The Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association has equipment for local groups to rent for community events. — Photo submitted by the PQBTA

Low-cost event equipment on loan for Parksville Qualicum Beach groups

Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism hopes kit will help bring sports competitions to the region

Local sports clubs that need tools and equipment to host events in the community can take advantage of a program that the Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association has introduced recently.

It’s called the Community Event Equipment Loan Program.

Executive director Blain Sepos said it’s a program the PQBTA has been working on in the last couple of years, accumulating a variety of equipment that includes tents, a portable PA system, generator, tables, chairs, tools, barricades, garbage cans and many more items.

“We want sporting events to come to our community,” said Sepos. “We have a sports tourism strategy that we’re looking to support. Very often the amateur sporting groups don’t necessarily have the resources that they need to be able to host an event. So we put this package together so we can have more of those tournaments and competitions.”

The events kit is reservable on a first-come, first-served basis with notice at least seven days in advance. A nominal administration fee of $25 plus tax will be charged, along with a fully refundable deposit of $500.

“We are just charging an administration fee because we’re not planning to make any money out of this,” said Sepos. “It’s more of a service to the community. A deposit is required because the equipment is quite expensive. So we have to make sure it comes back in good shape and intact.

For now the PQBTA is targeting only sports groups but it will be open to looking at events that have the potential to draw tourists to the Parksville Qualicum Beach region.

“If it’s primarily focused on visitors, that would be something we would consider allowing the kit to go out, as well,” said Sepos.

“At this point, because it’s so brand new, we don’t really know what the demand is going to be like. So for now, we’re making sure it’s focusing on sporting events, because that’s really the target for it.”

The primary contact to rent or reserve the equipment is Karyn Doerksen, the PQBTA sales director. You can contact her at karyn@pqbtourism.com or 250-248-6300, ext. 3.

“She will work with the groups to make sure it’s a good fit, get all the information and provide all the criteria and policies on renting out the equipment,” said Sepos.