Vanderhoof is one small step closer to having a local swimming pool.
The Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre received $2000 from the District of Vanderhoof this month as an initial start-up to help create awareness as they begin a stream of funding campaigns to build a pool.
“We want the public to know that the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre has not given up,” said Jessi Wilson, a dedicated member of the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre.
Back in 2003 a referendum made by the Vanderhoof municipality and Regional District of Bulkley Nechako Area F gave a mandate to borrow $4 million toward the construction of a $12 million pool in Vanderhoof.
That meant that Vanderhoof would have to raise the remaining $8 million as a community.
Since then architectural drawings and pricing of the pool’s construction have been laid out.
A meeting in June attracted over 60 people determined to get the fundraising part of the project started.
The Aquatic Centre has since created a strong push and is hoping to come up with $500,000 from the community over the next year.
Tom Bulmer, former real estate agent and local community member who is highly involved with the Aquatic Centre, feels once the money starts coming in things will snowball because the project will benefit everyone.
“I can see it helping every facet of the community from older people to younger people. The river is on the chilly side for some and in my experience as a realtor it’s an amenity that people coming to town look to have,” said Mr. Bulmer.
The Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre recently started an online crowd funding campaign at investlocalbc.ca as a source of funding for the pool that currently sits at approximately $3000. The group also set a date for a comedy night Sept. 26 called Standup For Charity at Elks Hall.Four comedians are set for stage performances with all proceeds going to the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre.
Since the referendum is only good for five years, Vanderhoof has three-and-a-half years left to raise the $8 million needed.
So far, the money received from the district has gone toward purchasing a large banner that has been seen at various local events.
To further orchestrate future sponsorships, members of the District of Vanderhoof plan to attend the Union of BC Municipalities conference in Vancouver next month to start connections with business and the government.
Vanderhoof’s mayor Gerry Thiessen plans to speak with Premier Christy Clark along with MLA Coralee Oakes, a former Quesnel councillor who helped to push the current construction of a community pool in Quesnel.
“We have identified half a dozen businesses that we would like to meet there and we have started talking to companies to say hey, this is where we are at, this is what’s important to our community and we need you to be involved,” said Mayor Thiessen.