City of Parksville to take ownership of District 69 Arena

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The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) will transfer ownership of the District 69 Arena to the City of Parksville next month. The RDN previously considered setting aside $1 million to demolish the building, but Mayor Ed Mayne and Coun. Adam Fras proposed the city instead take ownership of the facility, according to Fras.

“We will now be able to simplify the ownership of the building and be in a position to work directly with our local curling club for the ongoing operation of the facility for the community,” said Mayne.

The RDN Board, Parksville Council and Parksville Curling Club Society, which operates the arena, determined that a transfer of ownership of the arena to the city will provide administrative efficiencies for all parties. The RDN and the city are currently finalizing the agreement. 

“By Parksville having full ownership of it, it streamlines the process of doing the lease agreements and brings a lot more certainty,” said Fras, adding the facility was transferred to the city for $1. 

The city leases the land the arena sits on to the RDN in five-year terms according to parkland covenant restrictions. The RDN leases the arena to the Curling Club. A single, new lease between the city and the Curling Club will replace the existing leases. The RDN will have no further interests in the District 69 Arena once the transfer is complete.

“The Curling Club has been exceptional in their efforts to fund, maintain and manage the District 69 Arena,” said RDN chair Tyler Brown. “We are pleased they will continue to operate the facility and provide Oceanside residents with a dedicated place to curl when it can re-open to the public.”

The arena was built by the RDN in Parksville Community Park in the early 1970s and  has been used as a public arena for three decades. Following the construction of the RDN’s Oceanside Place in 2003, the Curling Club leased the arena and has operated it primarily as a curling rink ever since.

“The Parksville Curling Club would like to thank the RDN for such a positive working relationship over the years. We look forward to having an equally positive working relationship with the City of Parksville,” said Penny Shantz, president of the Parksville Curling Club Society. 

“With this new five year lease under one ownership, it broadens our future building grants and also opens our doors to future national and international events.”

The District 69 Arena is a 500 seat facility that features five curling sheets and can accommodate 40 curlers at a time. The arena has ice from September through March and is used for events and other activities during the remainder of the year. The facility is currently closed due to COVID-19 guidelines.

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