Congratulations 2017 winners!

Congratulations Bouchie Lake Elementary School, Galiano Community School, Marion Schilling Elementary School, and McKay Street Park!

British Columbians have spoken. Bouchie Lake Elementary School, Galiano Community School, Marion Schilling Elementary School, and McKay Street Park are the winners. Each play space will receive revitalizations worth up to $100,000!

See winning spaces

Bouchie Lake Elementary School


  • Category: Recreational & Active Living
  • Location: 2074 Blackwater Road, Quesnel BC

Potential Improvements

Bouchie Lake Elementary School has been a fixture of the Bouchie Lake Community for over 50 yrs and in addition to it's 144 enrolled students, houses a community daycare and Strong Start Program for preschool aged children. We are seeking to improve our outdoor play area in 2 main areas: the building of an outdoor classroom/covered learning area, and the upgrade/replacement of our current playground and blacktop which contains equipment the majority of which is over 30 yrs old. In the past 3 yrs, our PAC has been actively fundraising by hosting community movie nights & scrapbook weekends in our school gym, selling magazine subs, chocolates, school supply labels, & basket raffles. Our building plans have been approved but we are still in need of funds to have this much needed project come to fruition. Upon completion, our outdoor classroom will have a concrete floor, removable benches & possible gardening boxes that our children will be able to access in the shade of the hot summer months and under coverage in our colder winter months. Our goal is to have a fun & safe outdoor learning environment that will provide teachers & students the opportunity to move their studies outside to learn in their natural surroundings.

Community Impact

Our school is accessible to all Bouchie Lake Community members and families. Since our school is over 10km away from the City of Quesnel itself, having an area families can enjoy year round without having to make the drive to town would be so beneficial, appreciated and life-changing to all involved. Our community is one that emphasizes outdoor activities & play and we are lucky to live in such a passionate & involved neighbourhood. This construction & upgrade would benefit the young & old Bouchie Lake Community members alike. To be able to give back & provide the students and residents a place to gather on our school grounds would only add to the community spirit, involvement and heartfelt feelings that our neighbourhood already embodies.

Galiano Community School

Vancouver Island/Coast

  • Category: After School Program Facilities
  • Location: 1290 Sturdies Bay Road, Galiano Island, BC

Potential Improvements

Galiano Island has few options for structured play; there is no pool, recreation centre or skating rink. Families must go off-island to participate in many activities. Time, money and ferry fares limit many children to local activities. The play structure at the Galiano Community School is over 30 yrs old. The monkey bar paint is peeling, there are large gaps in climbing platforms, and components that have been deemed unsafe (e.g. tire swing) have been removed. We want to offer our youth a play space that is fun and helps them grow, learn and stay fit and healthy, but we don't have money for replacement, nor can we modify the structure because of insurance restrictions. Also, the primary structure is wooden and needs treatment for maintenance – a process that raises caregiver concern. A grade 3 student said: “The tires on our playground are breaking and the swings are rusty and squeaky so we need new ones.” A school survey identified playground replacement as a priority and our local soccer club showed enthusiasm for the project, donating $1,000 from their 2016 soccer tournament. We need to replace the entire structure and have few funding sources. Replacement cost is $70,000 to $100,000 – a daunting sum for our small community.

Community Impact

The Galiano Community School (GCS) is a vibrant, multi-use, shared community space with a run down play structure. A new play space will benefit school kids, visitors & families participating in a range of activities & using the following facilities: • GCS: school activities; • Galiano Activity Centre: volunteer-led after school activities & camps offered 6-8 weeks per year (spring/summer); • Galiano Library: combination library/play space visits; • Community Greenhouse & Garden: integrated garden/play space visits & Community Picnic; • Galiano Daycare (opening in 2017): requiring a play space for 2-5 yr. olds. A new play space will help kids grow & imagine, facilitate inter-generational play, and revitalize a child-centred community hub.

Marion Schilling Elementary School


  • Category: After School Program Facilities
  • Location: 2200 Park Drive, Kamloops, BC

Potential Improvements

Within walking distance for most Valleyview residents, Marion Schilling Elementary’s playground is a central hub in our community. In addition to the 270 school kids who use it daily, our playground borders a busy community hall, lacrosse box, soccer field and daycare and is visited by the families who use these facilities as well. Marion Schilling hosts a Strong Start program, averaging 20 families daily with children 5 and under who also use the space. In the summer, our school is visited by the Bright Red Book Bus, a literacy initiative that invites children to come play on the playground with their families, pick a book and enjoy time together. As there is no other community playground in our area, Marion Schilling is the only chance many children and their families have to engage in physical literacy and outdoor play. Our vision is to create a safe & welcoming space that would allow everyone to enjoy the outdoors together, from the little ones in our Strong Start to the grandparents watching their grandkids from nearby benches, and everyone in between. Our current playground is old & unsafe for families, and needs to be replaced with new equipment in order to continue to host the families from our local community and beyond.

Community Impact

Our playground is nearly 25 years old and made of treated wood which is deteriorating quickly. It requires regular repair; metal areas are rusting & sharp, and chains throughout the structure present pinch hazards. A playground revitalization would involve a complete replacement, costing about $90,000. It will take years for our PAC to raise these funds given that many of our families are low-income with little ability to contribute. The impact would be significant for the whole community & would enhance the experiences of the many families who visit our playground every day. A new playground would bring our community together, strengthen connections & create lasting memories. A strong community helps build healthy, active & happy children.

McKay Street Park

North Coast

  • Category: Recreational & Active Living
  • Location: Mckay Street at Kootenay Avenue, Prince Rupert

Potential Improvements

The Mckay Street Park is a space currently dominated by an abandoned baseball field, overgrown with alder trees. Adjacent to the old field is a more recent community garden, administered by a local service group, and a lone basketball hoop. At the moment, the space is considered dangerous by many residents, and at night it has been used by drug users as an area sheltered from view. Transition Prince Rupert and our many community partners have worked to consult the community and develop a final park design that will open up the space, provide lighting and clear pathways and sightlines through the space, and create a much needed recreation and play area for the neighbourhood. This design includes potential uses for all ages, including a covered basketball pavilion, expanded community gardens, covered skate/bike area, picnic grounds, dog park, cultural centre, and more. We believe that developing neighbourhood ownership of the space, through meaningful participation in the design process, will greatly increase the safety of the site for children and families, and provide a lasting community benefit.

Community Impact

The impact of this revitalization would have a significant impact on the surrounding neighbourhood. The Mckay Street Park is adjacent to the largest subsidized housing complex in Prince Rupert, which alone houses approximately 400 + residents - namely young families. Not only would a new park/recreation space service the demonstrated needs of this community (especially a basketball pavilion - as Prince Rupert is home to the All Native Basketball Tournament each year), but it would provide additional space for service organizations to offer programming to the local residents. Currently, the youth of the neighbourhood call the park 'nobody's field', with your help, our intent is for them to be able to call it 'everybody's'.



  1. What type of play spaces are eligible to be nominated? 
    BCAA is looking for play spaces around the province that need rejuvenation. It can be an outdoor or indoor place space such as a playground, park, community garden, music room, an after-school study area or really any play space where kids go to grow and learn. 
  2. How can I nominate a play space? 
    Just click on the “Nominate” button found on our homepage and complete the application. Don’t forget to read our top tips below on what makes a strong application to give you the best chance of success. 
  3. Our community play space was nominated in 2016, are we able to reapply in 2017 and future BCAA Play Here programs? 
    Absolutely! All communities are encouraged to submit a nomination. 
  4. What makes a strong nomination? 
    We want you to tell us why your play space needs a makeover and how it will impact your community. Here are some top tips: 
    • Focus on the impact this revitalization will have on your community and really emphasize your specific community needs.
    • Be creative with your nomination to make it standout. Video submissions have the biggest impact but please keep it short! Under two minutes is perfect.
    • In your nomination, make sure you tell us/show us the play space you’d like to see built or revitalized.
    • Have fun! This is all about play, so don’t take it too seriously. Enjoy yourself!
  5. Can I edit my nomination after I have submitted it? 
    Once submitted, you will not be able to edit or change your nomination so please make sure you review the full application before submission.
  6. I submitted a nomination, when should I expect to see it on ?
    Upon submission of a nomination, you will receive a verification email. Once you have verified your nomination, if the submission is approved by the Play Here moderators, you can expect it to be posted on the BCAA Play Here website within 72hours.
  7. How do the judges narrow down the nominations to the finalists? 
    The judges will carefully review all nominations between April 14th and May 22nd and select the top 10 finalists. They will be looking for the most compelling entries based on the following criteria and weightings:
    • The impact the new space will have in the community (50%)
    • Practicality and complexity of the project (30%)
    • Description of how the $100,000 revitalization will be used (10%)
    • Quality, creativity and effort put into the entry (10%) 
  8. How many times can I vote? 
    Each voter can vote every day if they like. Vote once (and only once) on each and all of the following platforms:
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Google
    • Email  
  9. Who is eligible to vote? 
    Anyone who is 19 years of age or older and a resident of British Colombia can vote.
  10. Will I get notified after every vote I submit? 
    You will not get notified every time you vote but each and every one of your votes will get counted and the BCAA Play Here website will be updated every 24 hours so keep your eyes on the vote counts!
  11. How is the winner chosen? 
    The 3 nominations with the highest number of votes will each receive a revitalization worth up to $100,000. In the event of a tie, those tied entries will be re-judged by the judging panel and a winner selected. 
  12. When will the winners be announced? 
    The 3 winners will be announced on June 23, 2017 on Global News Morning BC. 
  13. What prizes are available this year? 
    This year there are 3 grand prizes with each community winning up to $100,000 in revitalization services. That’s $300,000 for 3 play spaces! 
  14. In 2016, BCAA surprised the Province with three runner-up prizes, can we expect that again? 
    Instead of runner-up prizing, BCAA Play Here is investing in not just 2, but 3 grand prizes of a $100,000 revitalization for 2017. There will be no runner-up prizes.
  15. I have questions, who can I ask? 
    If you cannot find the answer to your question in these FAQ’s and need further information, feel free to email us at and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
  16. I see vote sharing websites being used. What methods are allowed to be used to gain votes?
    • We see communities doing well by working together to promote their story within their community and across the province.
    • Groups have used a variety of approaches to widely share their story and inspire other British Columbians to vote for their play space projects. Some examples: social media, media coverage, raffles, community events, personal networking or contest promotion websites—these activities do fall within the rules.
  17. How are votes verified to make sure they fall within the rules?
    The integrity of the BCAA Play Here initiative is the most important thing to us at BCAA. We use current contest management best practices.
    • Throughout the voting period, we continuously monitor and validate votes through both automated and manual checks.
    • Once the voting period closes, our validation period gives us additional opportunity to again review all votes to ensure they’re within the rules. To date, we have seen no violation of our current rules and regulations.
  18. Are purchased votes allowed?
    No, they would not be eligible. If any votes are found to have been purchased, those votes will be disqualified. To date, we have seen no evidence of purchased votes.