Community Engagement

On behalf of the City of Parksville, a team of public engagement specialists from HDR Corporation are conducting public consultation events to discuss the proposed Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre or multiplex. Consultation helps to gauge the community’s interest in a new facility, identify potential programs and amenities and help determine a suitable site for the multiplex. HDR’s consultation approach prioritizes which features and amenities the community would like to see at an ideal site.

If you are not able to attend the events, email your comments or suggestions to or the question tool on Let's Talk Parksville.

HDR Public Engagement Events

October 27 Workshops
Originally scheduled as in-person and due to uncertainty surrounding the pandemic variants, the two workshops on October 27 were held virtually. The ninety-minute workshops, included facilitated discussions, small-group exercises, and activities to determine how and where the multiplex could most benefit the community. 

Here were the three major goals to the HDR facilitated workshop:

  1. Input helped to understand the community’s Parksville by identifying key locations, points of interest, or features in the City.
  2. In small groups, participants spent a few minutes in their neighbour’s shoes as ‘personas’ were used to help understand the various needs of everyone in the community.
  3. At the end of the workshop, participants used this information, community values and community needs, to help identify the types of locations for the multiplex and what amenities/programs should be prioritized.

Atrium, Parksville Civic and Technology Centre
For a few months, the atrium in the Parksville Civic and Technology Centre will feature display boards to help understand the engagement process. On this self-guided tour, participants will learn about the project’s history, review the feasibility study results and recent field studies, and catch up on engagement efforts to date. There will be many opportunities to provide your input, including polls, surveys, and open-ended prompts. These materials will also be available for your input on Let’s Talk Parksville. We hope you will engage with us.

City of Parksville - News Releases

September 29 Virtual Public Meeting
A virtual listening webinar via Zoom was held on September 29 with HDR which provided participants with a brief history of the project, an overview of studies conducted to date as well as the status of the proposed project. Participants had the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas and feedback for the facility. Outcome from this event will be made available soon. 

HDR Presentation

August 18 Popup Event
HDR team members were located at Thrifty’s shopping centre and the Parksville Community Park for an opportunity to listen to comments and suggestions from residents about the proposed multiplex. 

 On August 18, HDR also distributed postcards which were returned in-person and by mail. Postcard questions were:

  • Do you want a new aquatic centre in Parksville?
  • What amenities would you like to see in this facility?
  • Are you willing to pay more taxes to support the construction and maintenance of this facility?


Newsletter Signup
To receive info about the project, sign up for an email newsletter at You may also submit your comments or ideas about the Parksville multiplex to this email. Please note comments received by HDR will be shared with the City of Parksville to assist with decision making and will form part of the public record.

Community Engagement Expectations
We are now at the beginning of a complex, multi-phased project and it is expected the conceptual plan outlined in the feasibility study will change based on public input and the results of the many studies and assessments conducted during the detailed design phase. 

Public input will shape the outcome of this exciting project. On February 1, 2021, Council approved public engagement strategy guidelines for the design phase of this project. Community engagement initiatives are outlined here with many consultation opportunities anticipated when it is safe to do so.

  • Results of public meetings, events, staff and consultant reports, publications and other materials related to the project will be published on the City’s Let’s Talk Parksville site. This will include:
    1. Feasibility studies and attachments
    2. Staff reports
    3. Land use regulations
    4. Lists of required permits and copies of the permits when issued
    5. Summary results of workshops/ meetings or open houses, including the materials provided or presented at the events
    6. Links to City social media channels
    7. Timelines and key dates
  • The consultant will be expected to present regular progress reports to Council at identified milestones.
  • Staff will prepare and present regular reports to Council on internal milestones.
  • After award of the detailed design contract, a scientific panel will be appointed, made up of volunteers with professional expertise and accreditation from BC in the fields of biology, geoscience, sustainability, engineering, environmental science. Staff will provide administration support to the panel, but its recommendations will be independently prepared. The consultant is expected to work closely with the panel.
  • Council may host committees, town halls or community forums/ workshops at key steps in the process.

Community Engagement in 2020
In March 2020, prior to the pandemic, consultant, HDR Architecture Associates, hosted a series of sessions with stakeholder groups expected to use the new facility as well as workshops with Council and senior staff. The sessions were intended to gauge the vision and better understand and assess what type of pool facility would best suit the needs of the community. In-person charette workshops which were planned for summer 2020, were postponed to the detailed design phase due to the pandemic. 

Nineteen key stakeholder groups participating in the in-person sessions are listed on page 6 of the Feasibility Report and details and findings from the sessions can be read in the Needs Assessment Report (Appendix 1).

The nine engagement sessions were as follows:

  1. Background information gathered, visioning, City senior staff discussed goals and objectives of the project.
  2. HDR met with Council, discussed goals and objectives of project; potential concerns from community identified.
  3. Recreation needs discussed considering nearby facilities
  4. Stakeholder group made up of mainly water sports and recreation groups and local associations and regional district with an interest in an aquatic and multi-use facility
  5. Stakeholder group made up of diverse group of sports and recreation stakeholders to provide input
  6. Review of business operations of aquatics and multiplex facility
  7. Aquatics workshop presented trends in aquatic recreation design
  8. Trends in recreation, public and community focused design and architecture presented
  9. Programming workshop provided recreation and aquatic components.

Because of COVID-19 public heath orders and the state of provincial emergency, further public consultation was postponed until the detailed design phase scheduled for spring/summer 2021 when we will be able to provide online opportunities for public input and hopefully a variety of in-person activities.

Community Engagement in 2019
The Mayor’s Roundtable was held in January 2019, followed by a resident survey which was open from April 30 to May 20, 2019, with 425 survey respondents. Results of the survey and the Roundtable event are available here

Prior to the start of the feasibility study process, Council received correspondence dated September 2019 from Parksville resident, Gerry Filipski, which indicates support from 2,155 people (874 identified as Parksville residents) for a new recreation centre that should include swimming pool and fitness centre.

Do you have a question or comment?