CVRD Regional Referendum - Regional Recreation Funding Services

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For decades, the CVRD and its municipal partners have been trying to find an equitable funding model for recreation services in the Cowichan region. Currently, there are 9 "regionally significant recreation facilities" that have been identified in the region, all of which are owned and operated by different jurisdictions, and funded inequitably by different tax payers.

The CVRD and its municipal partners have spent the last 7 years doing extensive research into potential funding models and how to improve regional recreation services in general. The CVRD Board has now adopted a preferred funding model (based on facility usage) to move forward with, and this is what you will be voting on during local elections on October 15, 2022. For example, currently only a few jurisdictions pay for the Cowichan Community Centre, but residents from all jurisdictions in the region use the facility either a little or a lot; under the new model, each jurisdiction would pay an amount based on how much they use the facility.

The usage for this funding model is based on regular data collection survey cycles at each of the 9 regionally significant recreation facilities. The CVRD and its municipal partners did a usage study in 2017 and another in 2021/2022 that combined to provide the average percentage of usage of each facility, per jurisdiction. If this funding model is adopted, then a usage study will be conducted every 5 years, and will keep an ongoing rolling average based on the most recent 3 data collection cycles.

The taxation amounts used for calculating each jurisdiction's contribution (based on the averaged usage data, as mentioned above) were based on the 2019 budget year, as it was the last "normal" budget year pre-COVID. This provided the most accurate snapshot for regular facility operating budgets moving forward.

This new usage-based funding model for regional recreation services will be administered by the CVRD in partnership with the 4 member municipalities (City of Duncan; Municipality of North Cowichan; Town of Ladysmith; Town of Lake Cowichan) and the Cowichan Sportsplex. The new funding model will affect every electoral area and municipality differently, but it is felt that this model is the most fair and equitable solution to this decades-old issue of inequity. It is important to note that the overall level of service and funding will remain the same if this new model is voted in, the only thing that will change is the way that these services are funded.

If the new funding model is adopted, it will be phased-in over 3 years (2023 - 2025) to ease the impacts that the funding changes will have on taxpayers. The phase-in will look like this:

  • Year One (2023) would be 1/3 based on usage and 2/3 based on existing funding methods
  • Year Two (2024) would be 2/3 based on usage and 1/3 based on existing funding methods
  • Year Three (2025) would be based fully on usage (and every year moving forward)

NOTE: the area-specific info-sheets on this site (under the "How Will This Affect My Taxes" section) show the total for each area that would be implemented after the three year phase-in period.

Below are the 9 regionally significant recreation facilities being considered under this referendum:

Cowichan Aquatic Centre



Cowichan Performing Arts Centre


Fuller Lake Arena


Click HERE for general voter and elections information.


For decades, the CVRD and its municipal partners have been trying to find an equitable funding model for recreation services in the Cowichan region. Currently, there are 9 "regionally significant recreation facilities" that have been identified in the region, all of which are owned and operated by different jurisdictions, and funded inequitably by different tax payers.

The CVRD and its municipal partners have spent the last 7 years doing extensive research into potential funding models and how to improve regional recreation services in general. The CVRD Board has now adopted a preferred funding model (based on facility usage) to move forward with, and this is what you will be voting on during local elections on October 15, 2022. For example, currently only a few jurisdictions pay for the Cowichan Community Centre, but residents from all jurisdictions in the region use the facility either a little or a lot; under the new model, each jurisdiction would pay an amount based on how much they use the facility.

The usage for this funding model is based on regular data collection survey cycles at each of the 9 regionally significant recreation facilities. The CVRD and its municipal partners did a usage study in 2017 and another in 2021/2022 that combined to provide the average percentage of usage of each facility, per jurisdiction. If this funding model is adopted, then a usage study will be conducted every 5 years, and will keep an ongoing rolling average based on the most recent 3 data collection cycles.

The taxation amounts used for calculating each jurisdiction's contribution (based on the averaged usage data, as mentioned above) were based on the 2019 budget year, as it was the last "normal" budget year pre-COVID. This provided the most accurate snapshot for regular facility operating budgets moving forward.

This new usage-based funding model for regional recreation services will be administered by the CVRD in partnership with the 4 member municipalities (City of Duncan; Municipality of North Cowichan; Town of Ladysmith; Town of Lake Cowichan) and the Cowichan Sportsplex. The new funding model will affect every electoral area and municipality differently, but it is felt that this model is the most fair and equitable solution to this decades-old issue of inequity. It is important to note that the overall level of service and funding will remain the same if this new model is voted in, the only thing that will change is the way that these services are funded.

If the new funding model is adopted, it will be phased-in over 3 years (2023 - 2025) to ease the impacts that the funding changes will have on taxpayers. The phase-in will look like this:

  • Year One (2023) would be 1/3 based on usage and 2/3 based on existing funding methods
  • Year Two (2024) would be 2/3 based on usage and 1/3 based on existing funding methods
  • Year Three (2025) would be based fully on usage (and every year moving forward)

NOTE: the area-specific info-sheets on this site (under the "How Will This Affect My Taxes" section) show the total for each area that would be implemented after the three year phase-in period.

Below are the 9 regionally significant recreation facilities being considered under this referendum:

Cowichan Aquatic Centre



Cowichan Performing Arts Centre


Fuller Lake Arena


Click HERE for general voter and elections information.

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Page last updated: 25 Oct 2022, 09:27 AM