Victoria’s Torquay Elementary School is one of two winners that will receive up to $100,000 to build new playgrounds.
Torquay and Lilloett Rec Centre were neck and neck through the on-line voting period.
The public cast over 300,000 votes to determine which of the five finalists should receive the grand prize.
BCAA Play Here and its partners have now decided to award two grand prize winners.
Three runner-up schools in Metro Vancouver and one in the Kootenays will each receive up to $20,000.
The two winners were among over 500 nominations from across BC.
“Lillooet and Victoria were neck and neck through the voting period, frequently swapping the lead. The two communities have very different stories but both have real need for a new play space,” says Shawn Pettipas, Community Manager, BCAA. “We ultimately decided to declare two winners and found a way to deliver exciting new play spaces to children in both communities. We can’t wait to get to work!”
More information about the BCAA contest winners are available here.
Torquay Elementary students were out in their community trying to get the vote out, hoping to win a new playground.
“We need a new playground because we have tires and wood chips to play with which isn’t fun,” said 8-year-old student Alex Brett.
The school’s old wooden playground was deemed unsafe and torn down in December, but nothing was built in its place.
“It was a total shock. We had no idea, the kids had no idea,” said Karen Hambley who runs a nearby daycare.
For months, the space has sat empty, but now Torquay Elementary has a chance to build a $100,000 playground, if they win the BCAA Play Here contest.
Five B.C. schools were selected out of 400 entries.
Torquay is the only Vancouver Island school in the running. They are in a close race against a Lillooet school.
“It’s neck and neck, it’s so back and forth. So we need a big push, we need everyone to vote to get the word out. Tell your friend and family to vote, tell everybody to vote,” Hambley said.
People can vote once a day on each of their email accounts.
Retired teacher Bob Shires is working to get the vote out in the neighbourhood.
“I’ve got 19 people that are letting me use their emails so I vote 20 times every day,” he said.
If Torquay wins, they want to build a playground called Happy Place.
“I’d like to see zip lines and all sorts of stuff…monkey bars whatever,” said Alex Brett.
There is one more voting day left to go and kids are turning up the volume hoping their pleas are heard.
Voting ends Thursday night and the winner will be announced July 11th.