Bowen Island Municipality had an information booth at Bowfest on Saturday, August 25, aiming to inform the community about the proposed Bowen Island Community Centre, a 16,000 square foot civic facility on Bowen Island Trunk Road. Conveniently located in Snug Cove next to Bowen Island Community School, the Community Centre will bring together community-use spaces with recreation, performing arts facilities and municipal services under one roof.
The launch of the capital fundraising campaign was the first opportunity for the community to financially contribute towards the project, which is estimated to cost approximately $14 million to build.
“Our fundraising target from donations is $1.5 million,” said Shauna Jennings, BIM Manager of Recreation and Community Services, who is co-managing the project alongside Jacqueline Massey, Executive Director for the Bowen Island Arts Council, “and if we can demonstrate that the community is in support, we can be eligible to receive up to $9.3 million from federal and provincial grant programs.” Donors can either make a direct donation to the Community Centre fund or pledge a donation that would be collected once the capital funding is secured. “The key is the community support, and making a pledge is an excellent way of demonstrating that support,” said Massey.
Donors will have the option to pledge or donate to the capital costs of building the facility, or to contribute to an Endowment Fund that will help with operating expenses, once it’s built. Donations and pledges can be made online, or to Bowen Island Municipality or Bowen Island Arts Council.
Other sources of funding include $1.2 million currently held in Municipal reserves and up to $2 million from a tax neutral loan. “We currently pay about $127,000 a year to rent facilities for municipal service delivery,” said Jennings, “which is about what it would cost to borrow the $2 million, meaning there would be no increase to property taxes.”