PAPA looks for boardwalk name, cafe

The waterfront by Fisherman’s Harbour will soon look different—and the Port Alberni Port Authority wants the community’s help it a name.

PAPA director of public relations and business development Dave McCormick is looking for names for the port authority’s new boardwalk.

PAPA director of public relations and business development Dave McCormick is looking for names for the port authority’s new boardwalk.

The waterfront by Fisherman’s Harbour will soon look a lot different—and the Port Alberni Port Authority wants the community’s help in giving a name to the revamped area.

“The goal of the naming contest is to reach out to the community for a creative name for the development between Fisherman’s Harbour and Somass Mill that really identifies with what Port Alberni is and what the development represents now and into the future in terms of increasing waterfront access and the diversity of activity,” said Port Alberni Port Authority director of public relations and business development Dave McCormick.

The boardwalk is being funded with a $300,000 contribution by the city and is part of the port authority’s waterfront improvement projects in the area.

The port authority received $3.45 million in 2011 from the Island Coastal Economic Trust to fund Centennial Pier as well as other improvements to Fisherman’s Harbour.

The boardwalk currently under construction is known as the ‘Somass strip’ but McCormick said that PAPA wants a more fitting name. The deadline for the naming contest is 4 p.m. on April 29 and submissions should be e-mailed to dmccormick@alberniport.ca.

What if someone suggests a name in the style of ‘Boaty McBoatface,’ the Natural Environment Research Council’s new multimillion research ship?

“We have confidence that the community is going to really step up to the challenge, step up to the opportunity to rename the site. We believe there are are a lot of people with a great sense of history, of place, of culture and will come forward with some great solutions to identify this area with something that the whole community can be proud of,” said McCormick.

“The long-term vision is to create a fisherman’s wharf type concept that we’re familiar with like San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, Seattle’s Pike Place and Steveston [in Richmond],” said McCormick. Work on the boardwalk is to be completed by the end of May.

“This is an investment that the port is making to increase and encourage the public to access the waterfront and to really enjoy the mixed uses that happen at the waterfront.”

The boardwalk is only part of that vision—the port authority has also released a request for proposal for a cafe at the site.

Requirements remain general and McCormick said that he doesn’t want to limit the possibilities.

“We’re open to the creativity of the private sector,” said McCormick.

“We want to advertise the opportunity and then work with the private sector to see what can be developed. A cafe, it could evolve into a bistro or a series of different offerings.”

“People gravitate towards the water’s edge. We think with what the port is doing, with what the city is doing, what private business is doing, that we can attract some businesses to invest here and capitalize on the increased public traffic.”

McCormick is hoping that the cafe will be up and running by the start of the 2016 tourist season.

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