A group of Clearwater citizens wants to open a new facility in town that would offer more recreation and potentially help bolster the local economy.
The Clearwater Agriplex Society, which recently held an information meeting at the Blackpool Hall on March 8, is looking for people interested in joining its board of directors or becoming committee members so it can form a society and establish an agriplex in town.
Lindsay Feddersen, who is spearheading the project with Brenda Blair, said because the closest equestrian facility is in Barriere, having to truck one’s horses that far makes the local riding season quite short. Blair agreed and added with the construction of a facility, local horse owners could actually ride all year long.
“(The idea) came from a Facebook post on a really cold winter’s day,” said Blair.
“I was sitting at home and I thought, if we had an agriplex, there’d be so many of us riding right now and we’re not, we’re sitting all winter with our horses because it’s too icy outside to do anything.”
Both Feddersen and Blair said it’s important to note that the agriplex wouldn’t be just for equestrians, because almost all groups in the Clearwater area could benefit by using the building for various functions.
Along with events like rodeos, barrel racing, gymkhanas, 4H events, and riding clinics, the facility could also be used for trade shows, dog agility and training events, weddings, dances, concerts, R.V. and boat shows, and possibly BMX competitions, just to name a few examples.
“I saw it and thought it was something I could really get behind because it’s for the whole community, not just one club, but for various people,” said Feddersen.
“But there’s also nothing between Barriere and Alberta for any barrel racing or rodeos and it’s becoming very popular — the circuits between Barriere, Kamloops, and 100 Mile House — and it would be nice for us, locally, to join that circuit.”
The pair said they were looking at sites where the building could be constructed, and although there were a couple that looked good, all of them would have to be rezoned to accommodate such a facility and they couldn’t go into more detail beyond that.
They did mention it would likely be a two or three-year project if it does go ahead and the majority of the facility would likely be funded through grants and sponsors.
“It’ll take at least a year to get organized and get grants on the go and we have to form a society, then from there a board of directors, a secretary and an experienced treasurer because they’ll be dealing with a lot of funds,” said Blair.
The idea would be to keep the building simple in the beginning, starting with a structure of roughly 100 feet wide by 200 feet in length, then add onto it in the future as needed.
“I guess time will tell. We think it’d bring a lot of revenue to Clearwater and with Canfor shutting down, if we can help local businesses as much as possible by creating events that would be wonderful,” Blair said.
The biggest challenge for the group presently is finding experienced board members and Feddersen and Blair said they’re encouraging anyone who thinks they could fill that role to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org