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Business &Progress A special section about

economic progress in the Comox Valley





m o .c D R O C E R Y E L L A V X O COM Acclaimed roof receives 4


NIC’s enrollment increases for third year 6 Renovated rec centre popular 10 Construction could begin by summer at CAYET 11 Vancouver Island Mountain Centre open 14



Friday, February 17, 2012


New Thrifty Foods store in Courtenay on schedule Renée Andor Record Staff The Thrifty Foods development at Crown Isle is moving along on time. “The project’s on schedule,” said Erin Kelly, Thrifty Foods communication manager. The steel arrived near the end of January, and the structure is now going up. Kelly said the grocery chain expects to have the second Courtenay Thrifty Foods store open by this summer. Double the size of the downtown store, this store will be 39,000 square feet large at the southeast corner of the intersection of Ryan and Lerwick roads. The current Thrifty Foods will remain open, and the new store is expected to create 120 new jobs. An 8,921-square-metre commercial shopping centre will sit on the 4.97 hectares of land there. Phase 1 of the plan includes eight commercial buildings with a mix of retail, office, financial and restaurant uses, as well as the grocery story. This first phase is about 90,000 square feet total.

THIS SITE AT RYAN AND LERWICK roads will transform into a spiffy new Thrifty Foods by summer. The buildings will have a contemporary West Coast look and will feature large canopies of timber with stone bases. Some residents were con-

cerned about noise, as the development is next door to homes at Crown Isle. Thrifty Foods has worked with a sound engineer to come up with a series of sound atten-

uation fences. They will also plant trees in the 7.5-metre buffer between the development and the residences behind it. Kelly said Thrifty Foods is


looking forward to opening its doors this summer. “We’re excited to be part of the community and to have a second store there in the Valley, and looking

forward to opening our doors and greeting customers and being part of that whole development on Crown Isle,” she said.




Ray & Lila Bennett started Bennett Sheet Metal 50 years ago, they opened a branch in Campbell River in 1971. The business is still family owned and operated and looks forward to many more years of serving the Comox Valley, Camp Ca mpbe bellll R Riv iver er & N Nor orth th IIsl slan and. d. Campbell River North Island.


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Friday, February 17, 2012

Business of the Year improved on several fronts Earle Couper Record Staff The introduction of new technology at Mount Washington Alpine Resort has made it easier to introduce skiing and snowboarding to a new generation. Prior to opening this season, the resort — which was named the Comox Valley Business of the Year — underwent major renovations. “Our goal is to make the learning experience for beginner skiers and snowboarders one of the best in North America,” says Don Sharpe, director of business operations at the resort. “We removed all of the old lifts in our Green Zone, replaced them with state-ofthe-art Magic Carpets and rebranded the area as Easy Acres.” Easy Acres is the mountain’s single largest development in the past few years. The total project, which includes extensive slope recontouring and the installation of four Magic Carpets, had a budget of $3 million. Magic Carpets are just like moveable walkways at an airport and are widely recognized as one of the best methods for moving beginner skiers and boarders up the slopes. Mount Washington’s carpets are located on the mountain’s new runs: Easy Street and The Big Easy. Easy Street is the home of three carpets: lower (165 metres), middle (177 metres), and upper (198 metres). The Big Easy is the home of Mount Washington’s teaching carpet (91 metres). “Our network of Magic Carpets is one of the largest in North America and features covered canopies to protect riders from the elements on their way up the mountain,” adds Sharpe. The Magic Carpets replace the Green Chair, which Sharpe notes, “was the hub of our learning area since 1979. It was definitely time for a change. With the addition of the Magic Carpets to the new terrain, we are now one of the easiest places to learn to ski and snowboard in North America.” With the three separate carpets at different elevations, students can choose to go up all three levels and ski down from the top or get off at the first or second carpets and ski down one level at a time. The other advantage of having four carpets instead of having everyone concentrated in one area is the resort can spread people out

A NEW MOUNTAIN centre complete with exercise facilities has enhanced the offerings at the Mount Washington Alpine Resort, which also introduced Magic Carpets (right) to get skiers to the slopes in comfort and style. over the four lifts, separating different skill levels as well as skiers and snowboarders. “The key here is we want to develop this whole concept of snow play. The idea is to get people to come up and play in the snow, and find out it’s not intimidating,” resort president Peter Gibson said. The new Magic Carpets do not affect overall lift operations, resort director of maintenance and operations George Trousdell said. “It is almost the same. The chair takes a few more people to operate and the carpets take a few less. But because there are so many, it works out the same. “It definitely improves the beginner experience,” Trousdell said. “That old double chair is old technology and a bit of a white-knuckle ride for beginners.” John Trimmer, head coach and program director for the Mount Washington Ski Club, is a big fan of the Magic Carpets. “I think they (are) a great addition to the mountain and a benefit to the club. Awesome for younger athletes as they are so easy to load. The Magic Carpets ... also create shorter lineups and increase runs for our groups because fewer people have trouble loading and riding the lifts. Big bonus for mountain and club!” The four carpets run at 80 per cent of the speed the old Green Chair did, but because they run constantly they are more efficient. The chairlift used to stop and start all the time, and on busy days it took a long time

to get to the top of the Green Face. Slow but steady is a great way to go for those new to skiing and snowboarding, notes Sharpe, adding that the covered conveyors have been receiving rave reviews. “The snow pros that are providing instruction to our new skiers and boarders love the Magic Carpets. The learning curve has been dramatically improved and our guests are having a blast in the snow.”




Friday, February 17, 2012


Acclaimed roof receives award Erin Haluschak Record Staff Its unique shape is as eyecatching as the surrounding environment, as the curved metal roof atop the Deep Bay Marine Field Station not only sets the building apart, but allows it to blend into its location. The curved roof, created to emulate crashing waves or a clamshell, was created by Cumberland’s Nelson Roofing and Sheet Metal. Bryan Hignell, commercial sheet metal superintendent for the company said the unique roof took about eight months to complete from planning stages to production, but the company was prepared for the challenge. “We’ve done a few similar roofs before, with lots of residential with curved applications, and some commercial such as the Comox Airport, but with this particular esthetic it definitely presented some challenges,” he noted. “We had to figure out how to get the curved panels on the roof.” Hignell added the eight-man crew used a pulley-type system with boards to pull the panels up to the top.

The champagne metallic seam panels were custom rollformed and curved on site, he noted. The roof has three different radiuses, and the longest panels are approximately 70 feet. The panels, which are part of the LEED Platinum accreditation of the building as a whole, are composed of recycled pieces and are completely recyclable. In recognition of the uniqueness of the project, Nelson Roofing received the award for Best Metal Roof of the Year for their work on the station in September from the Chicago-based industry trade magazine MetalMag in their 2011 Architectural Awards. “It was a pretty big accomplishment. We were up against some very impressive projects from the States,” said Hignell. “It really put us on the map.” Judge Tim Wurtele noted in MetMag magazine the roof is “a bold abstraction of form that subtly lies in the hillside landscape with a view onto the bay ... expressing the structure under the curved metal skin gives the impression that the metal shell could actually open.”

SEEN DURING CONSTRUCTION, the Deep Bay Marine Field Station includes an award-winning roof built by Cumberland’s Nelson Roofing and Sheet Metal. PHOTO BY VANCOUVER ISLAND UNIVERSITY



Friday, February 17, 2012


Visitor Centre quietly opens doors Scott Stanfield Record Staff

The Vancouver Island Visitor Centre — that wooden, drum-shaped building with the green roof at the highway interchange — is scheduled to officially open to the public April 1, though it has been operating the past few weeks. The name morphed from its original moniker, the Vancouver Island and Coast Discovery Centre, to represent the entire region, though Comox Valley appears on the wood drum facing the highway and below the title at the front of the concrete building. “We wanted to make sure people knew as they came off the highway that they’re in the Comox Valley,” said John Watson,

economic development officer at the Comox Valley Economic Development Society. “It’s not often we get Comox Valley signage on the highway.” The centre is located at Small Road in Cumberland at the interchange of the Inland Island Highway and the Comox Valley Parkway. It is intended to help drive tourism in the North Central Island and coastal regions, and to showcase regional industries. It will also support and promote First Nations with an emphasis on the K’ómoks First Nation. The parking lot includes an archway by Randy Frank, 30 to 40 parking spots, an electric carcharging station, five bus parking spots and a transit stop. “Eventually we hope to

see public transit here,” Watson said. Inside the building is a visitor service/sales centre and an exhibit hall that features a touch table akin to a giant iPad. Exhibits come with interpretive boards, videos and threedimensional displays that illustrate forest, alpine, ocean and agriculture themes. “The B.C. Shellfish Growers Association was instrumental in supporting the shellfish and oceans exhibit,” said Lara Greasley, marketing and communications director at CVEDS. “They contributed some support so we were able to create a touch tank for kids to get their hands wet and learn about our shellfish industry.” The centre includes a staff office at the back.


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“It’s meant to be a very open place, not an office building,” Watson said. Last year, the federal government committed $3 million to the centre. The Province contributed operating funds and, through the Island Coastal Economic Trust, another $745,000. Trilogy Properties Corp. donated the land. The centre is part of Trilogy’s mixed-use development dubbed CAYET. Adventure Management Ltd. has been contracted to operate the visitor centre. The award-winning company operates visitor centres in Kamloops, Merritt, Osoyoos, Mount Robson and Valemount in northern B.C., where it is based. “We’ve had over 300 applications,” owner Wendy Dyson said. “This is the most we have ever received.”

REALLY A REST area and experience, a place where people can explore, they can experiment with certain things and get a sense that the Island has so much to offer. PHOTOS BY SCOTT STANFIELD



Friday, February 17, 2012


NIC’s enrolment increases for third year in a row Renée Andor Record Staff The Comox Valley North Island College (NIC) campus is still growin’ strong. The fall/winter 2011/2012 enrolment numbers for all campuses show a two-per-cent increase in registrations over the previous year, and NIC director of college and community relations Susan Auchterlonie said the increase builds on past years. “It’s the third year in a row of consecutive growth for the college, which is just incredibly good new for us and our communities,” said Auchterlonie. While NIC as a whole has higher enrolment numbers this year, Auchterlonie said the Comox Valley campus in particular has “very strong” enrolment numbers. The boosts are in humanities, social science, English, business administration, and health and human services like early childhood education and nursing. The new trades centre, which opened about a year ago, has helped keep enrolment numbers up for trades, according to Auchterlonie. “As a result of that trades centre, we’re offering carpentry training here and we have full classes every time we offer an intake, which is exactly what we had projected would happen,” she said. However, that’s not the case at

THE COMOX VALLEY CAMPUS of North Island College continues to grow. all campuses. The trades programs’ enrolments have decreased by two per cent overall and the apprenticeship programs’ enrolments have decreased by four. “There was such a large pent-up demand for carpentry; we’ve been able to sustain it in the Comox Valley, but other programs that

are offered in Campbell River and Port Alberni are just seeing a bit of softening,” explained Auchterlonie, adding that these enrolments are “cyclical” and depend on the job market. Meanwhile, NIC as a whole has seen a spike in the number of students enrolled in the continuing


education and training division, with the number up to 142 this year, compared to 49 the previous year. Auchterlonie said NIC continues to attract international students to its campuses, after a large increase of 40 per cent in 2010/2011 from the year before.

This year, “we’ve got a single digit increase over the last year, which is very good news, given the fact that is was such a large increase the previous year, just to sustain it,” said Auchterlonie. “It is part of our long-term strategy to increase our international education.”

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Help Us Plan for the future of our waste

We need your input! We need your feedback on proposed programs to:

Reduce the garbage we produce Expand existing landfills Compost our food waste And more!

Enter to win! Fill in our feedback form at the open house or online and enter for a chance to win one of five prizes worth $100 in groceries at a local grocery store! Attend an open house or visit for details and conditions.

Attend an open house and presentation near you!

SCHOOL DISTRICT 71 superintendent Sherry Elwood looks forward to working with the new Board of Education. PHOTO BY RENÉE ANDOR

New faces, same direction

Please join us at one of our open houses and stay for the presentation and question and answer period. View information displays and talk to staff and technical experts to learn more.




Baynes Sound-Denman/

Mar. 5



Denman Island

Mar. 7



Denman Island community hall

Hornby Island

Mar. 8



Hornby Island community hall

Village of Cumberland

Mar. 13



Cumberland seniors centre

Puntledge-Black Creek

Mar. 14



Horst Henning hall, Oyster Bay Resort

Renée Andor

already has deep roots in this style of learning, but moving further in that direction is Record Staff a priority. With a new Board of Education and a con“Our district is actually a lighthouse on tinuing push towards 21st-century learning, that one (21st-century learning). We are School District 71 will continue to change leading the province in how we are supportthis year. ing our students into better learning plans SD71 superintendent Sherry Elwood said than what we’re doing,” she said. “We will she’s looking forward to working with the be looking at this new 21st-century learning newly elected trustees to build on the past and the impact it will have on our students board’s accomplishments. in the classroom. What will it mean, how do “When you lose one board and gain a new we support our teachers, how do we support one, there’s always excitement about the our students?” newness, but you want to honour and thank Elwood agreed and added that even bigthe previous board that ger changes to the way got you to where you students are taught When you lose one board will be coming in the are today,” said Elwood. Board chair Tom and gain a new one, there’s next few years. She Weber, vice-chair Jansaid that teachers’ always excitement about the ice Caton and trustee newness, but you want to hon- roles will shift to more Sheila McDonnell are of advisors and guides our and thank the previous returning board memrather than the tradibers. board that got you to where tional ‘teacher’ of inforTrustee Rick Grinmation. you are today. ham is back after one Students “don’t — Sherry Elwood need us for facts and term off, and trustees Peter Coleman, Donna figures — they’ve got Gambacorta and Paula Selby are brand new everything in their cell phone today — so we to the board. have to change our relationship with learnElwood said she’s pleased there’s a mix of ing with them,” said Elwood. “We need to be new and old faces on the board. facilitators of knowledge.” “It’s always good to have some veteran According to Elwood, changes coming over experience as you have new folks, but new the next few years will be gradual; some folks bring new ideas and a fresh way of programs have already been piloted over looking at things,” explained Elwood. the past couple of years and some more are SD71 also has some new faces on its planned for this September. senior staff; Ian Heselgrave became the Caton said advocacy for educational funddirector of operations in early January, and ing will be a high priority this year as well, Russell Horswill became the secretary treaadding that the issue is on-going and fundsurer at the end of January. ing woes are not getting any easier. “So we’ve got new faces on our own team, “Every year we have to cut because the so it’s a great time to reaffirm the directions Ministry of Education chooses to fund educathat we want to go in and to brainstorm tion not fully,” said Caton. together and plan and dream big for the “The next year, it’s going to be fun, I think future,” said Elwood. it’s going to be energizing, but we’re also One the big dreams is to keep the dislooking at the issues of money, and money is trict moving in the direction of 21st-century a big issue,” said Caton. learning. Trustee Caton said the district


VENUE Union Bay community hall

Hornby Islands (Area ‘A’ - CVRD)

(Area ‘C’ - CVRD) Oyster River-Buttle Lake (Area ‘D’ - SRD) Discovery IslandsMainland Inlets (Area ‘C’ - SRD)

Mar. 15



Village of Gold River

Mar. 19



Quadra Elementary School

Village of Tahsis

Mar. 20



Tahsis recreation centre

City of Campbell River

Mar. 21



Museum at Campbell River

Lazo North (Area ‘B’ - CVRD)

Mar. 28



City of Courtenay

Mar. 29



Cortes (Area ‘B’ - SRD)

Apr. 12



Village of Sayward

Apr. 16



Heritage hall, Sayward Valley

Apr. 17



Zeballos community hall

Gerry Morgan Memorial Centre

Town of Comox and Comox seniors centre CVRD boardroom, 550B Comox Road Gorge hall

Village of Zeballos and Kyuquot-Nootka / Sayward (Area ‘A’ - SRD)

Can’t make it in person? Simply review the information online at and then fill in our feedback form and enter for your chance to win! It’s that easy!

What Do You Think? Your input is important and will be used to help guide decisions about new programs and services, creating a plan for the future of our garbage. Here’s how to provide your feedback, or find out more: Come to one of our open houses and presentations. Visit Simply review the information and fill in our feedback form. Email: Mail: 600 Comox Road, Courtenay, BC V9N 3P6 Tel: 250-334-6099 or Toll-free: 1-800-331-6007 Fax: 250-334-8156

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Friday, February 17, 2012


19 Wing, upgrades finishing this year New buildings on the way for CFB Comox and Snowbirds back this spring

flow, safety and security.” Currently, the utility corridors are being upgraded, and it’s all part of a larger infrastructure systems upgrade, noted Reid. Another project, which is due to be completed by late summer of this year, is a Erin Haluschak new health services buildRecord Staff ing. Reid said the existing facility, which provides serAlthough CFB Comox vices for military members, may look the same to a is more than 60 years old. passerby, many changes are “The new building will afoot for 19 Wing, including provide members with effimany new projects coming cient and expert services. to completion in 2012. The new location will be Lieut. Trevor Reid, public more of a affairs purposeoffice for The new building built the base, building,” explained will provide members he added. there are with efficient and expert Reid many services. The new location said the changes, will be more of a purpose- firefightincluding tower ing new built building. is also buildings — Lieut. Trevor Reid undergoand infraing mainstructure tenance — a facility which upgrades which may not be helps improve the skills of visible to the public. members, which will help as “One of our big projects is it keeps firefighters on base, extensive utility upgrades rather then sending them to near the main gate,” he another location for training. explained. “There’s going to Looking ahead to the be improvements to traffic

THE SNOWBIRD TEAM will return to 19 Wing Comox this spring, ending their visit with an air show scheduled for May 8. FILE PHOTO

spring, one returning event to CFB Comox will be the arrival and training of the Snowbirds. Reid said the demonstration team will return to the Valley April 23 and remain until May 8, with an air

Pride, Quality, Innovation, Performance & Safety

show planned. The Snowbirds have been performing for four decades, with the first one in Moose Jaw in July of 1971. The group was made up of volunteer instructor pilots at first. In April of 1978, the Snow-

birds were made a permanent squadron and renamed the 431 (Air Demonstration) Squadron. The Snowbirds are known as ‘Canadian ambassadors’ for the Department of National Defense, and their

acrobatic maneuvers are performed all over North America. In addition, the regional cadet gliders will return this summer to the Regional Gliding School located at the base, confirmed Reid.

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Friday, February 17, 2012


Airport in Comox always seeking ways to improve Erin Haluschak Record Staff Shirley de Silva is proud for the way in which the Comox Valley Airport is heading. The chief executive officer for the Comox Valley Airport Commission (CVAC) and said a strong financial performance in 2011 in addition to increased passenger numbers have provided a strong base for future growth for mid-Island airport. “We want this to be the best airport — your trip begins here from the moment you step into the building,” explained de Silva, who said last week she is resigning as CEO for personal reasons. CVAC’s five-year strategic plan sets goals that include expanding air services, facilities meeting customer needs and effective communications. Short-terms goals include the installation of free Wi-Fi around the airport terminal, a redesign of the passenger lounge and a new website to be revealed in the early months of 2012 to make it more user-friendly, she noted. In 2011, the airport served 308,937 passengers,

which resulted in a 4.2per-cent increase over the previous year. This places the airport growth above the minimal passenger growth experienced by most airports across North America. The airport’s busiest month was August, which saw a total of 34,580 passengers — an increase of 992 passengers over the same month in 2010. CVAC’s strategic plan estimates an annual passenger increase of three per cent, which could place the airport’s passenger numbers as high as 344,125 by 2015. de Silva said within the past year, she has presented 14 business cases to a variety of airlines and met with multiple carriers about looking at the possibility of an airline proving transborder service to the U.S. from Comox. “We are looking at new destinations,” she said, and added the airport has a very strong airline incentive program which she explained as an important tool to strengthen the air service development business cases for airlines, which includes terminal fee reductions and marketing support. In 2011, de Silva noted

THE COMOX VALLEY Airport offers many flights by WestJet. the Cancun direct option was added for travellers leaving Comox with the establishment of Air Transat and Nolitours at the air-

port, while Flair Air added a charter flight to and from Fort Nelson. The past year also saw the launch of the new strate-


gic marketing and branding campaign. The plan, de Silva said, is to follow the strategic plan for steady, sustainable pas-

senger growth, examining additional air services and continuing a high level of customer satisfaction.






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Friday, February 17, 2012


PEOPLE HAVE REACTED enthusiastically to an extensive renovation inside and outside at the Comox Community Centre.

CONGRATULATIONS to all Comox Valley Businesses

on your successes and thanks for the part you play in creating the thriving community we enjoy today.

DON MCRAE, MLA Comox Valley Constituency Office 437 5th St., Courtenay BC V9N 1J7 Phone: (250) 703-2422 Fax: (250) 703-2425 Email:

Renovated rec centre popular Since January 1994… …Thrifty Foods has served Courtenay, Comox and the surrounding areas by providing quality food products, competitive prices, friendly helpful staff, and a clean, well-stocked store. “Thank you for the support and loyalty over the years! We are confident that we can meet all of your shopping needs. Please feel free to contact myself or any of my team at (250) 338-1383 if we can be of any assistance.”

Andy Carter, Store Manager

Fresh food, friendly service, and commitment to community since 1994. We are located at 6th and England Avenue in Courtenay, BC.

Build it and they will come. In 2010 the Comox Community Centre began a renovation that would change the face of recreation in the Town of Comox. The 1965 Centennial Wing was torn down and by the spring of 2011 a 3,000square-foot multi-purpose hall, offices, several storage rooms and a 5,000-square-foot fitness studio stood in its place. The citizens of Comox were ready and from the day the doors opened they came in droves. The recreation centre now sees an average of 1,200 visitors per day, 400 of whom are fitness studio customers. Not bad for a town with a population of just over 12,000. Rental space in Comox was also at a premium. With the addition of the multipurpose hall, the community centre has seen an influx of weekend bookings for

events such as wedding receptions, Christmas parties, symposiums and trade shows. Weekdays, the hall is filled with martial arts, zumba and other fitness programs. Second-floor renovations have created three separate rooms. A brightly lit boardroom, used by many local groups for their monthly meetings, an arts and crafts/childcare room equipped with a kitchen and industrial size sink and a third room which offers soft lights, a wood floor and mirrors, making it very suitable for such programs as yoga, tai chi and ballet. When newcomers to the Valley are asked, “Why Comox?” the answer is invariably “for the lifestyle.” Comox is committed to maintaining its recreation infrastructure, which in turn will help maintain the lifestyle that attracts so many to its shores. — Comox Recreation



Friday, February 17, 2012

THE KUMUGWE DANCERS perform at a presentation by Trilogy Group president/CEO John Evans (top right). Plans for one section of Trilogy’s CAYET development in Cumberland can be seen at right.

Construction by Trilogy might begin this summer Scott Stanfield

CAYET Commons, a 400,000 square-foot entertainment component that includes housing and possibly a resort or casino, will be across the street from Discovery. Zoning allows for more than 1,300 residential units. Housing styles will include studio apartments, townhouses and single family homes. Residential lands extend to the edge.

Record Staff

Pending servicing and financing, construction could begin by summer at the CAYET project that falls within Cumberland’s boundaries at the junction of the Inland Island Highway and the Comox Valley Parkway, says Trilogy Group president/CEO John ••• Evans. In another development, Cumberland CAYET loosely derives from aboriginal council has adopted bylaws and a covenant language meaning water, lake and mounfor Coal Valley Estates. Zoning bylaw tains. It is a 700amendments allow acre, mixed-use for the construction of British Columbia and development, hailed 1,000 units between as a commercial indeed the Comox Valley are very Phases 4 and 5 of the hub of retail, resproject. well received as I speak with taurants, hotels and The company people literally around the world. received first and sechousing at an acreage formerly owned There is a recognition and an ond reading on Phase by Comox Timber. 4 bylaws in 2007, but acknowledgement of the attracEvans expects the application was tiveness of this region. engineering drawstalled due to the lack — John Evans of available water conings to be complete by April. Financnections and sewage ing to construct infrastructure is valued at treatment capacity. The following year, Coal about $50 million to service the land. Valley applied for Phase 5 which includes “We’re fortunate,” Evans said. “British single and multi-family units, a seniors care Columbia and indeed the Comox Valley are facility and commercial services totaling 870 very well received as I speak with people units. Phase 5 is separated by a greenway literally around the world. There is a recjust north of Dunsmuir Avenue. ognition and an acknowledgement of the Concern has been raised about retainattractiveness of this region.” ing trees in the proposed greenway. Council The project has various components. approved a ‘no build/no fill/no disturbance’ CAYET Discovery is to be anchored by the covenant area. The ‘no build’ area includes Vancouver Island Visitor Centre, and will a 25-foot radius from each mature tree. A include a retail and educational component. clause calls for a geotechnical analysis of the CAYET Traders is commercial space for hill near Camp Road before building further automotive and mid-box retail, with an offsubdivisions. ramp to the south.

J • E • W • E • L • L • E • R •S Downtown Courtenay


It has been a pleasure to see the Comox Valley evolve to the thriving community it is today. Thank you to our loyal customers for your support over the years.

The Graham family and staff.




Friday, February 17, 2012


Farmers still working on permanent market site Experiment at new location very popular last summer Renée Andor

for the larger crowds. “The Saturday market will remain at Headquarters, probably until we get a buildThe Comox Valley Farmers’ Market will ing up on that site, or at least permanent be at its new site on Wednesdays and its old bathrooms,” said Brown. site on Saturdays again this summer. “Even if we were to move to the new site, Organizers tried out the new location at it would need to be levelled and seeded and Comox Bay Farm (formerly Farquharson all of that stuff and it’s unlikely that we Farm) on Wednesdays this past summer. would get that together for this coming sumFarmers’ Market general manager Vickey mer.” Brown said there were some initial concerns According to Brown, this year will be about the new site, used for planning including wind, traffic and design of the new People stopped there who issues and whether building, and then the had never been there before, who Farmer’s Market will people would stop in, but the trial was a had never been to the Farmers’ start looking for funds success. Market, so that was great expo- to build it. “We found all “Once we figure out those things to be not sure for us and it’s beautiful, it’s what the building’s a beautiful place to be. really issues at all,” going to look like, we’ll said Brown. “People — Vickey Brown get a budget around it, stopped there who and then we’ll go lookhad never been there before, who had never ing for cash,” said Brown. been to the Farmers’ Market, so that was Ducks Unlimited Canada owns the site, great exposure for us and it’s beautiful, it’s a and the Farmer’s Market entered an agreebeautiful place to be.” ment with the organization and the City of Despite the new location’s success, Brown Courtenay that allows the market to lease said it will be a while until the larger Saturthe part of the area that isn’t good farming. day market is moved from the Comox Valley She expects construction to begin in the Exhibition Grounds. next couple of years, and is looking forward Brown said the Exhibition Grounds are to the permanent home for the entire Comox a good setup for the larger market because Valley Farmers’ Market. there’s electricity and bathrooms, and the “We want somewhere where the market new site needs some work before it’s ready can grow,” said Brown. Record Staff

THE COMOX VALLEY FARMERS’ MARKET was a success in its new Wednesday market home this past summer. PHOTO SUBMITTED


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Friday, February 17, 2012


INSIDE AND OUT, the Vancouver Island Mountain Centre is an impressive sight. It’s functional, too, with a kitchen (below) and as well as dormitory facilities, meeting rooms and a gym to help athletes train. PHOTOS COURTESY VANCOUVER ISLAND MOUNTAIN CENTRE

Mountain centre built, waiting for them to come New building at Mount Washington Alpine Resort getting business as word spreads Earle Couper Record Staff The Vancouver Island Mountain Centre opened its doors Dec. 8 on Mount Washington and they’re extending an invitation for groups and individuals to beat a path to those doors. The new non-profit centre hosted the second annual First Nations Snowboarding Coaches Clinic on Dec. 8 to 11, and VIMC manager Andrew Scherck said participants were impressed. And well they might be. The centre features dormstyle accommodations for 40, a double kitchen, stateof-the-art fitness facility, a massage therapist, office space and a large meeting/ dining room. The VIMC recently hosted 33 Montessori school visitors from the South Island area and in March will welcome a Japanese volleyball team coached by former Mount Washington Ski School instructor Masato Miyazawa. The centre offers a variety of in-house and packaged outdoor recreation and adventure programs designed for school, youth, senior, adult, special interest and corporate groups as well as the general public. Scherck says word is definitely getting around about all the centre has to offer. “So far as accommodation, we’re booked every weekend till the third weekend in April. Midweek is a chal-

lenge, because normally we would be getting our public schools, but they’re on workto-rule right now. But we’re getting a few private schools midweek, which is good. “The first year is always going to be our most challenging and hardest year, trying to get the word out,” Sherck said. “We’re hoping next year our problem will be trying to fit everybody in. “Once the ski season is over, the challenge will be how to fill this place in the summer. We have a barrierfree trail now, and lots of seniors groups were coming through last year. I talked with some of the assisted living and independent living places in the Valley and they said they would be interested in visiting during the summer.”

We have a barrier-free trail now, and lots of seniors groups were coming through last year. I talked with some of the assisted living and independent living places in the Valley and they said they would be interested in visiting during the summer.

— Andrew Scherck Scherck has also been in touch with universities about the possibility of using the centre as a retreat for team-building and bonding in the fall prior to the start of their winter sports seasons. Scherck notes local groups such as the Strathcona Nordic Cross-Country Club are using the centre, and adds the Seymour and Cypress teams that were here when the Mount Washington Ski Club hosted a recent K1

downhill race all rebooked before they left and will return in April for the zone finals. Scherck said local teams are welcome to use the GoodLife Fitness facility for free as long as they are accompanied by a coach and pre-book. He added the masseuse has proven to be popular with skiers and snowboarders after they’ve enjoyed a busy day on the slopes. The positive feedback

and good reviews from those who have already visited the VIMC certainly helps spread the good word about all the centre has to offer, Sherck said. The centre welcomes inquires about all its facilities and services. Contact them at 250-3319355 or e-mail To find the centre, turn left off the Strathcona Parkway onto Nordic Road and you will see the impressive VIMC building directly across from Raven Lodge. There is onsite parking. Two non-profit organizations are involved in the Vancouver Island Mountain Centre. The Vancouver Island Mountain Sports Society (VIMSS) has worked hard since 2008 to acquire funding, design and com-

plete the construction of the VIMC. The Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Society (TBOES) has been contracted by VIMSS to run the day-to-day operations of the VIMC. Designed by CEI and Associates, the facility is approximately 8,000 square feet, developed over two floors, with meeting and video rooms, training facilities with fitness equipment, sport science lab space, equipment storage, maintenance rooms and dorm-style accommodations with cooking facilities designed to meet the needs of a variety of groups. “This facility is a legacy of the Vancouver 2010 Games and we hope to keep the excitement and energy of the Games going by helping athletes train in mountain sports and introducing a variety of sports and activities to those who love the outdoors,” said VIMSS chair Rick Morson. Renowned Olympic skier, Allison Forsyth, a VIMSS board member who started her ski career at Mount Washington, feels that the facility, “will truly change the training and competition environment at Mount Washington. “I would have loved to have had an opportunity to train and stay at a facility like this as a youth growing up on the mountain. Facilities like this will make all the difference to young athletes and will further help support the emergence of more events and sports to the Mount Washington area. To be able to provide affordable accommodation and coaching to young athletes is key to their success - this facility will offer both,” she said.





Friday, February 17, 2012







Island Honda has been in there new location for just over a year now... “Its been a year of growth and a a year of hard knocks. The economy continues to show signs of improvement.. We have spent allot of time and effort developing the dealership that works well for our customers servicing and sales needs” General Manager, Dave Derhak is proud of all the hard work his team has out into the development of the dealership.”.....after a year of being in the new digs, it’s all working great. We have a great sales and service team and we are moving forward with growth for 2012” Opened officially November 2010, the new Island Honda facility has proven to be a great design and has proven itself to be a something that will work for many years to come....” When we designed the building, we looked at future growth. It took the staff a while to get comfortable with such a large building, but now we all wonder how we managed before!” We are adding Honda Certified used to our products we offer to our customers for 2012. We are in the unique position to sell the best built and best backed pre-owned cars available. Honda Certified used cars come backed by Honda Canada and even include a satisfaction guarantee.






Honda Canada has really started to make some major changes in the product line-up as well. The All New 2012 CRV was launched in December of 2011. The new model features Bluetooth Hands free and a rear backup camera (with 3 viewing angles) as standard equipment. The CRV for 2012 also has many more features making it, once again, a class leader in its compact sport utility vehicle segment. The 2012 Civic has achieved its moniker of the #1 Selling Compact car in Canada for 14 years running! The new model has more content than ever and is at its lowest starting retail price in 15 years. It’s allot of car for the money!


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Friday, February 17, 2012




Complete February 17, 2012 issue of Business and Progress newspaper as it appeared in print. Flor more online, all the itme, see www.comoxva...