The Future of the Fenlands

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Help Shape the Future of The Fenlands

The Town of Banff wants to make sure The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre provides the activities and programs that appeal to the widest range of residents and groups in Banff. We are asking residents and groups for ideas to improve the use of The Fenlands to ensure it provides maximum benefit to our community.

The Town has an opportunity to make changes inside The Fenlands – which is located on Mount Norquay Road, just north of the railway tracks.

Some space such as the two ice rinks and the curling rink will not change, and continue to be a vital part of the Fenlands. However, we could explore summer uses for the ice rinks, new activities in some areas, and we could consider permanent renovations to improve uses in other spaces.

That’s why we are asking people in the Bow Valley to tell us what types of activities they want in the recreation centre. We have a number of ways to tell us how to make The Fenlands better.

Do you want more fitness opportunities, sports, places to hang out, courses, arts, music, do-it-yourself space, group gathering space or something else? Do you have ideas for summer use of the ice rinks, or suggestions for improving washrooms, changerooms or even the lobby?

We want to know what would make you, your family and your friends go to the Fenlands frequently.

Who should provide input?

We want to hear from newcomers to Banff, people who have been here 25 years, community groups, sports teams, non-profit organizations, people desperate to find a place to start a club, and everyone else.

We want to hear from all residents and groups in Banff and in the surrounding Bow Valley.

It doesn’t matter if you have never gone to The Fenlands, or if you have gone to The Fenlands a lot.

If you have not been to The Fenlands, we want to know why and what would make you visit.

For people who have visited The Fenlands a lot, we want to learn what activities you like, what you don’t like and what would you change.

Help spread the word about the engagement process. Invite friends and family, or people in your clubs and associations to this page

Opportunity for Renewal

Hockey school space – When The Fenlands was built, certain rooms were constructed for specific use by a private hockey school (the Banff Hockey Academy). The hockey school paid the Town for private use of that space, and exclusive use in some rooms. Recently, the hockey school left Banff and their space is now empty. (Note – the ice rinks are separate from the hockey school space; rinks have always been shared with the public and other organizations, and they remain busy.)

We want the Banff community to provide opinions about the space vacated by the hockey school. Should we look at changing the space to make it available for public uses, or should the Town look for a new private organization to lease/rent the space for exclusive use by the ice sports organization or business?

Winter ice sports to remain – Some other space in The Fenlands won’t be considered for permanent changes. We won’t remove the curling or ice rinks for winter sports, and we are not changing the design of the main concourse area and curling lounge. But the rinks could have different uses in the summer season, and other areas of The Fenlands could be renovated.

Space limits – There are some things that cannot be added inside The Fenlands because there are space and function limits. For example, we can’t add a swimming pool. Also, the Town can’t add extra floors or expand the overall size of the building. The parking area, meadow and surrounding area are also excluded from this consultation.

Change or improve space – Many existing spaces could have different activities or programs added or the spaces could be renovated to function better or to host other uses, including:

  • Changes to meeting rooms upstairs and mezzanine area
  • Improvements to washrooms or team changing rooms
  • Changes to the entrance lobby areas and offices
  • Changes to storage space in the basement
  • Changes to former Hockey Academy team/change rooms, coach offices, physio/trainer rooms
  • Temporary summer uses for ice rinks

New or temporary fieldhouse – Participants will be asked for opinions about an indoor fieldhouse. Fieldhouses are typically home to indoor sporting events and activities such as soccer, lacrosse, badminton, ultimate frisbee, football and more. Options include using one of the ice rink surfaces in summer for a temporary fieldhouse, or funding and building a new year-round fieldhouse in Banff or in the surrounding Bow Valley.

Improve on what we have – The Fenlands typically attracts more than 85,000 visits per year. We want to make sure we keep the programs and activities many people like and use, and continually improve the space for these activities. In areas like washrooms, team changerooms, lobby areas and the concession, how can they be more welcoming and inclusive, safe and accessible to everyone.

With our evolving population, we need to provide activities that serve residents from different backgrounds, ages and with different interests. The Fenlands should serve a wide range of our population, to ensure The Fenlands is sustainable into the future.

How will public input be used?

Residents and groups in Banff and the surrounding Bow Valley are invited to tell the Town of Banff municipal organization – which operates The Fenlands – opinions about activities, programs, equipment and space changes that could make the recreation centre used by a wider range of our regional population.

After Phase 1 input from residents and different groups, the project team will use the input to create design concepts that show the most popular and feasible activities that could go into different areas.

In Phase 2 residents and groups will be asked for feedback on those designs later this summer.

In the fall, the project team will provide Banff Town Council with all the public input, the designs, the feedback and recommendations. Council will make decisions about the future of The Fenlands, which could involve implementing changes in activities.

The Wim and Nancy PAUW Foundation has provided us with funding to be able to ask residents and groups about The Fenlands, and to come up with designs for Banff Town Council to consider for the future.

Timeline


How to provide input

Some activities normally used to gather public input are not being used due to safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. All engagement opportunities will use the highest standards of health and safety measures to ensure everyone is safe.

Phase 1 Public Input: April 26 to May 26

In the first phase of engagement, the project will focus on learning what residents and visitors enjoy about The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre, and what changes would make it more appealing and welcoming to members of the community. We will ask for priorities about programs and activities, and ideas about what makes an ideal community recreation centre.

Provide your input in these ways:

  • Complete the Online Survey scroll to the bottom for the survey link
  • Attend (virtually!) an Online Public Workshop on May 19 from 7 – 9:30 p.m.
  • Join a Focus Group for English-language learners with Settlement Services staff
    • We will be arranging meetings through our ongoing communications to our network through Settlement Services
    • Contact Settlement Services for information settlement.support@banff.ca by May 12
  • Your Language Input
  1. We are working with individuals who would prefer to share input in a different language.
  2. Contact settlement.programmer@banff.ca to participate in a focus group in your first language.
  • New User Groups – Discussion Guide and Comment Form
    • We are recruiting local community groups to discuss The Fenlands renewal. This is for groups that might not otherwise be able to participate due to language concerns, timing, and other issues. Resources, including a Discussion Guide, will be provided to help support these community conversations and compile feedback for the Town.

Phase 2 Public Input: July 19 – August 8

In the second phase of engagement, the project team will use the Phase 1 input to create design concepts that show the most popular and feasible activities for The Fenlands.

Design concepts and a Phase 1 What We Heard report will be published on this web page.

Residents and groups in Banff and the Bow Valley will be asked for feedback on the design concepts, such as:

  • Is it clear how public input was used?
  • Do you have comments on the popular activities and programs?
  • Do you have comments on the suggested uses of space in The Fenlands?
  • Do you have comments on the fieldhouse idea and management recommendations?
  • This phase will also include an opportunity for participants to provide additional thoughts on specific uses for The Fenlands.

After receiving feedback, the project team will refine the concept design and present it to council for consideration. Council will also be provided with the estimated costs for potential upgrades, including design and construction and annual operating.

Compiling public input

The Town of Banff has contracted Intelligent Futures, an independent engagement firm, to compile all public input to ensure an objective gathering and analysis of input, for presentation to Banff Town Council.

When an individual registers for one of the workshops, we ask for an email address to reserve space. When an individual provides input in the online survey, an email address is required for submission. In both cases, the personal information - the email address - is disconnected from the responses. The input will be analyzed separately from any information about the participant. Participant positions will be published in aggregate form with all other respondents, and opinions and comments will be published in entirety, but without association with the individuals who submitted the comments.

Email addresses are collected when people submit their survey responses to enable future communications with participants, including letting people know about next stages in the process and future decisions based on input. Surveys also collect demographic information such as age and other background information to analyze how closely survey respondents represent the wider community, based on census information. No personal demographic information is tied to survey responses for analysis.

Help Shape the Future of The Fenlands

The Town of Banff wants to make sure The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre provides the activities and programs that appeal to the widest range of residents and groups in Banff. We are asking residents and groups for ideas to improve the use of The Fenlands to ensure it provides maximum benefit to our community.

The Town has an opportunity to make changes inside The Fenlands – which is located on Mount Norquay Road, just north of the railway tracks.

Some space such as the two ice rinks and the curling rink will not change, and continue to be a vital part of the Fenlands. However, we could explore summer uses for the ice rinks, new activities in some areas, and we could consider permanent renovations to improve uses in other spaces.

That’s why we are asking people in the Bow Valley to tell us what types of activities they want in the recreation centre. We have a number of ways to tell us how to make The Fenlands better.

Do you want more fitness opportunities, sports, places to hang out, courses, arts, music, do-it-yourself space, group gathering space or something else? Do you have ideas for summer use of the ice rinks, or suggestions for improving washrooms, changerooms or even the lobby?

We want to know what would make you, your family and your friends go to the Fenlands frequently.

Who should provide input?

We want to hear from newcomers to Banff, people who have been here 25 years, community groups, sports teams, non-profit organizations, people desperate to find a place to start a club, and everyone else.

We want to hear from all residents and groups in Banff and in the surrounding Bow Valley.

It doesn’t matter if you have never gone to The Fenlands, or if you have gone to The Fenlands a lot.

If you have not been to The Fenlands, we want to know why and what would make you visit.

For people who have visited The Fenlands a lot, we want to learn what activities you like, what you don’t like and what would you change.

Help spread the word about the engagement process. Invite friends and family, or people in your clubs and associations to this page

Opportunity for Renewal

Hockey school space – When The Fenlands was built, certain rooms were constructed for specific use by a private hockey school (the Banff Hockey Academy). The hockey school paid the Town for private use of that space, and exclusive use in some rooms. Recently, the hockey school left Banff and their space is now empty. (Note – the ice rinks are separate from the hockey school space; rinks have always been shared with the public and other organizations, and they remain busy.)

We want the Banff community to provide opinions about the space vacated by the hockey school. Should we look at changing the space to make it available for public uses, or should the Town look for a new private organization to lease/rent the space for exclusive use by the ice sports organization or business?

Winter ice sports to remain – Some other space in The Fenlands won’t be considered for permanent changes. We won’t remove the curling or ice rinks for winter sports, and we are not changing the design of the main concourse area and curling lounge. But the rinks could have different uses in the summer season, and other areas of The Fenlands could be renovated.

Space limits – There are some things that cannot be added inside The Fenlands because there are space and function limits. For example, we can’t add a swimming pool. Also, the Town can’t add extra floors or expand the overall size of the building. The parking area, meadow and surrounding area are also excluded from this consultation.

Change or improve space – Many existing spaces could have different activities or programs added or the spaces could be renovated to function better or to host other uses, including:

  • Changes to meeting rooms upstairs and mezzanine area
  • Improvements to washrooms or team changing rooms
  • Changes to the entrance lobby areas and offices
  • Changes to storage space in the basement
  • Changes to former Hockey Academy team/change rooms, coach offices, physio/trainer rooms
  • Temporary summer uses for ice rinks

New or temporary fieldhouse – Participants will be asked for opinions about an indoor fieldhouse. Fieldhouses are typically home to indoor sporting events and activities such as soccer, lacrosse, badminton, ultimate frisbee, football and more. Options include using one of the ice rink surfaces in summer for a temporary fieldhouse, or funding and building a new year-round fieldhouse in Banff or in the surrounding Bow Valley.

Improve on what we have – The Fenlands typically attracts more than 85,000 visits per year. We want to make sure we keep the programs and activities many people like and use, and continually improve the space for these activities. In areas like washrooms, team changerooms, lobby areas and the concession, how can they be more welcoming and inclusive, safe and accessible to everyone.

With our evolving population, we need to provide activities that serve residents from different backgrounds, ages and with different interests. The Fenlands should serve a wide range of our population, to ensure The Fenlands is sustainable into the future.

How will public input be used?

Residents and groups in Banff and the surrounding Bow Valley are invited to tell the Town of Banff municipal organization – which operates The Fenlands – opinions about activities, programs, equipment and space changes that could make the recreation centre used by a wider range of our regional population.

After Phase 1 input from residents and different groups, the project team will use the input to create design concepts that show the most popular and feasible activities that could go into different areas.

In Phase 2 residents and groups will be asked for feedback on those designs later this summer.

In the fall, the project team will provide Banff Town Council with all the public input, the designs, the feedback and recommendations. Council will make decisions about the future of The Fenlands, which could involve implementing changes in activities.

The Wim and Nancy PAUW Foundation has provided us with funding to be able to ask residents and groups about The Fenlands, and to come up with designs for Banff Town Council to consider for the future.

Timeline


How to provide input

Some activities normally used to gather public input are not being used due to safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. All engagement opportunities will use the highest standards of health and safety measures to ensure everyone is safe.

Phase 1 Public Input: April 26 to May 26

In the first phase of engagement, the project will focus on learning what residents and visitors enjoy about The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre, and what changes would make it more appealing and welcoming to members of the community. We will ask for priorities about programs and activities, and ideas about what makes an ideal community recreation centre.

Provide your input in these ways:

  • Complete the Online Survey scroll to the bottom for the survey link
  • Attend (virtually!) an Online Public Workshop on May 19 from 7 – 9:30 p.m.
  • Join a Focus Group for English-language learners with Settlement Services staff
    • We will be arranging meetings through our ongoing communications to our network through Settlement Services
    • Contact Settlement Services for information settlement.support@banff.ca by May 12
  • Your Language Input
  1. We are working with individuals who would prefer to share input in a different language.
  2. Contact settlement.programmer@banff.ca to participate in a focus group in your first language.
  • New User Groups – Discussion Guide and Comment Form
    • We are recruiting local community groups to discuss The Fenlands renewal. This is for groups that might not otherwise be able to participate due to language concerns, timing, and other issues. Resources, including a Discussion Guide, will be provided to help support these community conversations and compile feedback for the Town.

Phase 2 Public Input: July 19 – August 8

In the second phase of engagement, the project team will use the Phase 1 input to create design concepts that show the most popular and feasible activities for The Fenlands.

Design concepts and a Phase 1 What We Heard report will be published on this web page.

Residents and groups in Banff and the Bow Valley will be asked for feedback on the design concepts, such as:

  • Is it clear how public input was used?
  • Do you have comments on the popular activities and programs?
  • Do you have comments on the suggested uses of space in The Fenlands?
  • Do you have comments on the fieldhouse idea and management recommendations?
  • This phase will also include an opportunity for participants to provide additional thoughts on specific uses for The Fenlands.

After receiving feedback, the project team will refine the concept design and present it to council for consideration. Council will also be provided with the estimated costs for potential upgrades, including design and construction and annual operating.

Compiling public input

The Town of Banff has contracted Intelligent Futures, an independent engagement firm, to compile all public input to ensure an objective gathering and analysis of input, for presentation to Banff Town Council.

When an individual registers for one of the workshops, we ask for an email address to reserve space. When an individual provides input in the online survey, an email address is required for submission. In both cases, the personal information - the email address - is disconnected from the responses. The input will be analyzed separately from any information about the participant. Participant positions will be published in aggregate form with all other respondents, and opinions and comments will be published in entirety, but without association with the individuals who submitted the comments.

Email addresses are collected when people submit their survey responses to enable future communications with participants, including letting people know about next stages in the process and future decisions based on input. Surveys also collect demographic information such as age and other background information to analyze how closely survey respondents represent the wider community, based on census information. No personal demographic information is tied to survey responses for analysis.