Saanich’s Commonwealth Place Pool is among local recreation facilities where a new policy paves the path towards more commercial advertising. Black Press file photo

Saanich makes play for more advertising cash

New advertising policy in effect at Saanich recreation centres

A new advertising policy in local recreation centres has yet to produce any new revenues, but Saanich officials are nonetheless hopeful it will benefit the public.

“We are not really expecting a huge [financial] impact,” said Kelli-Ann Armstrong, Saanich’s senior manager of recreation. This said, it is still early, and the change will make it easier for the public to find these services. “It means they could be more obvious in our buildings,” she said.

Council last October rescinded a policy that prevented health service providers operating out of local recreation centres from advertising in those facilities beyond whatever signage they needed to announce their physical presence. Under the new policy, these companies can now expand their advertising in local recreation centres.

Public spaces now available for advertising include plasma screens and scoreboards, community bulletin boards, arena boards, building banners, signage within the building, sandwich boards, road signs, as well as Saanich’s Active Living Guide and promotional material.

Five companies currently offer services out of local recreation facilities and none has so far asked to purchase additional signage space.

Saanich charges market rates for both advertising and rental space.

If companies contracting with Saanich were to ask for additional signage, local centre managers would have to approve the advertisement prior to its public appearance, said Armstrong. When council rescinded this restriction, it had heard from staff that the change may result in additional revenue for Saanich.

Armstrong said Saanich receives between $100,000 and $230,000 in estimated annual revenues from renting out space to health providers. The range reflects different types of arrangements with different types of providers, she said. Some pay a set rate, while others have signed revenue-sharing agreements with Saanich. “The busier they are, the more we receive,” she said.

Council also heard that the new policy would allow Saanich to reach more residents, as contracting partners promote healthy lifestyles in partnership with the district.

Saanich introduced advertising restrictions in 1999, when the delivery of health services through the recreation centres was an “untried venture,” according to Suzanne Samborski, director of parks and recreation, in a memo to council. Specifically, the policy responded to concerns that providers advertising in recreation centres would receive an unfair advantage by being closer to potential customers.

Fast forward two decades. “In 2017, there no longer appears to be a significant advantage or concern about market advantage by health partnerships who operate in a Saanich facility,” said Samborski.

This assessment rests on what Samborski has called a “limited response” to Saanich’s “open and transparent tender process that has allowed all interested parties to bid competitively on all levels of health service provision within the centres.” Businesses, which offer similar services, also continue to thrive, even those within a single block of a Saanich community centre, she added.

Samborski said the public expects to access health services within their community recreation centres, an expectation she predicts will increase. This expectation in turn could lead to further changes.

“In the future, the district will be able to leverage its long-term partnerships with health service providers and Island Health to expand health service offerings that support and promote lifelong health and activity,” she said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre to host a trio of acts

Aaron Pritchett, Alex Cuba and Valdy will each play four shows

Human behaviour likely to deter birds from Esquimalt Lagoon, survey suggests

More Great Blue Herons spotted, fewer mallard ducks seen

PHOTOS: A morning in a physically-distanced Victoria

Residents commute in a pandemic-changed city

Large Saanich Police presence seen at Mount Douglas Park

Ambulance vehicles have also appeared in the area

North Saanich residents to comment on library plans

Public hearing scheduled for Monday

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Most Read