Please join us on Sunday, April 24th at noon for the official opening of the new skatepark, and to celebrate what the skateboard community has accomplished.
Since 2013, the skate community has raised $102,000 towards rebuilding Ambleside Skatepark. After almost 2 decades, Ambleside has a brand new skatepark located right on the beaches of West Vancouver, and it’s one of a kind. Thanks to the District of West Vancouver, Newline Skateparks, and the skate community for making this a reality.
In 1996, Ambleside Skatepark was built in West Vancouver. Nestled along a beach on the Burrard Inlet, the park offered scenic views of Stanley Park and the Lions Gate Bridge to the south and east, respectively, while to the west, a seemingly endless view of the horizon meeting the Salish Sea. For the past 20 years the park was a training ground for many North Shore residents, including local pro Russ Milligan.
In the past few years Ambleside skatepark has been destroyed by the weather to the point skateboarders no longer used it. For local residents Peter Sullivan and Eric Savics, redoing the park was a community initiative that they took to heart. Sullivan, the founder of local skateboard distribution company Supra Distribution, took it upon himself to connect many people in the skateboard community to help redo the park. Eric Savics of Vancouver Urban Timberworks began charming his way through the bureaucracy of city politics. Once Sullivan and Savics had support for the project many other people and business contributed.
Growing up as a skateboarder, Sullivan understood how important it is to have a place in your community to skate and spend time with friends. Sullivan and his family are long-time residents of West Vancouver, so it made sense for him to put his efforts there, 15 years after the Ambleside Skatepark was initially built. Sullivan, being a man of action, put his money where his mouth was and offered the district of West Vancouver $50,000 towards the project. After Sullivan laid out his vision and pledge of support, Wes Stebbing and Savics took the lead to provide guidance and input to the district while seeing the project through.
In the Spring of 2014, a public workshop was held and brought together all interested members of the public. The goal of the workshop was to gather input from skateboarders themselves on what they wanted to have at their skatepark. In total, 50 people attended the meeting and nearly all of them were skateboarders. Mayor Michael Smith and Councillor Mary-Ann Booth also attended to show their support. Newline Skateparks was awarded the contract to design the park. They took the feedback from the workshop and came up with a design to meet what was requested and also took advantage of the space, as well some of the architectural styles of the original park.
Once the concept was in place and the park had been approved by the District of West Vancouver, Sullivan started working with numerous brand partners, local businesses, and not-for profit groups to raise funds for the skatepark.
Bob Kronbauer of Vancouver is Awesome grew up he was a skateboarder. So when he heard about rebuilding Ambleside skatepark he offered to donate his entire skateboard collection of over 100 rare skateboards to raise money. These boards raised over $10,000, which went towards redoing the skatepark.
Supra Distribution and Murray Fraser from The Boardroom began working with brands to craft localized merchandise to raise money towards rebuilding the skatepark. Chocolate Skateboards used their trademark font to create a limited run of t-shirts and skateboards. All of the net proceeds were donated to rebuilding Ambleside.
On a visit to Vancouver Matix Clothing founder Brian Dunlap was inspired by the Compton Surf Club and to do something a little tongue and cheek and he created the Ambleside Surf Club collection that was sold exclusively through the Boardroom. All of the net proceeds were donated to rebuilding Ambleside.
One of the final pushes toward collecting enough money to redo the park was when Deluxe distribution introduced the DLX Build Project, a donation bucket that was placed in The Boardroom. This gave local North Shore residents the opportunity to contribute to the park. All of the money donated in the bucket was donated to rebuilding Ambleside.
After two years a lot of people gave their time and money, and in total $102,000 was raised. The District of West Vancouver contributed the remaining funds needed to complete the project. On Sunday, April 22nd the Ambleside skatepark will officially be open and the ribbon is to be cut by Owen Sullivan, son of the late Peter Sullivan.
Special thanks to:
The Sullivan Family, Eric Savics, Wes Stebbing, Bob Kronbauer, Boardroom, Supra Distribution staff, Mikey Leblanc, The District of West Vancouver, Newline Skateparks, The West Vancouver Community Foundation, Matix Clothing, Chocolate Skateboards, Deluxe Distribution, Timebomb Trading, Onni Group, Murray Fraser, John Clendenan, and Take 5 Trading.
Sunday, April 24th
12:00pm – 2:00pm
Map – Ambleside Skatepark Location
Story by Jeff Thorburn
Photos courtesy of Supra Distribution as well as Chris Lakusiak