As the West Coast Multiplex Society launches a new logo, designed by Hjalmer Wenstob of Tla-o-qui-aht, they strive to see the project breaking ground in late 2024 or early 2025 pending government grants, shared Samantha Hackett, board chair of the group.
In an interview with Ha-Shilth-Sa, Hackett said that they are currently working on design and costing reports as they prepare to apply for funding to shoulder some of the project’s costs.
According to the West Coast Multiplex Society, the facility would provide the use of an NHL-sized arena that would be transitioned for dry-floor use in the summers and a pool with diving boards, a water slide, and a hot tub for 8,700 residents living throughout the eight communities in the Clayoquot Sound region.
The space would provide activities such as hockey and figure skating in the winter and soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, gymnastics, pickleball, and tennis in the summer. It has an estimated cost of $50 million.
Though the society was formed in 1995, according to Hackett, they have spent the last 10 years focusing on securing the land, preparing design and costing reports for upcoming grant applications and building relationships with private funders.
“It would be absolutely life changing,” said Hackett when asked what it would mean for the West Coast communities to have access to a multiplex facility.
“Something that Moses Martin has always said… is `if this facility saves one life, everything is worth it’,” said Hackett, referencing the Tla-o-qui-aht elder. “I think it’s going to be many more than one life.”
Hackett said it’s important to have a facility that not only emphasizes sports and a “safe and healthy place to play” but also focuses the mental and physical health of all ages.
“Recreation doesn’t usually get prioritized a lot in communities,” said Hackett, adding that the society hopes the project will keep families in the region, “giving them something unique and special to be proud of.”
For the project Wenstob’s logo stood out with its depiction of connecting communities, she shared.
“The two canoes 1/8 are 3/8 about the communities coming together,” said Hackett. “All of the people coming together to move forward together on the same path.”
The design uses key features from the previous logo such as the mountains, ocean, and sun with the new addition of two canoes in the water, side by side.
“It’s just going to really pull all of our communities together and be an amazing gathering place,” said Hackett.
By Alexandra Mehl, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter