Hula dancers perform at the Haney Farmers Market in Memorial Peace Park. (THE NEWS/files)

Electrical, lighting upgrades for Memorial Peace Park

Mapel Ridge council also grants funding for festivals

Maple Ridge council approved upgrades to the electrical and lighting systems in Memorial Peace Park on Tuesday, providing festival organizers with expanded capacity for event planning and delivery.

The upgrades will support civic events, festivals and recreation programming opportunities in the heart of the downtown.

“Last year, 200,000 residents and visitors came to Maple Ridge to attend a community festival or special event. That’s up from 150,000 visits in 2016 and reflects the growth across all of our community festivals. One of the most popular event sites is Memorial Peace Park in the town centre,” said Yvonne Chui, recreation manager, arts and community connections.

“This investment in the parks electrical system improves site safety and increases the options for our event organizers and programmers. We will now have the capacity for better lighting, sound systems and easier hook-ups for food trucks and equipment for our growing events.”

The upgrades will see new electrical panels, electrical kiosks and lighting east of the bandstand. The cost of the upgrades is estimated at $70,000 and will be completed by May, in time for the busiest portion of the 2018 festival season.

Council also granted more than $75,000 for 14 civic events and community festivals on Tuesday.

The events run from May 1 through to Oct. 31.

A second round of grants, totalling just over $14,000, will be awarded later in the year for festivals and events that run from Nov. 1 through to the end of the year.

“On behalf of council, I would like to thank the volunteers who work tirelessly to create and run these amazing civic events and festivals in our community. These events bring people together to celebrate agriculture, our environment, our diversity, our history, the arts and our incredible spirit of volunteerism in Maple Ridge. We are proud to support these events through the Festival Grant program,” said Mayor Nicole Read.

“I would like to thank council for their support of the festival grants program. We are building on one of the strongest years we have had for event attendance, numbers of volunteers and volunteer hours invested by our citizens to run these events,” said Chui.

“In addition to creating a sense of pride of community, these festivals attract tourism from around the region and create economic opportunities for local businesses. All signs point to 2018 being another record year.”

Grant recipients:

• AdStock;

• Bard on the Bandstand/Emerald Pig Theatrical Society;

• Canada Day;

• Caribbean Festival;

• Celebrate the Night;

• Children’s Festival/Family Fest;

• Country Fest/Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Agricultural Association;

• GETI Fest;

• Haney Farmers Market;

• Multiculturalism Day/ Family Education and Support Centre;

• Music on the Wharf/Maple Ridge Historical Society;

• National Indigenous People’s Day (formerly Aboriginal Day);

• Remembrance Day;

• Rivers Day/Alouette River Management Society.

For more information, contact Yvonne Chui by email, ychui@mapleridge.ca, or phone,604-467-7415.

Citizens who would like to volunteer to help with civic events and community festivals can contact Kathryn Baird, coordinator, special events and volunteers, at kbaird@mapleridge.ca or 604-467-7459.

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