Voting is closed, and the results are in — Mckay Street Park has scored $100,000 for its revitalization project.
When the voting began May 22 for the BCAA Play Here contest it seemed unlikely that the North Coast city would draw more votes than larger communities in the Okanagan, Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. The public cast more than 425,000 votes and the race was tight.
On Friday, June 23, acting mayor Blair Mirau spoke to Global News Morning BC where the winning four projects were announced — Prince Rupert being one of them.
“It’s an amazing story of the community coming together under the leadership of the mayor and voting during an early morning cup of coffee and getting it done,” Mirau said.
Mayor Lee Brain posted on social media daily to remind the community to vote four times a day, as did members of Transition Prince Rupert, the organization driving the revitalization efforts for Mckay Street Park, expected to cost in the ballpark of $3 million.
“This $100,000 represents the first step and it’s the beginning of a snow ball [effect] of many things [to come],” said Ken Shaw, president of Transition Prince Rupert.
There were 10 other communities competing for the $100,000 from BCAA, and only the top three were to take home the prize. But due to a close race, BCAA decided to hand the cash over to the four finalists: Quesnel, Galiano Island, Kamloops and Prince Rupert.
“After third-party verification of all votes, final totals showed four of the 10 communities in a clear lead. We didn’t expect these results but BCAA’s focus is to protect B.C. kids by giving them better places to play so we’ve found a way to deliver exciting new play spaces to children in all four communities,” said Shawn Pettipas, BCAA’s senior manager of community impact.