Most people don’t think about shopping centres being bastions of community, but rather as bastions of commerce.
Westshore Town Centre is the exception to that rule, and they celebrated that fact with the unveiling of their new family play area right in the middle of the mall last weekend.
The facility officially opened on Saturday with a large celebration, and according to mall marketing manager Sandra Doris, the centre was excited to show off its new, family friendly, community-focused investment and continuing its commitment to that ideal. So excited, in fact, they pulled down the barriers and opened the facility to the public three days before the grand opening so it could start being used.
“We’ve been here 31 years and we’ve seen the region grow from cornfields to the craziness that’s here now,” she says, laughing.
“We really wanted to continue our tradition of family-friendly, community-based activities and services, and this was one way we could do that.”
Built at zero cost to the retailers themselves, the play area is just another way for the mall to continue to give something back to the community that supports it, Doris says.
“There was really no free, fun, safe, indoor activities for families in the area,” she says, which was the impetus for the project. “So we wanted to be that for the community. It’s another way to give back. It was the owners’ way of saying we intend to be here for a long time and that this community is important to them.”
The play area was constructed by Studio Y Designs in Calgary, but Westshore Town Centre was very involved in the design.
“We wanted to make sure it reflected the West Coast,” Doris says. “I mean, a bear eating a salmon? You can’t get much more West Coast than that.”
She says they’re really excited to get a “kids’ club” going at the facility, where families would come regularly for educational and fun activities, such as presentations about nature – which would fit in nicely with the motif – or games and other activities organized by volunteers.
“It’s going to be great. There’s just so much we can do with this, now that it’s ready to go.”
The first 50 families arriving for the grand opening received “swag bags,” and there were special guests and performances by renowned local performers Pancake Manor, who entertained both young and old.
For more information on upcoming events at Westshore Town Centre, or to sign up for their mailing list and receive updates on events, contests and special offers from their retailers, visit westshoretowncentre.com.