Community Lodge has sights set on rowing centre

With Rowing Canada knocking on the door, the Duncan Community Lodge’s board of directors is working feverishly to get its house in order.

With Rowing Canada knocking on the door, the Duncan Community Lodge’s board of directors is working feverishly to get its house in order in an attempt to be more attractive to its possible suitor.

Rowing Canada has been exploring options at sites around Quamichan Lake with the idea of developing a new National Rowing Centre of Excellence to complement its current training facilities.

The Duncan Lodge’s board recently met with Rowing Canada to discuss its vision and how the Duncan Lodge may fit into it. At a general meeting last June, the board passed a motion unanimously to pursue the investment interest of Rowing Canada to make the Duncan Lodge its new home, according to Lodge president John Koury.

“Clearly this is a rare golden opportunity for the Duncan Community Lodge Society to revitalize and restore itself to its former glory of broad based community appeal and support,” Koury said. “It is one of those events that could change a town forever and we want to support Rowing Canada with their move to Duncan.”

While he encourages Rowing Canada to look at all its options, he hopes they ultimately choose the Lodge.

And while the location and property seem to be a good fit, the Lodge has quietly been fighting a legal battle that Koury and the board believe needs to wrap up if the group has a proper shot at landing Rowing Canada.

Koury said the Duncan Community Lodge Society has been bogged down in legal controversy ever since its members voted to sever ties with Moose International. At issue is who owns the 11-acre Quamichan Lake-front property — the community group or Moose International.

“For the Society to act on its desire to seize the opportunity Rowing Canada presents, we need to have our day in court and win. We need to raise membership and garner their support as well as collaborate with community stakeholders to help bring Rowing Canada to our shores and save our society,” Koury said. “The board has set a course of action with a legal defence strategy to ensure the Duncan Community Lodge Society keeps its right, as title holders to the property, to chart a new course for the benefit of the whole community. But there is a legal price to pay if we are to win the day.”

To that end, folks at the lodge have set up a three-day Island Invasion Family Music and Cultural festival, starting this Friday, to raise funds.

Proceeds from the music event will be used to keep the Lodge in good running order and pay for legal costs associated with its defence.

Attendees can look forward to a campout, kids’ games, a bouncy castle, a dunk tank, kick ball, and more, including 17 bands and activities for grown-ups, too, like a “garage crawl” and wine tour.

Visit or call 250-510-7637 for tickets and information.