Nanaimo Foundation grants $13,000 to Gabriola

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, July 19 2016

The Nanaimo Foundation has provided $13,000 to Gabriola Island, with grants for the Gabriola Island Community Hall Association and the Regional District of Nanaimo Huxley Park fund.

Laurie Bienert, Development Officer with the Nanaimo Foundation, made the presentation during the Gabriola Museum’s Canada Day celebrations on July 1.

A $5,000 grant was presented to Community Hall President Joyce Babula, and will be used in 2017 to celebrate both Canada’s 150 year anniversary and the Community Hall’s 100 years of presence on Gabriola.  

Babula said the intention is to have an “extra-special 62nd Salmon Barbeque, as well as commission a mural depicting the history of Gabriola on the outside of the Hall. Details of the art installation are in the very beginning stages and there will be more to come in the months ahead.”

In the request to the Foundation, the Community Hall Association said the board will be inviting Gabriolan artists to submit proposals for the large mural—a suitable jury will be appointed to select a winner with the mural to be completed by the end of July 2017.

The mural will be officially “inaugurated” during the 2017 Salmon Barbeque. A specific invitation will be sent to Snuneymuxw First Nation to participate in the event.

The second grant was in the amount of $7,000 and will be put towards the “tot lot” being built by the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) at Huxley Community Park.

Howard Houle, RDN Director for Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, DeCourcy) said the funds will not push the tot lot up on the schedule to be built, but will help ensure it is done within the next year.

Parks staff still intend to use this summer to complete the costing and design for the skatepark component of Huxley.

Houle said, “That is being worked on, hopefully it is tied by fall, and then we can move on to the playground.”

Ideally, he said, the tot lot should be up and running by the May Long Weekend next year.