Saanich’s Commonwealth Place Pool is among local recreation facilities where a new policy paves the path towards more commercial advertising.                                 Black Press file photo

Saanich’s Commonwealth Place Pool is among local recreation facilities where a new policy paves the path towards more commercial advertising. Black Press file photo

Saanich makes play for more advertising cash

New advertising policy in effect at Saanich recreation centres

A new advertising policy in local recreation centres has yet to produce any new revenues, but Saanich officials are nonetheless hopeful it will benefit the public.

“We are not really expecting a huge [financial] impact,” said Kelli-Ann Armstrong, Saanich’s senior manager of recreation. This said, it is still early, and the change will make it easier for the public to find these services. “It means they could be more obvious in our buildings,” she said.

Council last October rescinded a policy that prevented health service providers operating out of local recreation centres from advertising in those facilities beyond whatever signage they needed to announce their physical presence. Under the new policy, these companies can now expand their advertising in local recreation centres.

Public spaces now available for advertising include plasma screens and scoreboards, community bulletin boards, arena boards, building banners, signage within the building, sandwich boards, road signs, as well as Saanich’s Active Living Guide and promotional material.

Five companies currently offer services out of local recreation facilities and none has so far asked to purchase additional signage space.

Saanich charges market rates for both advertising and rental space.

If companies contracting with Saanich were to ask for additional signage, local centre managers would have to approve the advertisement prior to its public appearance, said Armstrong. When council rescinded this restriction, it had heard from staff that the change may result in additional revenue for Saanich.

Armstrong said Saanich receives between $100,000 and $230,000 in estimated annual revenues from renting out space to health providers. The range reflects different types of arrangements with different types of providers, she said. Some pay a set rate, while others have signed revenue-sharing agreements with Saanich. “The busier they are, the more we receive,” she said.

Council also heard that the new policy would allow Saanich to reach more residents, as contracting partners promote healthy lifestyles in partnership with the district.

Saanich introduced advertising restrictions in 1999, when the delivery of health services through the recreation centres was an “untried venture,” according to Suzanne Samborski, director of parks and recreation, in a memo to council. Specifically, the policy responded to concerns that providers advertising in recreation centres would receive an unfair advantage by being closer to potential customers.

Fast forward two decades. “In 2017, there no longer appears to be a significant advantage or concern about market advantage by health partnerships who operate in a Saanich facility,” said Samborski.

This assessment rests on what Samborski has called a “limited response” to Saanich’s “open and transparent tender process that has allowed all interested parties to bid competitively on all levels of health service provision within the centres.” Businesses, which offer similar services, also continue to thrive, even those within a single block of a Saanich community centre, she added.

Samborski said the public expects to access health services within their community recreation centres, an expectation she predicts will increase. This expectation in turn could lead to further changes.

“In the future, the district will be able to leverage its long-term partnerships with health service providers and Island Health to expand health service offerings that support and promote lifelong health and activity,” she said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Victoria for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

(Courtesy Saanich Police Dept.)
Police hope boot search will help find missing Saanich man

Sean Hart is known to walk for miles, with or without his boots

A Colwood couple has set up over 140 Christmas inflatable decorations around their property at 555 Girdou Rd. The home is lit with Christmas music playing from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Colwood house decorated to the nines with Christmas inflatables

Display on Girou Road open to spectators from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday

Shopping in the evening in downtown Victoria can be a good time to go, with relatively few people in store and plenty of room to physically distance, as this photo from Government Street shows. (Don Descoteau/News Staff) 
Shopping in the evening in downtown Victoria can be a good time to go, with relatively few people in store and plenty of room to physically distance, as this photo from Government Street shows. But thanks to a new program from the Downtown Victoria Business Association, many downtown businesses will soon be able to provide free delivery for customers across the region. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Downtown Victoria businesses offered free delivery for regional customers

DVBA launches ‘Downtown Delivers’ program Dec. 7

Saanich police reported a crash on the Pat Bay Highway near Haliburton Road impacting southbound traffic Friday afternoon. (Google Maps)
UPDATED: Pat Bay Highway clear following two-vehicle crash

Two drivers were transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

The opening day on Mount Washington this year was Dec. 4. Screenshot
Mount Washington opens on time, COVID-19 protocols in place

“We’re super excited - it’s been six months in the planning.”

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of payments for household incomes up to $175,000

Most Read