Coldstream park name change up for debate

The fate of a Coldstream park’s name rests in the hands of residents.

The District of Coldstream will conduct an input process on whether Coldstream Centennial Park on Kidston Road should be renamed Sovereign Park.

“We will offer an opportunity for the public to support the name change or speak to keeping the (current) name,” said Mayor Jim Garlick.

“If we see support for the name change, we will go for it.”

The property was owned by Art and Agnes Sovereign and it was sold to the North Okanagan Regional District after the couple died.

NORD policy is not to name a park after an individual unless the person donated 50 per cent or more of the funds to purchase the land or donated 50 per cent of more of the land.

As a result, a public contest was held in 2007 and of the submissions, Coldstream Centennial Park was selected.

However, Garlick says the actions of the Sovereign family ensured there is a park and they should be recognized.

“The family gave a lot to the area by selling the property at the price they did,” he said.

“When you compare what we got for   $1.7 million, it was significant. The family wanted it to go to park.”

Garlick also believes a name change will reflect reality in the community.

“A lot of people call it Sovereign Park,” he said.

“They are a family that did things in the community.”

Mike Macnabb, a NORD director, also questions the policy and says a donation shouldn’t be the only factor considered when a recreation facility is named.

“If that’s the case, it shouldn’t be Wesbild Centre. It should be the taxpayers of Vernon, Coldstream and Areas B and C centre,” said Macnabb.

“It should be up to the citizens of Coldstream to decide what they want to name their park.”