COVID-19 information - Facility, Program & Events Updates

July 7, 2020

Township of Esquimalt Recreation facilities have some adjusted openings. Playgrounds are open with posted safety reminders. 


Update July 7, 2020: Sport Organizations to Resume Play

As we continue with the gradual re-opening of facilities, programs and services within BC's Restart Plan, and in coordination with guiding agencies such as viaSport Return to Sport and the British Columbia Parks and Recreation Association, user groups renting field space at Bullen Park and l'ecole Brodeur Sport Field will be resuming play. The activities are operating after COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Health and Safety Operating Plans have been provided and in coordination with the Township to help keep everyone safe.

  • For facility bookings and user group rental information, please see here

Update July 3, 2020: Water to turn on at the Splash Pad on July 6

The Township of Esquimalt’s splash pad at the popular Esquimalt Adventure Park will be delighting local children starting Monday, July 6. The  water will be turned on from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily with the washroom open the same hours. 

“While we’re pleased to have such a wonderful community amenity in Esquimalt, we need folks to be considerate when enjoying the park.”, said Mayor Barbara Desjardins. “If the park is too busy, please return later.  If you’ve been there for a while and notice people waiting, consider moving elsewhere so that everyone has an opportunity to play.”

Like with any public space, if users feel any sign of illness, they are asked to stay home. The reopening is in alignment with the Province of B.C.’s Restart Plan. The British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association and Royal Lifesaving Society of B.C. have provided guidelines for the safe operation of playgrounds and water parks. 


Update June 25, 2020: Select Group Fitness Classes to Resume

The phased re-opening of Township of Esquimalt recreation operations is continuing with select group fitness classes resuming on Monday, July 6. As with the weight room admissions, advanced reservation is required and participants are asked to arrive ready to workout.

The gradual return of recreation programs will begin ten "drop-in" (advanced registration required) classes Monday-Friday, including Power Circuit, Spin and TRX, and three registered program sessions: Spin, Core & Stretch on Tuesdays July 7-August 25; Zoomers Summer Fit on Tuesdays July 7-August 25 and; Zoomers Summer Fit on Fridays...


Update June 24, 2020: Facility Rental & Contract Instructor Risk Assessment & Response Plan Form Released

User groups/contract instructors seeking facility space are required to submit a Risk Assessment & Response Plan Form for approval before any activities will be conducted on Township of Esquimalt property during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Users are encouraged to review the Safe Use of Facilities & Participation in Recreation Programs page and facility occupancy limits before completing this form. 


Update June 19, 2020: Information on the Aquatics Centre

Health authorities have advised it will be some time before indoor aquatic facilities open. The provincial focus is on the re-opening on beachfront areas and outdoor facilities. Aquatics Supervisor, Kim, shares more details on what is happening with the aquatics centre in this 1-minute video, here.


Update June 18, 2020: Wellness Centre (weight room) Re-opening

The wellness centre will open Tuesday, June 23 for limited hours as staff evaluate the new configuration and make any needed adjustments. After a short trial period, the fitness centre hours will expand as of June 29 to accommodate more guests. People interested in coming for a workout can sign up online through the Township’s recreation registration system or can contact the recreation desk directly. There will be no drop-ins to ensure an even distribution of people.

A variety of themed summer camps, including opportunities for before and after camp care, begin June 29. The camps will run primarily outdoors and any out-trips will be in walking distance to avoid the need for a bus.

Staff are in the process of evaluating field access for sports leagues as well as drop-in fitness classes with dates being finalized in the near future. The indoor aquatic facilities remain closed for the present time.


Update June 15, 2020: Summer Camp Adaptations Announced

Esquimalt Parks and Recreation staff are working hard to ensure your child has a great summer!  Here is how we are adapting our programs to ensure they are safe for everyone, in compliance with physical distancing and hygiene protocols, and in response to changes surrounding facility and amenity availability:

  • Camps will predominantly operate outdoors;
  • In the event of inclement weather ample indoor space has been secured to prioritize summer camps;
  • Modified sign in & out procedures – to ensure adults maintain physical distance, parents/caregivers will drop off children at the sign in tables, staff will bring children to camp leaders;
  • Communication with parents/caregivers and camp staff encouraged through email or phone;
  • Bus out-trips have been cancelled and are being replaced by activities within walking distance to the Bullen Park property and by bringing new opportunities on site;
  • No swimming or skating activities and;
  • Strict policy that no children or staff can attend if they show any symptom of illness (fever, cough, runny nose etc).

Further details are available here. Additionally, our team will be making contact with families registered in camps this week.


Update June 5, 2020: Timed Passes Being Refunded

Unfortunately, due to provincially mandated safety protocols, Esquimalt Parks and Recreation will be cancelling all time limited membership passes such as annual passes and including regional passes (pro-rated from March 17, 2020) until further notice.   All pass holders will have a prorated amount credited to their account. The credit may be used towards the purchase of single activity registrations, future admission punch cards, program registrations, and/or facility bookings once our facilities’ programs and services resume operation.  

Please note that we are not selling any monthly or annual passes for the foreseeable future. If you would prefer to have a refund, please contact Reception at 250-412-8500 and we will be happy to assist you. We appreciate that our programs and services are important to you, and  we are working on plans for resuming services as soon as possible. 

Our services will be opening in phases and we will provide you with specific dates, and a description of the modified services, with as much notice as possible.  When we do re-open, advanced reservation will be required. No walk-ins will be permitted. More information will be made available in this capacity as specific plans for re-opening are announced; your continued patience is appreciated.  Please also know that our guiding representatives of swimming pools are currently planning for the re-opening of waterfront areas and outdoor pools in the province; it is not anticipated that indoor pools will be permitted to re-open for some time. 

It will take time to implement these new protocols to ensure the health and safety of our customers and staff, which remains our priority. As details are determined, we will continue to keep you informed. You can find updates on our programs and facility planning on our website at esquimalt.ca/recreation. In the meantime, should you have any questions about our services we’re here and available to help you. Please call or email should you have any questions at 250-412-8500 or [email protected].

Esquimalt Parks and Recreation continues to monitor the information and guidelines provided by the Province, Island Health, and other authorities as we develop plans to re-open our facilities in a manner that ensures the safety of both the public and our staff. For more information on the Township's response to COVID-19, please visit esquimalt.ca/covid19


Update June 4, 2020: Playgrounds re-opening on Tuesday, June 9

Families in Esquimalt will get to revisit some familiar stomping grounds starting Tuesday, June 9. Playgrounds in the Township of Esquimalt will open to the public after closing on March 20 due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 .

“Our residents value our neighbourhood playgrounds and we are thrilled to make them available again”, said Mayor Barbara Desjardins. “We are hopeful that with our community following Dr. Henry’s guidelines during this Phase 2 process, we can look to resuming more of the activities we have missed during COVID-19”.

Although there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission in playground environments, Island Health has released suggestions to help to reduce the potential risks. At Esquimalt playgrounds, parents and caregivers will see signs sharing the health authority’s advice:

  •  Sick children or adults must not enter the playground or spray park
  • Adults should maintain 2 metres of physical distance
  • Children should wash their hands before and after using the playground or spray park
  • They need to avoid overcrowding
  • The playground equipment is not being disinfected

See full news release here. 


Update, May 29, 2020:

Camps will be proceeding, with more details to come. Staff are working with health authorities to adapt camp programming to ensure the safety of participants and staff. Detailed camp protocols will be posted to the website and distributed to all registrants, once finalized. In the meantime, please note adaptions to camps will include:

  • Modified camp capacity to best support no physical contact or sharing of equipment
  • Routine and frequent environmental cleaning
  • A strong focus on frequent washing of hands and other hygiene practices incorporated into the daily routine of camps
  • Strict policy that children or staff who have the symptoms of a cold, flu, or COVID-19 with coughing or sneezing will not be permitted to attend camps

We will keep you informed as more details are determined.

While camps will look a bit different this year, our team continues to prepare for a summer of fun and laughter. 

To view camp availability and/or register, please do so online here or call 250.412.8500 Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you soon!


Update, May 25, 2020:

While the Esquimalt Recreation Centre remains closed to the public as plans are put in place to re-open the recreation facilities, the Lab Health Physio Clinic is providing in-person treatments – in a modified capacity. Learn more here


Update May 20, 2020:

Thank you for your continued patience as we work with authorities to prepare for reopening. While we remain closed at this time, please know that we understand our programs and services are important to the community.  

Please also know that when we do re-open our facilities, things will look different. Our re-opening will be a gradual process and it will take time to implement new protocols to ensure the health and safety of our staff and customers. 

For those registered in our Out of School Care programs, with the re-opening of Macaulay Elementary, our team has reached out to you via email to better understand your care needs for the month of June, please check your inbox. If you have not yet received this correspondence, please contact the Acting Program Supervisor, Seth Jerome, at 250.412.8512.

Although the timeline for re-opening Esquimalt Recreation facilities has not yet been established, we remain committed to keeping you updated as plans are finalized. Thank you, again, for your continued patience as we respond to this unprecedented situation.


Update May 15, 2020:

While the Township is not responsible for any large outdoor recreation facilities (tennis courts, skate parks, etc.), our lacrosse box, parks and sport fields are open. Please continue to observe the advice and rules set out by our Provincial Heath Officer. We are in the process of evaluating our options for re-opening our recreation facilities in a balanced manner that both serves the community while keeping our staff and visitors safe.

More information to come, as available. Thank you for your continued patience. 


Update May 13, 2020:

Summer Camps to Proceed with Modifications in Place

We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety of staff and public is our priority. Camps will be proceeding with modifications in place to support physical distancing. While plans are currently being put in place, we will keep this page updated with the latest information. At this time our approach to camps includes:

  • Adjustments to camp capacity to best support physical distancing
  • Routine and frequent environmental cleaning
  • A strong focus on frequent washing of hands and other hygiene practices will be incorporated into the daily routine of camps
  • Children or staff who have the symptoms of a cold, flu, or COVID-19 with coughing or sneezing will not be permitted to attend camps

We will keep you informed as more details are determined.

While some aspects of camp make look a bit different this year, our team continues to prepare for a summer of fun and laughter. We look forward to providing families with a safe and enjoyable camp experience this year.

Thank you for your patience as we adapt to this unprecedented situation. 


Update May 8, 2020:

Facilities Remain Closed. Further Direction to Come from Health Authorities and the British Columbia Parks & Recreation Association

On May 6, 2020 Premier Horgan outlined a "Restart Plan". Read the full release here. The Parks & Recreation Department is planning for a phased re-opening and is working with the BC Parks & Recreation Association to do so. At this time, facilities remain closed. As more information becomes available, we will keep you informed.

Thank you for your continued patience as we respond to this unprescented situation. 


Update April 22, 2020:

Virtual Earth Week Activities Springing Up on the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

We’re excited to bring you 5 days of online education and activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and highlight some great initiatives in our community.

Each day will have a theme and different way of taking part. Look forward to informative videos, activities for kids and a virtual tour of one of our most popular parks. Join in with the festivities, here


Update April 17, 2020:

Virtual Recreation Program Space

Get to know our instructors and partners, and have some fun with participating in classes from home. Virtual Recreation has been launched during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic. Please check back as more content is added, visit: esquimalt.ca/virtualrec


Update April 3, 2020:

Spring Swim Lessons Update

If you are currently enrolled in spring swim lessons, our team is in the process of contacting you. The spring lesson sets, originally scheduled to start the week of April 20, will not be proceeding as scheduled.

Because of the uncertainty surrounding when we will be able to re-open, all lessons are being cancelled and a refund will be processed to credit on your account. Should you wish to have this credit refunded to your credit card, please simply connect with our reception team (respond to the swim lesson email once delivered to your inbox or call 250.412.8500) and our team would be happy to process.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.


Update April 2, 2020:

Updated 2020/2021 Preschool & Out of School Care Registration Process Due to COVID-19

Applications for registration for September 2020 for Preschool & Out of School Care programs will be accepted as of April 21, 2020 at 7:00 AM PST via email to [email protected] and must be received by May 5, 2020 to be processed in priority order:
*Please do not submit your application before the 7:00 am opening time.  Applications received before 7:00 am will be marked as end of day April 21st.*  

  1. Current participants applying for exactly what they’re currently registered in as of April ‘20
  2. Current Before Care participants wanting After Care
  3. Siblings of current participants entering OSC
  4. 2019/2020 Preschool participants
  5. New registrants

*After May 5, 2020 we will continue accepting applications for the waitlist. 

As a community we recognize the financial uncertainty families are facing during this challenging time. No fee is required to submit an application. Upon being offered a place in our care, a $30 fee is required to hold your child's spot. Any families experiencing financial hardship during this unprecedented time may notify us in confidence for accommodations to be made.  

We are committed to supporting you as best as we are able during this difficult time. We are in this together. 

Program Application Forms

2020/2021 OSC Application
2020/2021 Preschool Puddle Jumpers Application
2020/2021 Esquimalt Preschool Application

Update March 31, 2020:

April Payments on Memberships Cancelled

Our team is continuing to monitor the situation, respond to the direction provided by Health Authorities and adapt to best support our valued members. We will be cancelling all membership payments for April. In March, payments were processed as scheduled. Upon re-opening, all passes will be extended by 14 days (recognizing our closure March 18-31, 2020). For anyone who has paid for a membership in full, upon our facilities re-opening, your pass will be extended to account for the duration of the closure. We will continue to monitor the situation and adapt appropriately as the situation evolves.


Update March 27, 2020:

Modification to Recreation Reception Hours

Thank you for your continued patience as are team adapts to COVID-19 and processes an exceptionally high volume of program refunds. Effective Monday, March 30 Recreation Reception Hours will be Monday-Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please be advised email is the best method of communication as phone lines continue to be intermittently disrupted due to the global impact on phone-systems. 250.412.8500 does remain in service and will continue to be monitored regularly. If you receive a busy signal, please hang up and try again. Any voice mail message left will be responded to within 24 hours. 

Please also be advised, unless notified otherwise, your monthly payment on a membership pass will be processed as usual. Upon re-opening, passes will be extended appropriately. Should you wish to stop monthly payments during the pandemic, please contact our team and we would be happy to do so. 

Thank you again for your patience and support as our team continues to navigate this unprecedented situation. 


Update March 17, 2020:

Recreation facilities to close in response to COVID-19

As of 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Archie Browning Sports Centre and Esquimalt Recreation Centre will be closed to the public with the only exception being spring break camps. We recognize the important role camps provide for families so this service will remain available until March 27.  The continuation of camps is being evaluated on an ongoing basis pending further announcements from the Provincial Health Officer. We can assure those participating that the highest measures of sanitization practices are in place and that we are prioritizing opportunities to support outdoor activities.

Please be advised that with the recreation facilities closing, adjusted reception hours will be in place. The Esquimalt Recreation Centre Reception will be available to receive calls at 250-412-8500 and respond to emails from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.  Monday to Friday. No in-person service will be available.

As this situation is continually evolving, further updates will be provided at esquimalt.ca/covid19.

Program refunds

All programs currently in progress will be cancelled immediately and refunds processed appropriately. New programs scheduled to start (prior to April 14, 2020) will be delayed or cancelled. Course changes will be provided by email to those affected. Where programs are cancelled, refunds will be processed to credit cards in most cases. Cheques will be mailed where original payments were processed by cash or debit. While this decision is currently applicable to programs starting on or before April 14, please be advised that the timeframe may be extended as this situation is continually evolving.

Families with children in care who chose to withdraw before the end of the week

If families are currently enrolled in camps, you may choose to withdraw your child from care at any time during the period of care and a prorated refund will be issued.

To withdraw your child, please email [email protected] and provide:

  1. Child’s first and last name
  2. Primary contact first and last name
  3. Primary contact phone number
  4. Date of withdrawal

Private rentals

All rentals currently scheduled in the Archie Browning Sports Centre and Esquimalt Rec Centre up to and including April 13, 2020 are cancelled and refunds are being processed. Clients with park rentals will be contacted individually.

Memberships

All memberships will be put on hold with an extension provided when activities resume.

If you prefer to cancel your pass and be issued a refund, our team will accommodate. We encourage people asking for a membership refund to contact our team by email to help us manage call volumes. Please email [email protected] with the subject MEMBERSHIP REFUND REQUEST and include the following information:

  1. First & last name
  2. Phone number
  3. Address
  4. Date of birth

This information is required to ensure our team is accessing the correct account.

Once your pass has been refunded, you will receive a confirmation by email. Alternatively, for those without access to email, please call 250.412.8500 to have your membership refunded.

Again, this situation is continually evolving. We will continue to respond with the direction provided by Health Authorities to ensure we are keeping public and staff safe during this unprecedented time. Your patience as we continue to determine next steps is appreciated.

For more information on the Township’s response to COVID-19 as well as links to health resources, please visit esquimalt.ca/covid19.


Update, March 12-26, 2020: Initial response on facility, program and event udpates

As this situation continues to evolve, we anticipate there will be numerous program, event and facility related updates. As decisions are made, this page will be kept current. Please check back for regular status updates and note unless specified otherwise, facilities are open and activities will continue as usual (with modifications to support social distancing practices). 

Your patience as we work through this evolving situation together is appreciated.


Program & Event Updates:

Last updated March 26, 1:35pm

ItemStatus Update
Esquimalt Buccaneer Days

Statement from Committee:

Every year the Buccaneer Days Committee looks forward to this treasured community celebration. The Buccaneer Days Committee recognizes that it is not possible to proceed safely with this event given the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Those who have already purchased wristband tickets can retain them for future use at any West Coast Amusements event. Please be advised that at this time, all West Coast Amusement Operations are on hold. Please refer to their website for the latest information on their operation. 

Those who have paid deposits toward vendor tables in the marketplace will be refunded. The Buccaneer Days Committee will be in touch by email. 

While not being able to proceed with this event is disappointing, the safety of the community is priority. From the Buccaneer Days Committee, we wish you well during this challenging time. The Friends of Esquimalt Buccaneers looks forward to welcoming you with the greatest of "AHOY MATEY's" in 2021.

OSC & Preschool Registration for the 2020-2021 School YearOn hold. We will not be proceeding with the April 8th registration date, more information to come as available. 
Gigantic Garage Sale 2020

Cancelled. 

Esquimalt Lions Easter Extravaganza

Postponed.

With the information currently available given the Order in place by the Provincial Health Officer (mass gatherings), the event will not proceed. 

 

The Esquimalt Lions are excited to present this event later in 2020.

Esquimalt Earth Day 2020Cancelled. Please join us for National Tree Day in September 2020. Stay tuned for more information.
Fort Macaulay Historic Interpretive Tour 2020Cancelled.
Esquimalt Recreation Centre & Archie Browning Sports CentreFacilities is closed to public, except spring break camps, as of 10:30pm on Tuesday, March 17 until further notice. 
Pool AdmissionsFacility is closed to public, except spring break camps, as of 10:30pm on Tuesday, March 17 until further notice. 
Play Beyond ExpectationsFacility is closed to public as of 10:30pm on Tuesday, March 17 until further notice. 

Spring Thaw Community Skate, Mar 28

Cancelled.
Esquimalt Ukulele FestivalCancelled.
Mind in MotionCancelled remainder of session. Refunds are being processed. 
Mar 26 & 31 Bus TripsPostponed to a later date, date to be confirmed. 
ASL ClassesCancelled (session shortened from 6 weeks to 5).
Drop-in Mah JongSuspended until further notice. 
Drop-in Chess, Tuesday AfternoonsSuspended until further notice. 
Ukulele ClubSuspended until further notice. 
Bridge for BeginnersClasses post-poned. New session May 26-Jun 23.

Racquet Club presentation of The Greatest Showman

Orginally scheduled for Mar 14 & 15

Postponed with a rescheduling date to be announced. Those who bought tickets online, please check your email for complete details. Further information including the rescheduling of the event will be posted on the Racquet Club of Victoria website: racquetclubofvictoria.com
Spring Break CampsCamps are proceeding as scheduled at this time. We will honour anyone wishing to cancel with a full refund. Direction regarding camps will be taken from Health Authorities. If Health Authorities advise of a closure before a program begins, we will close and refunds will be issued in full. If a closure is announced part way through the program in operation, pro-rated refunds will be issued. 

Music Bingo

Scheduled for Mar 21

Cancelled.

Esquimalt 5K with 1K Kid's Fun Run

Scheduled for Apr 4

Cancelled. Please see our notice to participants here
Income Tax ProgramOn hold until further notice. The tax filing season has been extended from April 30 to June 1, 2020.
Cougars Jr. B HockeyCancelled until further notice.

Drop-in Music Jam,     1-3pm

Cancelled at this time for Monday, Mar 16 only.
Basketball FUNdamentals Programs at Brodeur SchoolCancelled for Mar 15, 22, 29 as l'ecole Brodeur closes for extended cleaning protocol.
Esquimalt Neighbourhood House Mom TalkEsquimalt Neighbourhood House has cancelled spring break programs.
Esquimalt Neighbourhood House Everyone Welcome PlaygroupEsquimalt Neighbourhood House has cancelled spring break programs.

Community Movie Night: Wonder Park 

Originally scheduled for Mar 14

Postponed until further notice.