Regional Recreation Funding

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Regional Recreation Funding Referendum Question: Play Fair/Pay Fair

For decades, the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) and its municipal partners – including North Cowichan -- have been trying to find an equitable funding model for recreation services in the Cowichan region. Currently, there are nine "regionally significant recreation facilities" that have been identified in the region, all of which are owned and operated by different jurisdictions, and funded inequitably by different tax payers.

During the October local general election, a preferred funding model will be decided through a referendum question. By voting yes North Cowichan will save $714,000 each year.


The CVRD and its municipal partners have spent the last seven years doing extensive research into potential funding models and how to improve regional recreation services in general and a preferred model has been identified. For example, currently only a few jurisdictions pay for the Cowichan Community Centre, but residents from all jurisdictions in the region use the facility either a little or a lot; under the new model, each jurisdiction would pay an amount based on how much the residents use the facility.

Two usage studies conducted in 2017 and in 2021/2022 were combined to provide the average percentage of usage of each facility, per jurisdiction. If this funding model is adopted, then a usage study will be conducted every five years, and will keep an ongoing rolling average based on the most recent three data collection cycles.

The taxation amounts used for calculating each jurisdiction's contribution (based on the averaged usage data, as mentioned above) were based on the 2019 budget year, as it was the last "normal" budget year pre-COVID. This provided the most accurate snapshot for regular facility operating budgets moving forward.

  • As different areas of the municipality currently contribute to different facilities, the impact to North Cowichan property owners will vary based on location.
  • For most North Cowichan residents, this could mean a property tax reduction of approximately $108.32*
  • Residents that live in the north part of the municipality (Crofton and Chemainus areas) could see a property tax increase of approximately $113.34*
    • *Based on the average home value of $659,724
  • See the information sheet prepared by the CVRD for full details.

If the referendum is successful and the new funding model adopted, it will be phased-in over three years (2023 - 2025).

Learn more about the Regional Recreation Funding Referendum, read background information, reports, and FAQs, details on impacts to other municipalities and electoral areas, and to find out about open houses and webinars, visit the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s web page.

Regional Recreation Funding Referendum Question: Play Fair/Pay Fair

For decades, the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) and its municipal partners – including North Cowichan -- have been trying to find an equitable funding model for recreation services in the Cowichan region. Currently, there are nine "regionally significant recreation facilities" that have been identified in the region, all of which are owned and operated by different jurisdictions, and funded inequitably by different tax payers.

During the October local general election, a preferred funding model will be decided through a referendum question. By voting yes North Cowichan will save $714,000 each year.


The CVRD and its municipal partners have spent the last seven years doing extensive research into potential funding models and how to improve regional recreation services in general and a preferred model has been identified. For example, currently only a few jurisdictions pay for the Cowichan Community Centre, but residents from all jurisdictions in the region use the facility either a little or a lot; under the new model, each jurisdiction would pay an amount based on how much the residents use the facility.

Two usage studies conducted in 2017 and in 2021/2022 were combined to provide the average percentage of usage of each facility, per jurisdiction. If this funding model is adopted, then a usage study will be conducted every five years, and will keep an ongoing rolling average based on the most recent three data collection cycles.

The taxation amounts used for calculating each jurisdiction's contribution (based on the averaged usage data, as mentioned above) were based on the 2019 budget year, as it was the last "normal" budget year pre-COVID. This provided the most accurate snapshot for regular facility operating budgets moving forward.

  • As different areas of the municipality currently contribute to different facilities, the impact to North Cowichan property owners will vary based on location.
  • For most North Cowichan residents, this could mean a property tax reduction of approximately $108.32*
  • Residents that live in the north part of the municipality (Crofton and Chemainus areas) could see a property tax increase of approximately $113.34*
    • *Based on the average home value of $659,724
  • See the information sheet prepared by the CVRD for full details.

If the referendum is successful and the new funding model adopted, it will be phased-in over three years (2023 - 2025).

Learn more about the Regional Recreation Funding Referendum, read background information, reports, and FAQs, details on impacts to other municipalities and electoral areas, and to find out about open houses and webinars, visit the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s web page.

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    If the regional recreation referendum question passes, why will my taxes go up? I thought this would mean less cost for North Cowichan. I live in Chemainus.

    ConnectAdmin asked about 2 months ago

    Currently, recreation is funded using different formulas, depending on where you live in North Cowichan, and taxpayers in the north side of North Cowichan do not pay for the Cowichan Community Centre. The proposed funding model relies on user data and where users live, and funding for those facilities will be shared in a fair and equitable way.

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    How can I tell if I am in “north” North Cowichan or in the south?

    ConnectAdmin asked about 2 months ago

    A map shows the line that divides the Municipality for this purpose. You can also look at previous property tax statements: If you see “CVRD Theatre Grant” and do not see “CVRD Cowichan Community Centre” as line items, you are in “north” North Cowichan. If the converse is the case (you do not see “CVRD Theatre Grant” and do see “CVRD Cowichan Community Centre”) then you are in “south” North Cowichan.

Page last updated: 28 Sep 2022, 01:48 PM