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Denman Island Covered Recreation Space

CRS Update April 23, 2024Denman’s Covered Recreation Space construction has been planned across three phases and at this time we are very close to completing Phase OneWhat We’ve Completed So Far:Conceptual DesignStructural EngineeringArchitectTimber FrameTrussesRoofExcavation and TruckingFootings PrepFootings PourWhat We’re Working On:Funding to finish the surface beneath the structure to make it safe for sports, community and private events.The surface was included in the original budget for Phase One; due to cost overruns, some of which are listed below, we are seeking additional funding from a variety of sources to close the funding gap.Explanation of Cost Overruns:* Engineering requirements for a public space were far greater than predicted leading to a substantial increase in material and labour costs (such as rebar and blocking for trusses)* High inflation has meant that many costs were higher than predicted* Unforeseen costs and challenges (such as truss length exceeding ferry limits)* Some minor funding sources did not come through* Estimates of certain elements of project were too lowThe estimated costs of completing the surface preparation and pouring are approximately $22,000.00. At this time, we are awaiting word from a few local funding sources that are interested in supporting quality infrastructure and community connection on Denman Island.

If you have any questions, concerns or a funding idea, please connect with us! Phone 250-335-2058 or email

If you are looking for background information on the project please scroll down. 



Imagine what a beautifully built outdoor covered space could be used for…the possibilities are endless!  We can’t wait to see the creative ways that the Denman Community uses this space. Here are a few of the things we are excited to see happening in the CRS: 

  • rainy day play time
  • heatwave play time
  • after school programs
  • summer camps
  • community feasts
  • outdoor concerts
  • sports such as pickleball, basketball, soccer and street hockey
  • skateboarding
  • evening markets
  • community seed and grain processing
  • community meetings


Denman Island Covered Recreation Space creates a public space for recreational sports, music event and workshops,  markets and free play that meet public health guidance on increasing airflow and ventilation. The project improves a public space and enables community organizations to continue to deliver programs and services to the community, lessening the impact of COVID-19 on physical, social and emotional health.

The Covered Recreation Space seeks to serve a broad section of the Denman Island community. The goal of the project is to create a safe and vibrant space for the following populations and activities;

  • Families and Children access the structure for free-play, and organized activities such as parent group, after-school programs and pre-school.
  • Youth access the space for spontaneous play and infrastructure for basketball has been identified as a priority by them. Many of the recreational sports played on the island have intergenerational groups with an age span of 10-70.
  • Seniors Denman has a large population of retirees that are engaged in sport activities and cultural events.
  • Local businesses sell their goods through the Farmers Market during the summer will expand their season with a Winter Market. The market increases access to fresh local food for the general population.
  • The Denman Island Community at Large will be able to access the space for recreational and cultural activities.


In March of 2020 all spaces used for recreational sports, music events and workshops on Denman Island were closed to the public due to insufficient ventilation and other issues. To be able to continue to offer programs and services to the community in a safe way during the COVID-19 pandemic, DICES recognized the need for a structure that would allow for ample airflow and ventilation.

DICES reached out to other community stakeholder groups and found that they shared the need for a space that had adequate ventilation and still provided shelter from rain and sun. The lack of such a structure was limiting activities that support resident’s physical and mental health throughout the pandemic.

Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Islands Trust have identified “Expand public spaces, including covered areas” as a recommended action item for the Denman downtown (Denman Community Design Charrette, January 2018, p 23). The initiative for the Covered Recreation Space was brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic but the  project will continue to serve the community for decades to come.


The project has evolved in to beautiful community collaboration and we would like to thank all our partners in this project!

Denman Island Recreation Commission Society (DIRCS) have contributed their community knowledge to the design process and the project will take place on their property.

The Sports Field Committee, DIRCS, Art’s Denman, The Farmers Market, and the Pickleball Group plus some experienced builders make up the Covered Recreation Space Steering Committee. The Committee is driving the design process and make recommendations to DIRCS and DICES on decisions regarding design and implementation.

Denman Seniors & Museum Society, Blackberry Lane Preschool, Hornby Denman Community Health Care Society’s Youth Outreach Workers, the basketball, soccer, tai chi, qi gong and dance groups that have all provided valuable feedback on how to make the Covered Recreation Space work for them.

Several organizations have contributed financially to the Covered Recreation Space. A warm thank you goes out to DenmanWORKS!, Denman Health Centre Society, the Sports Field Committee, and DIRCS.