Guidelines approved for new Regina committee that will help shape city's downtown

·3 min read
The catalyst committee will oversee projects meant to generate growth, development and private funding in the city. (Alexander Quon/CBC News - image credit)
The catalyst committee will oversee projects meant to generate growth, development and private funding in the city. (Alexander Quon/CBC News - image credit)

Regina has taken the first step in establishing the terms of reference for a new committee that will oversee a series of proposed projects that could shape the future of the city's downtown core.

On Wednesday, Regina's executive committee voted unanimously to pass the terms of reference — essentially a guide — for the catalyst committee.

It kickstarts a rapid timeline for the committee.

"They're on a pretty tight timeline because we're looking to have that information prior to the end of the year," said Mayor Sandra Masters after Wednesday's lengthy meeting.

The committee is named after proposals dubbed "catalyst projects" because they're meant to generate growth, development and private funding in the city.

The projects include an aquatics facility that would replace the aging Lawson Aquatic Centre, a possible replacement for the Brandt Centre and a feasibility study for a multi-purpose outdoor facility geared toward high-performance baseball.

The committee has been created to make sure the possible developments are developed in tandem, rather than being siloed from one another.

While the three projects are the only ones listed in the terms of reference it doesn't mean more projects could not fall under the group's mandate.

That includes the potential revitalization or construction of a new Regina Central Library, according to Masters.

A presentation now set for Sept. 7, details how approximately $50 million is necessary just to "keep the doors open" at the facility.

"I'm hopeful that the library would be involved in the catalyst committee, but we'll that we'll wait and see when it fully populates," the mayor said.

City council must still approve the terms of reference. That vote will likely happen at next week's meeting on Aug. 17.

The committee will be composed of 16 members drawn from members of city council, private businesses and public institutions.

Coin. Bob Hawkins and Tim Reid, CEO and President of Regina Exhibition Association Limitedwill chair  the group.

They'll be joined by individuals from the following areas:

  • Two members of city council.

  • Another member from REAL

  • A member from the downtown business improvement district.

  • One member from the warehouse business improvement district.

  • One member from economic development Regina.

  • One member from the University of Regina.

  • One member of a social profit or not-for-profit agency in the city's core.

  • One member who is Indigenous and represents Treaty 4 territory.

  • One member from the Regina Public Library board of directors.

  • One member of the arts and culture sector.

  • One member representing a large employer headquartered in Regina.

  • One member from the development, real-estate or construction community.

  • One member representing next-generation leadership.

"Those 16 members are intended to bring perspective to the issues around where we invest future community money to build those sport, rec and culture assets and how to create that connection between the Yards and downtown and downtown and the exhibition," Masters said.

The committee will meet at least once a month, if not more frequently.

A budget for the scope of work — which council was told will include broad public consultation — will need to be prepared within 60 days of the committee's commencement.

Alongside the budget will be a proposed timeline that outlines the key stages of work proposed by the committee.

The committee is set to be disbanded by March 31, 2023.