TAYLOR, B.C. – Officials with the District of Taylor, the District of Chetwynd, the Fort St. John Petroleum Association, and the BC Peace Country River Rats were on hand today at Peace Island Park for the grand opening of the Park’s new Pavilion.
Building the Pavilion has been the focus of both the River Rats and the Oilmen for the past several years, when the idea of building a permanent structure at the park along the Peace River was first imagined.
The River Rats have hosted numerous fundraisers for the pavilion since 2016, including their annual Mother’s Day Dance. In August of that year, the Northern Development Initiative Trust awarded a $250,000 grant towards the pavilion’s construction.
Taylor mayor Rob Fraser gave some brief remarks at today’s ceremony, speaking about the hard work and dedication of those who have been involved in the pavilion’s construction.
Chetwynd mayor Merlin Nichols also spoke about how the concept of the pavilion – which was initially imagined as more of a gazebo to be built by the playground near the park’s boat launch – had evolved over time, getting bigger with each year to become the rather large building with a wood fireplace it is now.
He said that the pavilion’s evolution was similar to the evolution of Chetwynd’s annual chainsaw carving competition, which was fitting as Nichols and several other councillors were on hand for the unveiling of one of the community’s famous chainsaw carvings.
Fraser spoke about how Nichols had offered up one of Chetwynd’s carvings at around the same time the final concept of the pavilion was taking shape, and that the carving should be co-located with the pavilion and the as-yet built accessible playground, which is currently in the fundraising stage.
The carving, titled ‘Climbing Lessons,’ was carved in the 2006 competition by Prince George carver John Rogers.