The town of Lanigan, Sask. may be small but its voice is being heard loud — they’ve placed in the top four in a national competition.
The Kraft Heinz Project Play is an annual competition awarding communities in Canada with a large sum of money towards “places to play.” Lanigan is hoping for upgrades to its almost fifty-year-old pool.
“The pool is a very busy place for the children, teens, and adults during the summer. We really could use the money to towards a new pool and splash park,” said Dee A. on the contest’s community rally page.
The contest works through voting and “rally” points. Each share to social media, interaction with a nomination, or story submission gets a different amount of points towards the grand total. The community with the most points and votes wins. The winner will be chosen on Oct. 21.
Over 120 stories and pleas were submitted for pool upgrades and reasons why it would benefit the community and surrounding areas.
“Lanigan is a small community with a big heart. When a town of 1,200 people put their mind to something they can accomplish big things,” said entrant Marlin K. “By winning the Kraft Heinz Project Play, it would help make our dream more of a reality,” he said.
Lanigan is competing with Nepean, Ont., which is vying for upgrades for their rugby park; Salmon Arm, B.C., who want lighting for a Nordic ski trail; and Saugeen Shores, Ont., which is competing for a sports park with a baseball diamond, trails, and a playground.
Lanigan’s pool is the only one in town and is considered a “hub” for gatherings and recreation, but its age is starting to show.
Cracks in the concrete, an aging circulation system, and inadequate filtration and disinfection systems are some of the issues creating financial stress yearly for the community.
These issues have led to the unheated paddling pool being shut down for years, and there is no family change room. The pool is also not accessible for seniors and those with mobility challenges.
“The funds from Kraft Heinz Project Play would be used to begin phase one taking us one exciting step closer to building a facility that will ensure swimming pool access to those who are excluded from our current facility,” read an official entry by the community.
The improvements from the money will go towards a beach entry, vortex, water slide spray features, improved accessibility, and a family change room.
Lanigan is about 170 kilometres north of Regina.