, festivals and more.
“The creation of this exciting new community space is an important part of the Downtown Enhancement Strategy and is a continuation of the Village’s commitment to bringing vibrancy to our downtown core,” said Mayor Jordan Sturdy. “The 2014 Barn Raising event will not be possible without the support of hundreds of volunteers and the financial contribution from the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation will most certainly help to ensure the success of this important community project.”
The Timber Framers Guild will also be lending its time and skill to the project. The TFG is a non-profit organization promoting timber frame structures, and they’ve been involved in community construction projects across North America. Recently, they helped to build a pedestrian bridge in Golden.
Snow skills park now open
The Pemberton BMX track has been turned into a winter playground for skiers and snowboarders with the installation of terrain park features at the site.
Arena Snowparks set up a handful of rails and boxes at the BMX course’s Portage Road location in December and the racetrack-turned-freestyle park has seen riders taking advantage of the new equipment since.
Steve Petrie of Arena Snowparks said the features range in difficulty, as his company hoped to offer “a progression” of park elements catering to both beginners and more experienced riders.
“So far I think people are pretty happy with it,” said Petrie. “It’s kind of cool that Pemberton’s done this. It’s a pretty progressive move for a municipality and I’d like to see more munis getting on board with this kind of stuff — offering the kids things to do in the winter to keep active.”
The BMX track’s start ramp helps skiers and snowboarders build up speed before reaching the different features. The challenge since they were installed has been a lack of snow, but the Village of Pemberton will be working in partnership with users of the park to move snow to the site when available.
“We’ll bring some clean snow in from the adjacent field there than they can shovel, rake and use to groom it,” said Lonny Miller, the village’s manager of special projects.
The snow skills park will return annually each winter. Funding from the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation helped make both the BMX track and the winter park possible this year.