The beauty of the Crofton Seawalk is enjoyed by hundreds of people every day. (Photo submitted)

The beauty of the Crofton Seawalk is enjoyed by hundreds of people every day. (Photo submitted)

Celebration to mark Crofton Seawalk’s 20th anniversary

Public invited to family-friendly event next Wednesday, July 13

The Crofton Seawalk is the community’s pride and joy, enjoyed by hundreds of local residents and tourists every day.

Now it’s time for a special celebration to mark the 20th anniversary of the opening of Phase 1 of the seawalk next Wednesday, July 13 with ongoing activities from 4-8 p.m.

“We’re so very, very proud that the Community Centre got this going and brought it to fruition and the help we got from the Municipality of North Cowichan, local businesses and private citizens that donated time and money,” said Crofton Community Centre Society president Tracey Donnelly.

Pat Collinson and Alf Murphy were the inspirations behind getting the concept of the seawalk going in its infancy. Murphy will be acknowledged in memoriam and Collinson will be involved in the festivities.

The project was established as a joint venture between North Cowichan and the Crofton Community Centre Society. It has succeeded in enhancing community ties to the waterfront with its spectacular views, commercial activities and wildlife habitat.

Many years of preliminary planning went into it. A third attempt at federal funding through a grant for $200,000 from Western Economic Diversification Canada under the Coastal Economic Adjustment Initiative finally succeeded in late 2001, with NorskeCanada – owners of the Crofton mill at the time – participating in the project with a donation of $100,000.

The contract to build Phase 1 of the seawalk was awarded to SupErb Construction Ltd. of Nanaimo in December of 2001 and it was completed on July 13, 2002 with a grand opening during Crofton’s centennial and the 50th year of volunteer service for the Crofton Community Centre Society.

Phase 2 of the project was divided into two portions. The on-land portion of Phase 2A was completed in October of 2003 and 2B that connected to Phase 1 and provided additional access to Glenhurst Estates was finished in February of 2006.

Phase 3 that extended the project from below Glenhurst Estates to Crofton Beach at the bottom of Berridge Street with an elevated walkway over the tidal flats ended with a grand opening ceremony in March of 2013.

The Crofton Seawalk is the envy of many other communities. “It’s well-known,” said Donnelly. “I think what we’ve got is fantastic and we need to concentrate on keeping it fabulous.”

Celebrations next Wednesday will coincide with the exact day of the completion of Phase 1, July 13.

A letter recently went out to the Crofton Community Centre Society membership, supporters/donors and the community at large to let everyone know about the details of the celebrations. Everyone is invited at the Crofton seaside park at the bottom of Joan Avenue located beside the Salt Spring ferry terminal and the Crofton Old School Museum where Phase 1 of the seawalk begins.

There will be games, children’s activities, live music and food truck vendors set up on site. The Crofton Old School Museum and the Crofton Seniors Centre will both be open where people can view history boards and displays to commemorate the milestone. Pieces from the Crofton Art Group will also be on display at the centre.

The Crofton Community Centre Society will have an information table set up where people can find out more about the long-standing organization in the community.

People are encouraged to bring a chair, a blanket, a picnic supper or buy a food item from a local Crofton eatery or one of the food truck vendors while enjoying the live music and community camaraderie.

The green space in the park will have children’s and seniors’ activities ongoing, provided by the Municipality of North Cowichan. Live music from Switch and Beatlemania Unplugged will take place from about 5-8 p.m.

The Crofton Fire Department will have a fire truck and fire safety information on display for the kids. The official 20th anniversary commemoration and acknowledgment speech is at 6 p.m., followed by the cutting of a unique cake at 6:30 p.m.

And, of course, a stroll of the seawalk – the Jewel of Crofton – awaits everyone at any time.


@chemainusnews
don.bodger@chemainusvalleycourier.ca

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Historical photo of the seawalk where you can see the entrance gazebo still under construction. (File photo by Phil Devitt)

Historical photo of the seawalk where you can see the entrance gazebo still under construction. (File photo by Phil Devitt)

The Crofton Seawalk snakes along the shoreline with spectacular views. (File photo by Don Bodger)

The Crofton Seawalk snakes along the shoreline with spectacular views. (File photo by Don Bodger)

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