Centre Stage

B.C.’s local recreation centres can be one-stop fitness, community and social hubs all in one.

By Catherine Dunwoody

Community and recreation centres bring locals and visitors of all generations together. Social interactions, physical and mental wellness, volunteerism, team support, the arts and lifelong learning are all great reasons to find these local hotspots.

GIBSONS PUBLIC MARKET on the Sunshine Coast is more than a place to shop for food. It offers marine education through the Nicholas Sontag Marine Education Centre, plus hosts yoga and cooking classes, live music, art exhibits, cultural events and more. gibsonspublicmarket.com

Port Coquitlam Community Centre, Port Coquitlam, B.C.

PORT COQUITLAM COMMUNITY CENTRE is a $132-million facility that opened in 2021 which includes two ice arenas, steam rooms, a leisure pool and a lazy river, fitness centre, library, games room, concession and more. Outdoor amenities will include sports courts, gardens, walking paths, a playground and spray park. portcoquitlam.ca/recreation/port-coquitlam-community-centre

Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre, Aldergrove, B.C.

ALDERGROVE CREDIT UNION COMMUNITY CENTRE is a summer hotspot, with the Otter Co-op Outdoor Experience waterpark keeping the whole family cool and having fun. It has a lazy river, canopied hot tub and a wave pool, plus waterslides with a view. tol.ca/recreation-culture/facilities/aldergrove-credit-union-community-centre/otter-co-op-outdoor-experience

Upper Skeena Recreation Centre, Hazleton, B.C. Photo by Ema Peter Photography, courtesy Hemsworth Architecture.

UPPER SKEENA RECREATION CENTRE in Hazelton is a collaboration between municipal and Indigenous groups. Opened in 2019, its NHL ice surface offers hockey and skating, plus there’s a gymnasium for basketball, volleyball and pickleball. Fitness centre offerings include dance and yoga classes, a walking concourse and various fitness-related courses, including one for aspiring teen coaches. myreccentrehazelton.com

Lillooet R.E.C. Centre, Lillooet, B.C.

LILLOOET R.E.C. CENTRE (Recreation, Education, and Cultural) has an NHL-sized rink, 25-metre pool, weight room, squash court, climbing wall, gym, public library and meeting rooms. It serves a region including six surrounding indigenous communities. The District of Lillooet and Lillooet Tribal Council are exploring the possibility of a renovated, expanded St’at’imc Cultural and Community Centre. lillooet.ca/Recreation-Activities/Recreation-Centre.aspx

Sun Peaks Centre, Sun Peaks, B.C. Photo by Adrien Williams.

SUN PEAKS CENTRE, built in 2020, features an open-air NHL-sized ice rink (available for rent) surrounded by mountain views, a conference centre and modern facilities for summer weddings and concerts. The centre is walkable from the village: Sun Peaks is growing into much more than just a place to ski. sunpeaksresort.com/sun-peaks-centre

Buy here: Sun Peaks single-family home assessments were up by 25% in 2021.

Kamloops Tournament Capital Center, Kamloops, B.C. Photo by Tyler Meade Photography.

KAMLOOPS TOURNAMENT CAPITAL CENTRE is a 165,000 square-foot sport, recreation and community wellness facility containing the Canada Games Aquatics Cente, plus a fieldhouse with a six-lane indoor track, stadium, three NBA basketball courts, plus gymnastics, trampoline and spin studio facilities. kamloops.ca/recreation-culture/facility-hours-rates/tournament-capital-centre-tcc

Vernon Community Arts Centre, Vernon, B.C.

VERNON COMMUNITY ARTS CENTRE focuses on arts-based classes, camps and workshops including pottery, fibre arts, painting, music lessons and much more for adults, kids and teens (like a Youth Artist in Residence program). Exhibits, art sales and fundraisers step up the arts community spirit, and members of the Arts Council of the North Okanagan receive discounts here. vernonarts.ca

Nakusp and District Sports District, Nakusp, B.C.

NAKUSP AND DISTRICT SPORTS COMPLEX, in the Slocan Valley/Arrow Lakes area, has indoor squash and a four-sheet curling rink, an ice arena and auditorium (the latter serving as a walkable track in the winter). Surrounding the complex is a sports field, playground and swimming area with a sandy beach and skate park. nakusp.com/municipal-services/arena-parks/nakusp-district-sports-complex

Rossland Youth Action Network, Rossland, B.C. Photo by Tourism Rossland/Dave Heath

ROSSLAND YOUTH ACTION NETWORK is a safe space geared to the community’s youth, offering leadership programs, cooking classes, art programs and even Dungeons and Dragons play. Also popular is a youth snowboard program called YAN shreds, where kids are mentored as riders, and a rock-climbing club. rosslandyan.ca

Buy here: Rossland single-family home assessments were up by 33% in 2021.

Creston & District Community Complex, Creston, B.C.

CRESTON & DISTRICT COMMUNITY COMPLEX boasts an 800-seat indoor ice arena, a six-sheet curling rink, a two-lane 80-metre indoor track, fitness studio with wood sprung floor, plus an indoor aquatic area and physiotherapy clinic. In 2020, an outdoor park opened with pickleball and basketball courts, horseshoe pits plus a skatepark, beach volleyball and more. creston.ca/2159/Community-Complex-Rec-Centre

Golden Civic Centre, Golden, B.C. Photo by wikimediacommons.org/ Royalbroil.

GOLDEN CIVIC CENTRE was built by volunteers in 1948, then rebuilt in 2011, honouring the building’s past. This is the town’s performing arts and culture hub: past hits include Bruce Cockburn, Ballet Kelowna and the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. A conference room space can be configured various ways, and don’t miss the eye-candy Bugaboos art exhibit. goldenciviccentre.ca

Radium Hot Springs Centre, Radium Hot Springs, B.C.

RADIUM HOT SPRINGS CENTRE multi-use community hub in the Village of Radium was completed in 2018 and was awarded a Community Recognition Award by Wood WORKS! BC for its wood architecture, natural light and heating and cooling systems. Overlooking Legend’s Field, the all-seasons activity hub also opened a new splash park in 2021. radiumhotsprings.ca/village-facilities/radium-hot-springs-centre

Invermere’s Columbia Valley Centre, Invermere, B.C.

INVERMERE’S COLUMBIA VALLEY CENTRE, which opened in 2017, houses the Invermere Public Library, has a rooftop patio with panoramic views of the Rocky and Purcell mountains and hosts live theatre, music, sporting events, film festivals and more. Fitness classes, yoga, Zumba and gardening workshops are big hits here! invermere.net/community/community-centre

Fernie Aquatic Centre, Fernie, B.C.

FERNIE AQUATIC CENTRE features an indoor waterslide, hot tubs, a six-lane competitive pool and a splash pool for the wee ones. Summer means the outdoor workout equipment, Fernie Dirt Jump & Skills Park and new outdoor volleyball courts are in full swing. A skatepark is slated to open in summer 2022. fernie.ca/EN/main/residents/parks-recreation/fernie-aquaticcentre.html

Buy here: Fernie single-family home assessments were up by 17% in 2021.