In no particular order you can find the candidates responses below:

Janice Morrison

Leslie Payne

Cal Renwick

Robbie Kalabis

Michelle Hillaby

Jesse Woodward

Keith Page

Charles Jeanes

Travis Hauck

Rob Richichi

John Dooley

Janice Morrison

I would like to assure you that I am a supporter of sport, recreation and physical activity not only for youth but for every age, ability and gender expression.

As a physiotherapist I am a strong supporter of the need for physical literacy and physical fitness and believe this needs to start at an early age, whether through the education system (which appears to have reduced the importance of physical activity) or club sports like gymnastics and soccer.

What have I done to support sports and recreation in Nelson? I worked hard as a councillor and then as an engaged citizen to ensure we had new recreation facilities built. I am a past Director the the Nelson Maple leafs. I have level 2 national coaching certification. I am a level 1 Triathlon coach. I have been involved with the Ernie Gare Scholarship program - the first education/athletic scholarship program in Canada. I have volunteered my time to numerous local sporting events as a physiotherapist or for whatever job needed to get done. I have been a member of the curling club, golf club and Mountain spirit Triathlon club. I took a month off work in 2010 to volunteer at the Winter Olympics.

You are correct, your application to the 2018 CIP grant for $15,700 was not funded. My understanding is your request for $14,400 from the RDCK received $2,000. I would encourage you to apply for CIP grant funding again in 2019.

In terms of sports/recreation/health funding council did approve CIP grants for the following: NDYC programming, kidsport Nelson, Nelson circus performers, Nelson Nordic ski club, Nelson Tennis club, the Kootenay Swim club and Friends of Pulpit Rock.

On September 28, 2018 CBT announced a new program to help children and youth be active - Basin PLAYS (physical literacy and youth sports) Initiative. Basin PLAYS will work with community sports groups, schools, volunteers coaches and others to provide the resources and support they need to help kids be more active. I would encourage your organization to apply to this new fund.

As part of the city’s assess management plan, one of the goals has been to standardize the leases for all groups that use city facilities. The assessment management plan once fully completed will allow the city to plan appropriately ongoing maintenance and improvements to our buildings including the 1934 built Civic Centre. There is a permissive tax exemption (PTE) in place for your lease.

The Recreation Task Force Report is still front and centre for the RDCK Recreation Commision. In fact at our meeting this week ( Oct 16th) we discussed and directed staff to put together a press release regarding the report. The hope is the new members of the Commission will continue to work on implementation of the recommendations.

Thank you for the opportunity to reply to your questions and concerns. If any of your members have further questions please feel free to reach out to me at

Kind regards
Janice  Morrison
Caring and committed Experienced Leadership for Nelson

Leslie Payne

Steve and Sandra

Thanks you so much for giving me the opportunity to explore a very significant pillar of our city's health and welfare. And thank you for the wonderful work that you do in making Nelson an amazing place to live for all of us. I hope my responses demonstrate my full support of your organization and the many families that have benefited from your efforts.

Leslie Payne

Cal Renwick

Thank you for visiting my table during Candi-dating at the library last week.

I spoke with John Dooley last night and we both share your concerns. I believe it’s paramount for our youth to be able to participate in whatever extracurricular activity they chose. This means keeping costs of programs and facilities reasonable. Almost doubling your rent seems less than reasonable. I agree with John that there may be an opportunity for funding from the CBT to deal with facility upgrades to not only Glacier gymnastics but the whole Civic Centre facility. I have to admit I know nothing at this point of the Recreation Campus or the Task Force Report but I will find out.

As I said earlier we have to keep programs affordable and within reason for our youth. Sport is a very important part of the growing and maturing process. Sport helps shape and mould our youth by teaching discipline, commitment, self confidence as well as social development. I can’t imagine my youth without being involved in sports. A few questions that come to mind about your situation are; 1 How does your lease agreement differ from Nelson Soccer and the Civic Theatre? What are your enrollment numbers? How many volunteers? If elected I will work with you and help you continue operating a successful club.

Robbie Kalabis

Good day,

Thank you for your interest in the election and bringing forward some issues that you would like the new council to address. I am very impressed and applaud your club for taking the initiative to make improvements to the space you use at the Civic Centre over the years.

I am a huge supporter and advocate for recreation in our community and believe that an active, healthy community is much happier and more compassionate toward one another. I enjoy all the recreational opportunities that Nelson and area affords. I loved being in gymnastics as a kid and my niece and nephews have been attending classes with the club.

If I am elected, I will work to find ways to reduce the gymnastic club's rent to  rate that is a more realistic step up from where it was previously and make any future increases incremental, such that the the club is able to continue to thrive. I think council may be able to also help the club secure grants and potentially provide other in-kind support by say devoting some city workers time to helping with some of the renovations to the upper change rooms.

I think the recreational facilities/Recreation Campus that is almost literally in the center of Nelson is the actual heartbeat of the Queen City. These facilities are and have been a huge asset to our community and they need to be maintained and improved in line with the current and future usage.

With my skill set in working with teams of professionals and liaising with stakeholders to successfully deliver multi-million dollar infrastructure projects on a daily basis, I am focused on helping Nelson ensure the city's facilities and infrastructure are in good repair now and in the future.

I haven't seen the Recreation Task Force Report you mentioned in your message. Can you please forward it to me? I'm keen to see what the 26 recommendations were.

As stated above, sport and recreation is something I wholeheartedly endorse, especially for youth. By getting people involved in an active lifestyle in their younger years, they are more likely to stay mobile and make healthy choices as adults, which in turn makes for a more vibrant community.

In the arena of sport and recreation, as in most any area that council needs to provide support, I believe it is all about bringing the right people together to communicate, collaborate and find consensus to make positive results.

Vote for Robbie!

Kind Regards,

Robbie Kalabis


Michelle Hillaby

I remember reading in the paper last summer that the City of Nelson was more than doubling Glacier Gymnastics rent, from $18,000 to $38,000 per year.

It’s one of the reasons I’m running for Council.

A City that can’t support its youth is doomed to failure. Kids are our future, and they’re worth the investment. It’s infuriating to the City disregard youth sport. We’re lucky that Glacier didn’t just fold up when faced that level of unexpected increase.

Last year, the club had 795 gymnasts registered, with 45 classes a week running at an average of 92 per cent capacity. Gymnastics in Nelson is second only to soccer in terms of numbers of youth participating.

Glacier has already put $150,000 worth improvement into the City-owned building, and there are plans for tens of thousands of dollars more. As a small city, we’re very fortunate to have a gymnastics club of Glacier’s quality. We should celebrating and supporting their efforts, not punishing them.

Sports keep kids healthy in mind and body. They learn about teamwork and perseverance and dedication. Sports keep kids out of trouble and off the streets. Invest in kids, and you’re investing in the future.

Everything costs money, and maintenance costs increase. But we as a city get to make the choice about how we spend and collect money. Some things generate revenue; others cost money but are an investment. It’s about deciding what’s most important to us as a community. I vote for kids.

I believe the City of Nelson should assist with long-term improvements to the city-owned building that houses Glacier Gymnastics. And when it comes time to inevitably adjust rents, it should be done after consultation and in an appropriate and respectful way.

Michelle Hillaby

Jesse Woodward

To the Glacier Gymnastics Board:

Thank you for your questionnaire which I received at the October 4th Candidating event at the Nelson Public Library. Thank you for providing your story about the club, your resourcefulness, and the challenges you have been facing. I can really appreciate that you are looking for supporters within the city's management.


I do not feel I know enough about the scope of this proposal, or what has happened in the past or why with regards to these issues. I know that the Civic Centre building is very old, and requires much maintenance and work, however, I am unsure of the details at this time. I would want to be well informed before I could feel comfortable enough to answer your questions with honesty and direction.  As a candidate to council, I am currently researching and becoming familiar with the basic foundational documents, that all the Candidates were sent by the City.

That being said I would support innovative ways to deliver affordable access to sports for the youth of our community if I were elected to Council. I did read over the Recreational Task Force Report (Oct. 17/2017) and there are many excellent and clearly stated recommendations put forward that would improve youth sports and recreation access. These recommendations should be well supported by both the City and RDCK. I understand the importance of sports access for the well being and personal growth of our community's youth and I have seen sports engagement transform the lives of many people close to me.

An easy thing Council could do to help support sports volunteerism in our community is to have a section on the Nelson City website that would be dedicated to connecting people who want to volunteer with the different sports clubs in the city that need volunteers. A sports volunteer sign up and communication hub. There could also be a donate button placed there that would allow people to donate funds to a specific sports club in our community if they so desired.

Thank you for providing your story and informative references. I wish you all the best in this new term and that you see your most urgent needs being met.


Jesse Woodward

Keith Page

In addition to his email, Keith also left a voicemail:

Keith Page has also left a voicemail: Received the letter from the board and wishes to discuss it further.  Please call at 509-0773.


Glacier Gymnastics,

Thanks for your questions.

For me I’m member of the Nelson Grizzlies Rugby Society and spent a more than few days up at LVR this summer participating in Co-ed practise with the high-school girls. I recognize the importance of sport to the health of our community. I think it’s a very valuable thing.

I can better support the sports community in the city of nelson by listening to members such as yourselves about the issues you face and gather the themes I hear so that we can focus our work on the things improve our community for the greatest number of people.

At this stage I’m not sufficiently up-to speed on the details of the issues your group has faced with the city or why council made whatever decisions it did make to form a strong opinion on any of the matters you outlined in your letter.

For me this is the start of an ongoing conversation, thank you for inviting me to it. What I would like to ask is to have coffee with a few of your members and chat about what these things in person so I can be attuned to the issues you face and fit it into my larger narrative of the city.

Seriously, coffee, this upcoming week let’s really chat about this, my details are below :)


Keith Page


Charles Jeanes


I got this email address from your website, as I have not found the paper you gave me since that evening at the Library.

My response to you that evening, in regard to the doubling of your rent, is still the best answer I can give you at this time, until I have more information.

I will speak to Robin Cherbo, whom I know personally, and ask him if he can tell me more about the circumstances of the raising your rental costs.

On the face of it, it seems like an unfair process and one that can be improved. If I were on Council, I would, as I said to you in person, keep close watch on city hall bureaucrats and their power to lead councillors in a direction the staff want rather than a fair and balanced process of showing council all the possibilities and informing them of options. To do the councillor's job well demands a lot of time, I have come to appreciate.

All the best.

Travis Hauck

Attached is my response to your question. I look forward to representing you in city council if elected.

How would you better support our Gymnasts and our club with regards to keeping our sport affordable and available to all kids in our community. Being such a large influence and activity in Nelson, especially for girls, it is unacceptable that the city council has not taken action on helping and resolving issues with the club. There has to be a way to reduce costs to utilize a 100 year old building. I’m curious why the rent has been raised and how much money the city expects to make off of the use of the building. Does the city’s hydro make money off of the building? If so, this should be brought to the table. If I get a elected to city council, I will make it a priority to look at the Rec task force report and move on it. Travis Hauck

Rob Richichi

In answering your first question, if elected to council, I would recommend a complete overview of the increase in Glacier's rent. I really believe your rent increase is ridiculous. We can't increase rents in our buildings for whatever amount we sit fit. This is just another example of the heavy handed tactics we all experience when dealing with the city. If elected I am going to suggest a complete overhaul of the top ten managers within the city of Nelson. By that I mean immediate termination of their jobs. They have failed us at every turn and this is just one more example.

By doing so, we will save over 2 million dollars per year and over four years, 8 million in total. The initial cost for terminating positions will be around 2 million. A small price to pay for a return of 8 million dollars, plus whatever else we save. I really believe that by getting our finances in order at City Hall, we can then start allocating funds to organizations in our community. We will look at a reduction in Glacier's rent immediately, and work with the group to keep finances in order. It will still be important to present a budget to the city and we will have to work together to reach a better solution for you and the city. The Civic Centre obviously needs some upgrading and the money has to come from somewhere. If we can allocate a percentage of Glacier's rent to go right back in to the building, that will be the best case scenario for both parties.

With regards to the Civic Centre, it is an old building which needs a complete overhaul. We have to keep applying for grant money but band aid fixes are not the answer. I would like to gut the whole building and redo every aspect of the inside of the building. The cost will be about 2 million, but will solve issues with hockey, dressing rooms, and the gymnastics club. I don't feel the building is adequate for any of our children. Again, we have to get the money from somewhere and by cutting city costs, we should be able to help all organizations.

Task forces do a lot of talk but nothing ever gets done. I want to work one on one with groups and deal with on or two people. It is nice we have all these meetings but what good are they if nothing comes from them?

Youth sports is vital to our children’s safety. By keeping them involved in activities, we are keeping them of our city streets. I am an athlete and will always push for better sports facilities for our youth.

Council can get out and actually meet the people who spend hours of their time volunteering for organizations such as the Glacier Gymnastics club. I  think it is time we give portfolios back to council people. It is time they earned their pay. We seem to have lost that personal contact with the people and have allowed one person, our city manager to make decisions for us all.  

I need your vote and I am only one voice. However, I will be your voice, and I will do what I can.

Rob Richichi

John Dooley

If elected Mayor I can assure you I will be inviting your board to City hall to address your concerns

I will be bring back your request for grant support, and revisiting your rent increase

Sent from

John Dooley

Nelson BC


Gymnastics & Sports Parents

Are you interested in how a new City Council can

 Better Support Youth Sport in Nelson?

Glacier Gymnastics Club's Board of Directors recently approached many of the current candidates about challenges the Club faces and some questions about their vision for the future.