Ashcroft’s Canada Day organizers plan to move downtown

Winding Rivers Arts & Performance Society want to move the festivities to Heritage Place Park on Railway Ave.

Ashcroft’s Canada Day festivities appear to be moving downtown this year.

Ashcroft Council gave conditional approval at the Feb. 23 meeting to WRAPS’ request to use Heritage Place Park on July 1 and to close Railway Ave. from 10 am to 1 pm “to facilitate the Children’s Bike Parade and the participation of the Legion Members and RCMP.”

The condition set out by Council was that the Winding Rivers Arts & Performance Society members first talk to the residents directly affected by the road closure.

Ashcroft’s July 1 celebrations have been in the pool park since 2008 when they were organized directly by the Village. WRAPS took over organizing the event in 2013 at the Village’s request.

The group sent its request to Council by letter. “For the benefit of the guests who attend the Canada Day Celebration, the Village staff and the volunteers ofWRAPS who organize the event, our plan is relocate the Celebration to the Heritage Park,” they wrote. “This would be advantageous as chairs and tables would not need to be moved to the park.”

Last year, at the request of the Wellness Festival, the Village rewired the park to accommodate more users such as vendors and musicians.

Council also approved the free use of the swimming pool from 1-4 pm, the beginning of which would coincide with the finish of the activities in Heritage Place Park.

However, Council refused the group’s request to appoint a councillor to their organzing committee and for additional funds.

“We are requesting an $800 donation from the Village of Ashcroft for Canada Day 2015 Celebration,” they wrote. “Your donation will enable us to carry out an enjoyable and varied Canada Day program.”

Council directed staff to let the group know that they needed to fill out a grant-in-aid application form in order to receive any money from the Village, and that $500 was the maximum amount allowed under the Village’s Grants in Aid Policy.

The Village has provided them with $500 for the past two years and contributes the wages attributed to having the pool open for three hours on a statutory holiday.