Vancouver Island & Coast
Each year, local governments that host a gaming facility receive a 10% share of the net income those facilities generate. Last year, six Host Local Governments in the Vancouver Island and Coast region received $9.9 million to invest in community projects, including the Nanaimo District Museum, policing in Courtenay, community grants in Campbell River and library services in View Royal.
The following stories provide just a snapshot of the hundreds of ways that host communities in the Vancouver Island & Coast region play it forward and benefit from gaming revenues.
View Royal Library Services
The Greater Victoria Public Library aims to inspire literacy, lifelong learning and community enrichment. Thanks to players at the View Royal Casino, the Town of View Royal is able to use its share of provincial gaming revenue to help fund library services and maintenance for Greater Victoria's 10 public library branches.
Campbell River Lacrosse Box
The Campbell River Minor Lacrosse Association undertook the project of building a fully equipped lacrosse box at Robron Park, furnished with an automated scoreboard and web-enabled camera. The City of Campbell River invested more than $92,000 of its share of provincial gaming revenue, generated at Chances Campbell River, into the construction, which helped get it up and running for talented players to use beginning in 2011.
Campbell River Live Streets Initiative
A team of Special Olympics athletes had the opportunity to build self-esteem and confidence – and raise a little money along the way – as part of Campbell River’s Show on the Row. The athletes raised funds to support Special Olympics BC by selling popcorn at an outdoor movie night, one component of the CR Live Streets initiative. The community programming was funded by the City’s share of provincial gaming revenue for hosting Chances Campbell River.
“They love it, they love the social aspects, they love the community, they love being a part of work that they may not normally have the opportunity to be involved in,” said George MacLagan, a coach with Special Olympics BC – Campbell River. “These are the stepping stones that allow an athlete to get a more successful job in the community, to be more proud of who they are.”
Campbell River Spirit Square
For complex care residents at the Yucalta Lodge, Campbell River’s Spirit Square is more than just a gathering place. It’s a hub of community, a place for residents of all ages and abilities to come together.
Once a week throughout the summer months, residents of the residential care home board a bus to the downtown attraction, where they meet friends and family and participate in a way that’s not always possible due to their complex care requirements.
“Actually being able to go out into your community and to be a part of that community – that’s really something,” said Joanne Amberson, Recreation Supervisor at Yucalta Lodge. “It’s very, very important to our residents and their wellbeing.”
The Spirit Square was built thanks to more than $1 million of the City’s share of provincial gaming revenue generated at Chances Campbell River.
Centennial Pool Operations
A team of dedicated lifeguards at Centennial Pool in Campbell River is working hard to keep its young swimmers safe in more ways than one.
Every week, lifeguards at the downtown outdoor pool host themed swims, designed to encourage at-risk youth to participate in positive activities, get some exercise and build relationships with role models.
“These activities help youth at-risk and give them something to do,” said lifeguard Dayna Stevenson. “We see the same kids coming back and playing – it gives them something to do in the summer that they wouldn’t be able to do elsewhere, and it allows them to build positive relationships with one another and the lifeguards.”
Centennial Pool’s annual operation costs are supported by a portion of provincial gaming revenue that the City of Campbell River receives for hosting Chances Campbell River.
The Cridge Centre for the Family
The Cridge Centre for the Family assists residents from all walks of life throughout the Greater Victoria area. With facilities that deliver a wide range of services – such as general child care, a residence for survivors of brain injuries, assisted living for seniors, and even respite care for children with disabilities – the Cridge organization is an important and valued resource for the community. The funding the group receives through the Province of B.C.’s Community Gaming Grants program means it is able to continue its essential work in Victoria and offer local residents necessary support and guidance
Nanaimo Loaves & Fishes Community Food Bank
Thanks to funding from the City of Nanaimo’s share of provincial gaming revenue, over 8,000 people a year directly benefit by accessing one of the Loaves & Fishes Community Food Bank depots in Nanaimo. Additionally over 45 non-profits and schools get access to free food.
“If you need good food, don’t be shy. Loaves & Fishes food bank in Nanaimo recognizes that there’s a need for good food and fills it,” says retiree Joyce Lautermilch, a former food bank client and now a regular volunteer with Loaves and Fishes.
“When times are tough, it’s one less thing to worry about. Getting a hamper sustains you with good food so that you are eating properly.”
In 2016, Loaves & Fishes received $90,000 in funding from the City of Nanaimo’s share of gaming revenues, which was put towards purchasing their new warehouse. Prior to that funding was used to purchase a refrigerated five-ton truck.
Nanaimo District Museum
Nanaimo is B.C.’s third oldest city and its rich history is brought to the forefront at the District Museum. Home of the Bastion, a Hudson’s Bay Company outpost originally constructed in 1853 and the first B.C. heritage building to be preserved when threatened by demolition, the organization works to highlight Nanaimo’s colourful history to visitors. In 2012, the City of Nanaimo infused the museum with $100,000 of its share of provincial gaming revenue, generated at Casino Nanaimo, to ensure the museum could keep its permanent collections and special exhibits open to the public, and continue sharing the stories of the area’s early settlers.
Nanaimo Marine Rescue Society
The volunteer-based Nanaimo Marine Rescue Society responds to hundreds of marine emergencies on Vancouver Island each year. A Community Gaming Grant from the Province of B.C. funded the construction of a new “ready room” and boathouse to assist volunteers to better respond to calls 24 hours a day.
Duncan’s Providence Farm, part organic farm and part therapeutic community, offers a safe environment for adults and seniors with mental, physical and age-related challenges to cultivate skills and build confidence. Each week 180 spaces are available in programs like horticulture, art, woodworking, nutrition, and even small engine repair. With the help of a Community Gaming Grant, the farm provides a nurturing environment for participants to work, learn and become part of a tight-knit community.
RCMP in Courtenay
A safe community is a top priority for the City of Courtenay. That’s why the City invests a portion of its share of provincial gaming revenue from hosting Chances Courtenay in the RCMP.
Tiilicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre Youth Safe House
The Nanaimo area’s only emergency youth shelter received funds from the city’s share of provincial gaming revenue, which allowed them to add additional support for troubled teens seeking help. An $80,000 contribution of funds generated at the local casino has ensured the facility can open its doors to twice as many at-risk youth.
View Royal Park Plan
The popular View Royal Park is a community treasure, frequented by walkers, joggers and dog owners alike. The Town of View Royal allocated $70,000 of its share of provincial gaming revenue from the View Royal Casino to fund the implementation of the View Royal Park Plan, a 15-year collaborative master plan to enhance the park's facilities, ensuring residents can enjoy it for years to come.
View Royal Public Safety Building
The health and safety of View Royal residents facing emergencies is greatly improved thanks to a brand new Public Safety Building. The Island Highway facility features a number of upgrades and expansions, including larger sleeping quarters which allow volunteer firefighters to be on-call on-site rather than at home, shaving nighttime emergency response times.
But the state-of-the-art building isn’t only home to the Town’s fire department. It also hosts bylaw enforcement and building inspection teams, and even a secondary emergency operations centre.
The Public Safety Building sits on land purchased by a portion of the Town of View Royal’s share of provincial gaming revenue for hosting the View Royal Casino.