Editorial: Celebrate our recreation heritage – ’70s-style

Help Oak Bay Rec Centre marks its 40th birthday with music, costumes and prices circa the 1970s.

If you’re of a certain age, you likely recall heading to Oak Bay Recreation Centre for weekend roller skating under the disco ball each summer.

In the winter, you’d oft for the ice rink for an “everyone welcome” skate while the curlers took over the roller rink.

The pool was always a draw for all ages, from toddlers learning to swim in the tot pool to fun-filled youth birthday parties to seniors staying fit.

Fast-forward 40 years and the centre has changed – a little in some areas, a lot in others, in response to community need.

Renovations more than a decade ago gave the exterior a modern, West Coast feel while the pool was updated with waterslides and other treats that helped secure the pool as a perennial favourite in the Black Press Best of the City awards.

A skate park and teen centre were added along the way, and while the curling/roller rink is gone, it was replaced by something else the community needed: an indoor turf field. The field sees use year-round, from pint-sized soccer players to baseball and softball athletes honing their skills when outdoor play is nearly impossible.

And yes, in some cases pool parties have become parties on the pitch as today’s youngsters celebrate their birthdays in new ways.

Upstairs, renovations brought a completely re-vamped – and well-used – workout space, while the Sports View Lounge is bringing in new visitors with its popular concert series.

All of these successes will be celebrated this weekend as the Oak Bay Rec Centre marks its 40th birthday, complete with music, costumes and prices circa the 1970s.

So come on Oak Bay, this weekend, let’s party like it’s 1975!


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