What is the purpose of this project?
The Fenlands Future process has been designed to help the Town of Banff design activities and programs that the widest range of residents will use in The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre. With the space previously leased by the Banff Hockey Academy now open, it’s a good time to consider options to make sure The Fenlands is enjoyed by as many residents as possible.
What is the engagement focused on?
Public engagement will compile ideas and opinions that will help the Town decide what to program inside The Fenlands and if there are renovations needed to support different activities. A design concept and recommendations based on public input will be presented to Banff Town Council for consideration. This vision for The Fenlands Future will guide the process:
The Fenlands Future process will provide a clear direction and an exciting plan that reflects a sustainable, functional and affordable Fenlands. It will result in a recreation centre that is valued and well-used by the community, able to evolve as needs change over time.
How will my input be used?
Information provided through this consultation process will be used in two ways. First, public input will be used to develop conceptual design drawings of the empty and underutilized spaces with activity and space options supported by the Phase I feedback. Second, public feedback on the concept options will be presented to council in September 2021. At that time, council will provide short and long-term direction to administration for the empty and underutilized spaces.
How can I share my ideas?
In addition to an online survey, focus groups, workshops and interviews, local groups are being encouraged to invite their members to provide feedback in various community-based conversations, supported by a Discussion Guide and Comment Form that could be submitted. The project team wants to ensure that everyone has a chance to have their say.
How are you engaging those who don’t speak English as their first language?
Through connections with local groups and organizations, and the Settlement Services team, all residents are encouraged to share their ideas and perspectives either in focus groups or submitted comment forms supporting different languages. A discussion guide has been prepared to help have these important conversations.
Is it safe to hold engagement processes during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Because of COVID-19, some types of public engagement normally used will not be offered. Large public meetings will not be allowed. Instead, the engagement process includes an online survey, an online workshop, submitted print discussion guides, and COVID-safe focus groups for people to share their ideas at a distance. All of the engagement opportunities provided will be organized with the priority on maintaining on safety.
How many visitors does The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre attract each year?
On average, The Fenlands attracts more than 85,000 visits per year.
What are the programs currently available at The Fenlands?
The most common activities at The Fenlands includes skating, hockey, yoga, first aid, avalanche safety training, curling, roller skating, the KidZone bouncy castles & activities, and sports on the “dry floor” in seasons when the ice surface is removed from the arenas.
Who is paying for the engagement?
Engagement for The Fenlands Centre Renewal is being generously funded by the Wim and Nancy Pauw Foundation
Since we lost a hockey school as a tenant, can’t we just find another one?
The option of another ice sport business to use The Fenlands’ facilities is definitely something that will be considered. Through the survey and engagement opportunities, we’re asking residents and organizations if the Town should keep the vacated space in the same way it is now and pursue another long-term private tenant, or if we should implement other options for community use.
Are there any options that can’t be considered for The Fenlands?
There are practical considerations and infrastructure limitations that will restrict what we can consider for The Fenlands’ future. Unfortunately, it’s not possible for The Fenlands to consider expanding outwards, given the important wildlife corridor behind the building and the train tracks and private lands in the front. We cannot explore an additional floor. Amenities such as a pool and large gymnasium are not being considered. Council has also requested that only summer seasonal uses for the ice surfaces and curling rink be considered. Permanent changes to those ice rinks are not an option.