Courtenay's Expanded Lewis Centre Now Open

Courtenay, British Columbia – After more than a year of construction and renovation, the Courtenay Recreation Lewis Centre is ready for its final reveal.

The Lewis Centre now boasts a new 11,000-square-foot addition, which opened to the public in June. The expansion offers a 4,000-square-foot Wellness Centre, a 3,000-square-foot activity room, as well as accessible washrooms and change rooms. In addition, existing areas of the building were converted to new uses, including a craft room, a seating area, and a new administration area for special needs programs. Lastly, the energy efficiency of the building has been improved thanks to upgraded mechanical and ventilation systems, lighting upgrades, and new boilers, windows and roofing.

“This project, which received funding from our Government's Gas Tax Fund transfer and Enabling Accessibility Fund, will enhance this community facility and offer a greater level of service for people within Courtenay and the entire Comox Valley, including people with disabilities,” said the Honourable John Duncan, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North. “The funding has not only provided a much needed upgrade to the facility, it is also an avenue for immediate and long-term job creation.”

Funding for the $5.4 million project was provided by a variety of sources, including $1 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund, $50,000 from the federal Enabling Accessibility Fund, and $400,000 from the Provincial Community Recreation Program. The City of Courtenay provided the remaining $3.95 million and the Evergreen Club also provided funding for specialized equipment.

Comox Valley MLA Don McRae is also pleased with the project. “These renovations will enhance the Lewis Centre's physical space, and provide more programs and activities for the entire family to enjoy,” said MLA McRae. “This is a fantastic investment for our local community.”

Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula said the results are impressive. “This project has transformed the Lewis Centre,” he said. “Many people worked really hard on this project, and it has been great to see all of the positive changes in the building. I would like to thank the public and staff for their patience during the construction process.”

“Recreation centres play a vital role in keeping our communities active, healthy and vibrant,” said UBCM President Rhona Martin. “I appreciate the support provided by the federal and provincial governments to make the transformation of the Lewis Centre a reality.”

The federal Gas Tax Fund provides long-term funding to municipalities across the country to build and revitalize their local infrastructure. The Government of Canada has invested over $10billion to date in municipal infrastructure through this program, and passed legislation to make it a permanent transfer of $2billion per year. As part of Economic Action Plan 2013, the Government committed to index the Gas Tax Fund to provide additional funding for communities, starting in 2014. Between 2006 and 2014, British Columbia will receive more than $1.56 billion from the Gas Tax Fund to improve local infrastructure. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) administers the Gas Tax Fund in BC, in collaboration with Canada and British Columbia.

The Government of Canada's Enabling Accessibility Fund supports community-based projects across Canada that improve accessibility, remove barriers and enable Canadians with disabilities to participate in and contribute to their communities.

The $30-million Community Recreation Program was developed to help local governments meet the costs of capital projects that make communities healthier, more active places in which to live. Through the program, the B.C. Government has provided grants for 98 recreation projects throughout B.C. – to help fund everything from bike parks, trails, fitness facilities and walkways to playgrounds, rinks and recreation centres.

For additional information about federal investments in infrastructure visit or follow us on Twitter at @INFC_eng.

For further information about the Government of Canada's Enabling Accessibility Fund visit or follow us on Twitter at @HRSDCanada


For more information:

Marie-Josée Paquette
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and
Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

Anne Guillo
Communications Coordinator
City of Courtenay

Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

Paul Taylor
Director of Communications

Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154

Employment and Social Development Canada
Media Relations Office

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