Vernon now home to one of Canada’s largest covered dedicated pickleball complexes

May 18, 2021
News

The Vernon Pickleball Association (VPA), in conjunction with the City of Vernon, is proud to announce that the ‘Roof has been Raised’ and the Okanagan Wealth Advisors (OWA) Pickleball Complex has opened.

More than 1,000 volunteer hours went in to the construction of the court enclosure at Marshall Fields, which took place over the course of six months. As of May 22, the facility will be available for bookings in a limited capacity by VPA members and the general public, with COVID-19 safety measures in place. 

"This project happened because the VPA members personally contributed over $1.2 million to fund the capital cost,” said Rob Irving, Building Committee Chair. “Over 250 members purchased debentures, made donations and pre-paid playing fees to ensure this would become a reality for Vernon.”

In addition, the City funded the applicable Development Cost Charges (approximately $212,000) for the outdoor courts to be transformed into an indoor facility. With the enclosure of the courts now complete, the OWA Pickleball Complex is believed to be the largest covered dedicated pickleball complex in Canada. 

“This was only possible with the help of many VPA volunteers who brought their relevant skills, expertise and experience to the project,” said Don Friesen, VPA member and Building Committee Construction Manager. “Major business support for the court enclosure came from Guard-All Building Solutions, Rennie Equipment Inc, MacroAir, Air Tech Mechanical, FH Electric and MQN Architects, as well as numerous local businesses stepping up in the way of sponsorship.” 

“This is an exciting addition for our community,” said Mayor Victor Cumming. “The VPA is a strong advocate for this rapidly expanding sport – both here in Vernon and across the country – and for the positive impact a facility like this can have on Vernon. We’ve already heard this facility is garnering a lot of interest from our residents, visitors, and those who want to relocate to the North Okanagan. I’d like to congratulate the VPA members on this great accomplishment and I’m excited to see continued growth in the sport and the vitality it helps bring for our citizens of all ages.” 

With the upgrade to an indoor facility, and to comply with province-wide restrictions, some access conditions have changed. In order to play: 

•    Courts must be booked in advance through the VPA website (no drop-ins are allowed)
•    Everyone must adhere to the COVID-19 safety measures (see video link here)
•    Up to 6 hours of public access will be provided each day, except for during tournaments or special events
•    The cost for general public play will be $15.00 per person (to a maximum of $60.00 per court) for two hours of play

For more information about the Vernon Pickleball Association, current COVID-19 safety measures in place, how to become a member, or how to book a court at the OWA Pickleball complex, please visit www.vernonpickleball.com.

Background

In 2018, 14 outdoor pickleball courts were constructed at Marshall Fields with funding assistance from the City of Vernon, District of Coldstream and Areas B & C of the Regional District of North Okanagan, as well as contributions from VPA members and community partners. 

The newly constructed Quonset-style structure has steel trusses and a fabric covering. The complex also includes an on-site RV-style washroom facility. The roof is 55’ high and contains more than 39,000 sf of fabric and 56 tons of steel in the roof supports.  There are 4 furnaces, 8 huge fans and 12 light clusters with over 5,000 feet of conduit for electricity distribution, and 20 miles of electrical wire within the complex. What this means is that the OWA Pickleball Complex will have perfect playing conditions all year round. 

Photo above (left to right): Rob Irving, Myron Hocevar, Mayor Victor Cumming, Don Friesen and Ian Phillips inside the OWA Pickleball Complex.