A public square in downtown Courtenay will soon have a new name.
The City of Courtenay will officially rename Civic Square, located at the corner of 5th Street and Cliffe Avenue, to Randy Wiwchar Plaza during a public dedication ceremony on Saturday, June 11.
Wiwchar, who died in 2016, was a long-time city employee, community volunteer, youth sports coach, advocate and mentor. Courtenay city councillors agreed in February to rename the square in his honour.
“While we lost our friend and colleague Randy Wiwchar over five years ago, he left an enduring legacy in our community,” Mayor Bob Wells said in a press release shortly after the decision. “As those who knew Randy are well aware, he was a very thoughtful person. He made the lives of the people around him better every day, whether it was appreciation, encouragement, or a kind gesture. His commitment to our community was tireless, and we’re so pleased that these honours will serve as a lasting reminder of who he was and all he did for Courtenay and the Comox Valley.”
Saturday’s dedication ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. and feature speeches from public officials and live music. Road closures and detours around the plaza, including the 5th Street hill between Anderton and Cliffe avenues, and Cliffe Avenue between 4th and 6th streets, will be in place between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the day of the ceremony.
Wiwchar joined the City of Courtenay as an employee in 1996. He would go on to become the city’s director of community services, leading various initiatives for the municipality including the Lewis Centre expansion, Sid Williams Theatre and Native Sons Hall renovations, Simms Millennium Park and Pavilion, the Rotary Trail, and the 2010 BC Seniors Games.
Following Wiwchar’s death, a legacy fund established for Courtenay’s Centennial through the Comox Valley Community Foundation was renamed the Randy Wiwchar Legacy Fund. He was also posthumously granted Courtenay’s highest award, Freedom of the City.