Printer-friendly version   




For Immediate Release


June 6, 2008

Office of the Premier

Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts




BURNABY – The Province of British Columbia is providing $10 million to dredge Burnaby Lake,
re-establishing it as an international rowing venue and improving the lake’s fish and wildlife habitat, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.


 “Revitalizing Burnaby Lake is a critical step forward in re-establishing an important centre for amateur sport, and creating a new centre for sport development here in the Lower Mainland,” said Premier Campbell. “Burnaby Lake has a rich history of rowing competitions, and this work will bring the lake back to the standard required for international rowing and kayaking competitions, as well as improve the lake’s habitat for fish and wildlife and restore its stormwater management function.”


The rejuvenation project will include removing 360,000 cubic metres of lake bed sediment to improve water quality and enhance the lake’s fish and migratory bird habitat. The dredging will also restore the open water environment on the lake that will allow for a 2,000-metre rowing, canoe, kayak course required to accommodate competitive, international-standard events.


The City of Burnaby will also contribute $10 million to the project. Today’s announcement fulfils a 2005 election commitment to invest in the rejuvenation of Burnaby Lake.


“The City of Burnaby appreciates this boost from the provincial government and is eager to get started on this project,” said Derek Corrigan, Burnaby’s mayor. “Almost one quarter of our city’s land is dedicated park and green space, and the Burnaby Lake project will enhance our already world-class recreational facilities.”


A rowing venue was initially created on Burnaby Lake in the early 1970s for the 1973 Canada Summer Games. For the next two decades, the lake was host to a number of major rowing and kayaking competitions and was recognized as one of the best venues on the North American Pacific Coast and the only international standard course. Notable Olympic rowing medallists such as Tricia Smith, Kathleen Heddle and Mike Rasher and kayakers Renn Crichlow, Hugh Fisher and Alwyn Morris all trained at Burnaby Lake.


Inflow of sediment began to impact the rowing course in the 1980s and 1990s, degrading the water quality and decreasing the depth of the water to the point where it was unusable for competitions.


“This is fantastic news. Revitalizing the international course at Burnaby is a win for sport, the environment and the entire community,” said Tricia Smith, four-time Olympian. “This funding will help re-establish Burnaby Lake as one of the best world-class rowing facilities in North America. I want to thank all partners for working together to develop this facility that will be a legacy for current and future Canadian rowers.”


“This is wonderful news for our community and the province,” said Harry Bloy, MLA for Burquitlam. “Burnaby Lake is an important resource for families in this region, and I am pleased to have been able to work on this project and to help secure funding.”


“Re-establishing the lake as a hub for outdoor sporting events is a great way to encourage healthier lifestyles,” said Richard T. Lee, MLA for Burnaby North. “This ties in nicely with our government’s ActNow program, which aims to get people outdoors to enjoy physical activities.”


“This funding demonstrates our commitment to our athletes and the future environmental health of our community,” said John Nuraney, MLA for Burnaby-Willingdon. “I’m delighted this project will have the added benefit of enhancing the fish and wildlife habitat at Burnaby Lake.”






Bridgitte Anderson

Press Secretary

Office of the Premier

604 307-7177


For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at