Campbell River’s Strathcona Gardens to receive more than $4.6 funding for the installation of energy efficient upgrades

New snow melting pits at Strathcona Gardens will free up the current Zamboni snow-dumping spot for parking spaces.

They are being built with some of the more than $4.6 million the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) has received from the federal Gas Tax Fund. The money will also be used to install several new heating and cooling systems at Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex. The new systems will allow the facility to operate in a more efficient, safe, sustainable and cost-effective manner.

The planned upgrades encompass a four-prong approach which include the installation of a heat energy recovery system, the construction of the snow melting pits, the installation of a solar power system and the replacement of the old, inefficient air-handlers with new, high-efficiency units.

“All of this work will result in lower operating costs for the SRD, increased efficiency within the facility and a smaller carbon footprint from our operations. The program is really a win-win situation and fits with the SRD’s goal of building towards a sustainable future,” SRD Board Chair Michele Babchuk said in a press release. “The new systems will continue to add value in the planned upgrades and renovations proposed through the REC-REATE project, which could start as early as 2020. All of these improvements will be able to remain in the facility, which may also help to offset some of construction costs as the upgrading planned for the heating and cooling systems will already be completed.”

The overall energy efficiency upgrade project entails four stand alone projects, with each project complimenting the others.

“The new solar cells will capture clean solar energy to power the facility and arena refrigeration systems. The snow melting pits will increase safety by allowing Zamboni operators to dispose of snow, collected from ice cleans, inside the facility as opposed to the parking lot. Parking spaces previously occupied by excess snow and ice will be freed up. The heat energy recovery system will collect waste heat that is generated by the arena refrigeration systems and use it to heat the facility, the snow melting pits, and the facility’s hot water. The updated air handlers will tap into the heat recovery system thus decreasing natural gas consumption and GHG emissions,” says Strathcona Gardens Manager of Arenas and Facility Operations Gavin Hamblin. “The work will also improve air quality inside the facility by increasing dehumidification and air exchange rates.”

Each year, the Government of Canada provides over $278 million in funding for local government infrastructure projects across British Columbia through the federal Gas Tax Fund. The Union of BC Municipalities administers the federal Gas Tax Fund in British Columbia in partnership with the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

“Community infrastructure makes for great places to live,” said Claire Trevena, MLA for North Island and B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “This is a valuable contribution made through partnerships between all levels of government that will sustain the Strathcona Gardens and the programs that bring the people of Campbell River together,” MLA for North Island and B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena said.

Director Wendy Booth, President, Union of BC Municipalities added, “Communities across BC are looking for funding to replace, upgrade and expand local infrastructure. The federal Gas Tax Fund is accelerating the pace of infrastructure renewal through the transfer of close to $3 billion since 2005 for projects in our province. I appreciate the Government of Canada’s long-term commitment to fund priorities identified by BC local governments.”


– To see the full list of projects funded through this intake, visit:

– To learn more about the federal Gas Tax Fund visit:

– To learn more about Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex, please visit

– To learn more about the Strathcona Regional District, visit

The Strathcona Regional District is a partnership of four electoral areas and five municipalities providing services to approximately 43,000 residents.

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