Multiplex becomes Wesbild Centre

By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - March 12, 2008
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GARY CORNER (right), Greater Vernon Services Committee chairman, discusses the new name of the former Multiplex as Wayne Lippert, GVSC director, and James Cronk, Wesbild Holdings vice-president of marketing, look on.
lisa vandervelde/morning star

Greater Vernon’s multi-use facility finally has a unique name to call its own.

Formerly dubbed the Multiplex, the 43rd Avenue facility is now known as the Wesbild Centre, and signs reflecting that change will officially go up in April.

“Last fall, we actively went out into the community to see who would be interested in the naming rights,” said Wayne Lippert, Greater Vernon Services Committee director.

Stepping up to the plate was Wesbild Holdings, a real estate development company that owns Predator Ridge Golf Resort and the Turtle Mountain development.

“We are excited about the opportunity,” said James Cronk, vice-president of marketing.

Cronk insists that Wesbild isn’t just focused on developing homes, but on the communities it operates in.

“Whatever we do, we like it to affect residents in some form,” he said.

“And we plan to be here for a very long time.”

Cronk believes the facility will not only benefit existing Greater Vernon residents, but those who purchase homes at Predator Ridge or Turtle Mountain.

“It’s a key part of this community,” he said of the centre.

Wesbild will pay $200,000 over the next five years for naming rights, and there is an additional five-year option for $250,000.

“We expect it to be a 10-year agreement,” said Al McNiven, GVSC’s parks and recreation administrator.

The facility opened in 2001, and attempts have been made since that time to secure a corporate name as a way of reducing the financial impact on taxpayers.

The search for a name was the responsibility of the former private contractor that operated the facility until last year.

“Ever since we made that change, we’ve made it a priority,” said Gary Corner, GVSC chairman, of a corporate name.

Funds from the Wesbild deal will go towards activities at the centre.

“They want to make sure people, no matter their economics, can take part in programs,” said Lippert.

A community skating event will be held in April to celebrate the new name.

With naming of the multi-use facility now addressed, GVSC hopes to have a similar process completed for the Performing Arts Centre within the next year.

“We are making progress on that one,” said McNiven.

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