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Council last October rescinded a policy that prevented health service providers operating out of local recreation centres from advertising in those facilities beyond whatever signage they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 When council rescinded this restriction, it had heard from staff that the change may result in additional revenue for Saanich.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.

Just Posted

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

The City of Victoria is hoping to ring in the summer by celebrating local art and offering some distanced, live music to surprise people in parks, plazas and other public spaces. (Photo courtesy of the City of Victoria)
Live, pop-up concerts and local art being showcased in Victoria this summer

People will see surprise serenades at 16 locations throughout the summer

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

Jada Benwell and Connor Larkey are the valedictorians of the 2021 graduating class at Parkland Secondary School. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Pandemic taught lessons in perseverance for North Saanich high schoolers

Parkland Secondary School to release 2021 grad ceremony video on June 25

The 14th annual Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star (YES) awards June 3. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay celebrates its Young Exceptional Stars with outdoor award ceremony

Nine young people recognized in 14th annual awards

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read