BCAA Play Here is giving away $300,000 to revitalize play spaces across B.C.

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Tuesday, April 4 2017

What happens when kids get to run, jump and climb around a brand-new playground for the first time? Lots of fun, laughter and lasting memories. 

“This playground is amazing!” said one child. “I love this playground the most!” said another.

Those were just a few of the excited reactions from kids on the grand reveal day of a playground makeover at Torquay Elementary School in Victoria last year.

The $100,000 playground rejuvenation came courtesy of BCAA Play Here, a multi-year initiative to invest in play spaces across British Columbia.

And now, a  space in your community could be next. For a chance to win a play space revitalization, all you have to do is nominate a deserving play area in your community by April 13, 2017. The contest is open to all B.C. communities – big and small, city and rural.

Play areas can include a park, a playground, a music room, a sporting facility or an after-school study area – any place in your community where kids can spend their time and develop valuable life skills.

BCAA believes that great play spaces are an important part of a fun and educational childhood and wants to give children across B.C. better places to play.

This year, BCAA Play Here has increased the number of prize-winning projects to three, with each receiving a revitalized play space worth up to $100,000. This means, more communities have a chance to win.

Last year’s inaugural BCAA Play Here initiative awarded two grand prizes. Lillooet and Torquay Elementary School each received a vibrant new playground worth $100,000 that was custom designed to suit the needs of the community. Runner-up projects in Burnaby, Crawford Bay and Vancouver also received $20,000 each to put toward future projects.

“The incredible response to last year’s program shows how much need there is across B.C. for better places for kids to play and learn, and BCAA is excited to increase our total contribution to $300,000 and add more winners,” said Shom Sen, BCAA president and CEO.

Ready to nominate a play space in your community? It’s easy.

Here’s how BCAA Play Here works: Non-profit community groups from across the province can nominate a deserving space to win a $100,000 makeover.

After the nominations are shortlisted to 10 finalists by a panel of Play Here judges, British Columbians will then get to choose the three winners via an online vote.

Last year, 530 play spaces that were in need of revitalization were nominated and over 300,000 online votes were cast by British Columbians to determine where to invest in play spaces.

“BCAA Play Here is for any space — indoor or outdoor — such as a playground, music room, after-school study area, sports or activities space,” said Shawn Pettipas, BCAA’s Senior Manager, Community Impact who leads Play Here. “Any place where kids can spend their time and develop valuable life skills, we want to hear about how it can be improved. We encourage communities to submit their nominations at bcaaplayhere.com by April 13.”

A public online vote will take place from May 22 to June 18. The three winning projects will be announced on June 23.

To make a BCAA Play Here nomination for your community, visit bcaaplayhere.com.