Saltair won’t be having a Family Fun Day in August due to insurance concerns. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Insurance void derails Saltair Family Fun Day

Special events form and CVRD authorization no longer an option for Parks Advisory Commission to host

Saltair’s Family Fun Day originally scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 18 at Centennial Park has been cancelled.

Lynne Smith, the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s Area G Saltair-Gulf Islands director, noted she made the decision with “a heavy heart” due to the majority of directors voting against hosting or providing CVRD insurance coverage for the event during a board meeting July 10.

“If the Family Fun Day event was going to take place, another source of insurance and sponsorship needed to be found,” Smith indicated. “I reached out to groups in Chemainus and Ladysmith for sponsorship. Our Parks Advisory Commission chair approached the two groups in Saltair. They were all unwilling or unable to sponsor the event. Other community events in Saltair are similarly threatened.”

She added community celebrations in Saltair are a tradition. Such events as Easter and Halloween celebrations have pulled the community together for more than 30 years.

Those events have been hosted by the Parks Commission for more than a decade.

“This year, the CVRD announced the Parks Commission could no longer host these events because a new Saltair/Gulf Islands Parks Commission Establishment Bylaw, which was created on January 9, 2019, did not include hosting events as a Parks Commission responsibility,” Smith pointed out.

The CVRD has failed to adequately explain to her liking why the Parks Commission had hosted the Easter and Halloween events successfully for so long when the 2004 bylaw, replaced in January, also did not include hosting events as a Parks Commission responsibility.

“During this time, the Parks Commission simply completed a CVRD Special Events Form and the CVRD authorized the event,” Smith noted.

She offered thanks to everyone who volunteered their time and materials to create the new Family Fun Day event.

“I will find a solution for the future,” Smith pledged. “These events are a tradition our community cannot afford to lose.

“I am optimistic we can find a way to hold this event in future years.”

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