(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

Man from Mexico reported missing in Abbotsford

Antonio Fernandez, 29, was last seen on Monday, May 25

Crane truck topples over at Abbotsford courthouse construction site

Nobody injured in incident on Trethewey Street and George Ferguson Way

Chilliwack trustee removed from committees, district invites

Barry Neufeld’s censure involves four forms of reprimand due to recent Facebook post

FVRD activates its emergency operations centre to monitor Fraser River levels

FVRD activates its emergency operations centre to monitor Fraser River levels

Mission senior honours fallen Snowbird

Bruce Smith, 78, decorated his car with various pieces of military memorabilia to raise awareness

B.C. retirement home creates innovative ‘meet-up’ unit for elderly to see family face-to-face

Innovative ‘purpose-built’ unit keeps residents safe when seeing family for first time since COVID-19

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The importance of accurate, ethical reporting is critical – perhaps as never before

Death toll rises in COVID-19 outbreak at Langley Lodge

Number has risen to 22, making it the worst to date in B.C.

Fraser Valley libraries to offer contactless hold pick-ups

FVRL Express — Click, Pick, Go service to be offered at all 25 locations starting June 1

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

United Way allocating $6.6M in federal funding to help with food security, youth mental health

Applications from Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland charities being accepted for the emergency funding

Most Read