The Kelowna Paddle Centre found an expanded home today when city council unanimously approved a five-year lease for four properties along Abbott Street at Pandosy Waterfront Park.
“The Kelowna Paddle Centre has already demonstrated what an asset it will be in our community,” said Mayor Walter Gray. “The city is providing this lease as our contribution to the partnership, which will deliver active living opportunities for our residents.”
Under the lease, Kelowna will provide the land and the Kelowna Paddle Centre will provide operational funding, programming and upgrades to the site. The lease area includes the existing gravel parking area where the centre started under a Temporary Use Permit in July 2012, as well as the house and properties next door at 3020, 3030 and 3040 Abbott Street. The house physically spans these three properties.
“The Paddle Centre is a great fit for Pandosy Waterfront. A facility like this supports our Official Community Plan which outlines the need to provide opportunities for people to pursue active, creative and healthy lifestyles close to where they live and work. The city also wanted to ensure some activity at the site that would ensure a vibrant waterfront in the Pandosy area,” said Gray.
“We know the park will not be developed in the foreseeable future and this provides us an opportunity to have activity on the site sooner than later,” he said.
The Kelowna Paddle Centre volunteers have provided learn-to-paddle programs to nearly 130 children and 50 adults so far in 2014. Participants ranged in age from five to 70 and covered all skill levels from beginners to former and current national and world champion paddlers. National team members, Olympians and professional athletes from other sports also use the paddle centre for cross training.
Kelowna and the Okanagan have been a centre of paddle sport activity for more than 100 years. These sports are experiencing a resurgence due to an increasing public awareness in the value of outdoor activity and accessibility to different ages and physical abilities.
The city often partners with organizations to provide active living services. For instance there are similar arrangements to provide space for the Central Okanagan Small Boat Association, badminton club, lawn bowling club, Okanagan Gymnastics Club, Kelowna Curling Club. Most recently the city provided land for the Kelowna United Soccer dome just behind H2O Adventure + Fitness Centre.
To view the council report, go to kelowna.ca/council and for more project information, visit kelowna.ca/cityprojects.