Creating Connections in the Fresh Air

Fauquier adds an outdoor place to gather.

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Fauquier adds an outdoor place to gather

Where can we get together? That’s the question that plagued Fauquier residents when the pandemic hit—not only because its community hall couldn’t be rented for occasions like weddings due to health restrictions, but because a local restaurant had also recently burned down. “We lost access to two areas for socializing,” says Judy Steele, Secretary of the Fauquier Community Club Society. “That made some of us start thinking about what else we could do.”

The answer was an outdoor pavilion. The club built a 24 x 48-foot timber frame pavilion on property it owns by the fire hall, complete with a unisex, accessible washroom and storage space—an example of how communities throughout the Basin have used Trust support to add outdoor gathering places or make their current ones more welcoming and usable. Since 2019, the Trust has helped 47 such projects take place, with the goal of enhancing community well-being.

Despite the attractive, streamlined design, Fauquier’s process wasn’t always smooth. A particular problem was the nearby fire in summer 2021, which resulted in construction insurance being impossible to obtain and the community being evacuated. “The project just came to a halt,” says Heather Fraser, Treasurer. Luckily, once conditions improved and residents moved back, “Everything just came together.”

They credit the assistance from multiple sources, including the Trust, the Regional District of Central Kootenay, BC Hydro, Paul Peterson, the Legacy Fund of the Nakusp and Area Community Forest, community members who gave donations and all the club’s Board members.

The pavilion is now available to the public for activities like picnics, fundraisers, garage sales and live music. “The entire community, as well as visitors to the area, will benefit,” says Steele. “It’s beautiful.”

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