Regional Rundown: Invermere eyes fundraising for new library facility

no surprise that most of our focus and energy is going into the design and development of the new multi-use facility

Since the November election, Invermere council has been busy. In early December, we had a strategic planning session to help to set the priorities of council while balancing and allocating the staff and financial capacities in the organization.

It should come as no surprise that most of our focus and energy is going into the design and development of the new multi-use facility, which will replace our existing community hall.

We were very happy to see the demolition of the old school finish. We have now finalized the hiring of the architectural firm Shape Design, and over the next few months the advisory council to the multi-use facility, made up of Invermere council, several regional district representatives, and non-voting representatives from key user groups, will be meeting regularly with the architects. There will be several public open houses and information sessions where we will be looking for more input and opinions on draft designs. There was a Meet the Architect meeting on February 17th, and more dates will be announced soon.

On Saturday, February 28th, Invermere and Panorama will be host to the opening ceremonies for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championship. The opening ceremonies and athlete’s parade will begin at 5 p.m. in downtown Invermere. The IPC Championship races will take place at Panorama from March 1st to 10th.

Having had the opportunity to help present medals at the IPC World Cup event at Panorama last year, it was truly impressive and inspirational to see the diversity of athletes and their incredible abilities and how adaptive and resilient they are. It is also very exciting to see how many countries are represented.

If you have the chance, please attend the opening ceremony and watch some of the racing. Let’s make all of the athletes and their support people feel welcome here!

Some new projects are coming forward from a regional perspective for 2015. The RDEK is looking at replacing the roof on the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena and potentially purchasing a new Zamboni for the Canal Flats Arena. In April, the RDEK will have their strategic planning session, and a few of the things we will be advocating fo include the Columbia Valley economic development service area and help with the Invermere Public Library, preparing for a referendum on raising money for a new facility.

Gerry Taft is mayor of the District of Invermere and a Regional District of East Kootenay director for the Columbia Valley. He can be reached at