City to host Alberni polar bear swim

The city is the official host of the vaunted Polar Bear Swim in 2014.

The city is the official host of the vaunted Polar Bear Swim in 2014.

Parks and Recreation director Scott Kenny made the announcement at city council’s Dec. 9 meeting.

The annual event was formerly held at Clutesi Haven Marina. Unofficial swims have been held there the last two years.

Coordinating the swim isn’t much different from organizing an Our Town event, which Kenny said is more complicated.

This years swim however is being held at the new Canal Beach on New Year’s Day.

The PEAK has come on board to help with the event, Kenny said, and officials are in talks with Western Forest Products to help as well.

The Kiwanis are helping this year, as are the Port Alberni Fire Department and BC Ambulance Service. Some of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs are slated to be there as well, Kenny said.

The Gyro Club of Alberni formerly coordinated the event and then the Kinsmen Club, Kenny said.

“It got to be too much for the Gyro because they’re a small club.”

Mayor John Douglas is helping coordinate the event and Kenny is assisting with the operational end.

Coun. Cindy Solda questioned having the event on city property citing liability concerns.

City manager Ken Watson replied that the city’s insurance covered liability on city parcels of land, and that the beach is on city land.

The swim is scheduled to take place at noon on Jan. 1, 2014.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews