The recreation centre located on the Akisqnuk First Nation lands, outside of the band office, has recently reopened for business after closing for the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year.
Going forward, the recreation centre will be open for appointment-only usage for those interested in returning for exercise.
“We wanted to be safe with the pandemic,” explained Heather Rennebohm, Columbia Lake Recreation Centre (CLRC) spokesperson about the earlier closure.
The CLRC recreation centre was forced to close on March 20 when the global healthcare crisis ensued and forced many businesses to re-evaluate their daily operations. For the safety of the community and to reduce the potential risk for the novel coronavirus to spread through community transmission, it has remained closed until the month of October.
While the recreation centre is located on the lands of Akisqnuk First Nation community, it is open to all nations and everyone is encouraged to visit.
“The facility is open to all residents and visitors in the Columbia Valley,” she said. “It is open to Akisqnuk, Shuswap, Métis nation members and all of our non-Indigenous communities as well; all the way from Canal Flats up to Brisco and Parsons. People even come from Golden to play pickleball, actually. It’s open to everyone, and that’s, I think one of the things that’s very unique about the centre. It truly is a facility that everyone can enjoy and can access, whether from an Indigenous community or non-Indigenous, a second homeowner or a resident, young and old — everyone can enjoy it.”
In an effort to control the spread of COVID-19, the CLRC requires those who wish to utilize the 22,500 square foot facility to contact the recreation coordinator to make a booking. Their goal is to restrict each activity area in the centre to a maximum of twelve people for the time-being.
According to In Developments, the facility was built using Structural Insulated Panels for superior strength and energy efficiency. The development is suitable for floor soccer, lacrosse, running, exercise facilities, offices and meeting rooms, locker, and team showers. However, the cafeteria is expected to remain closed for the time. The CLRC hopes to reopen the cafeteria before Christmas.
“We’re working on an appointments system,” said Rennebohm, indicating it’s a balancing act to schedule staff around the reservations and programs that have resumed.
Please contact Bryan Armstrong at [email protected] or 250-342-6111 to make arrangements for facility use in-advance.
To access the building, please take an immediate right outside the band office to park and enter on the eastern side of the recreation centre where the sun rises to honour Ktunaxa traditions.
Breanne Massey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer