A Good Spot: Royal Beach Seaside Village

By Marley Poniedzielnik & Emma McCormick

There was a moment in June of this year when we wondered what our summer season was going to look like. Our spring months were a blur of rescheduling, postponing, and altering plans, but by the time June rolled around and the craziness of moving 2020 weddings was resolved we had a second to breathe and, to be honest, it felt a pretty sad to think that our once bustling summer was looking very, very empty. We wondered what our team members would do all summer and what we could do to keep working!

Enter Royal Beach Seaside Village. Our home away from home (aka the studio) this summer.

In late June, we were contacted by the team at KeyCorp Developments in Langford about the possibility of working on some Covid-friendly community focused events at Seacliff Properties’ Royal Beach Park – the future home of the Royal Beach Seaside Village. The team was excited about getting the surrounding Colwood community engaged in the potential of Royal Beach and the future development plans for the expansive property and they wanted our help with getting the neighbourhood involved, showcasing the property, and giving the wider community a sense of what to expect with this future World Class Community. We were excited when they moved forward with our proposal and we couldn’t wait to get started!

To start, we had a chance to tour the property, which sits on 134 acres of not yet developed land in Colwood off of Metchosin Road in an area that was previously a gravel pit. The land is beautiful but currently is only home to a small temporary beachfront park. This park became our playground for the summer and gave us the opportunity to get creative in a very empty space – it’s been our favourite challenges yet and we are so grateful to the KeyCorp and Seacliff teams for trusting us with this project.

It didn’t take long to get things underway and by the end of June we were in full Royal Beach mode with a beach reopening with Mayor Rob Martin and the development and planning teams. From that point, we quickly had a packed summer schedule full of community activities, pop-ups, and happenings for everyone on the Westshore and beyond to enjoy! Take a look below at the photos from Royal Beach’s Colwood-based photographer, Jesse Holland, at some of the summer fun we’ve been having on this beautiful oceanfront property.

SPINCO by the Sea 

One of our favourite ways to sweat is SPINCO. We were so excited to team up with Kelly and Janella from SPINCO’s Westshore location on Sunday afternoons to provide free spin classes for the community! What better way to sweat than with a stunning view of the ocean, a refreshing breeze, and the best playlist ever. This was a super fun way for a lot of the community members to try spin for the first time and Kelly and Janella couldn’t have been more welcoming to all their new athletes!

We loved how this activity allowed our spinners the chance to envision what future fitness opportunities could look like at this development – imagine a spin studio with ocean views or a yoga class in the beachfront park!

Royal Beach’s Seaside Cinema 

One of the highlights of our summer was the Seaside Cinema series! Drive-in movies were a thing of the past – until Covid – now they are the perfect way to get out for a night of social distanced fun! Everyone loves a drive-in movies and we had selections for everyone. Moana was the family friendly classic, Pirates of the Caribbean was our action packed adventure, and Mamma Mia was for the ladies! There’s something so special about seeing your favourite movie on a big screen, all cozied up in your car!

These free movie nights were so popular that the Seacliff team decided to do it all over again and for the September long weekend we featured another Seaside Cinema series! We are excited that one day this type of community movie night could be a possibility in a space like the planned amphitheatre!

Guided Dog Walks 

There’s nothing we love more than dogs. So when Royal Beach wanted to incorporate an opportunity to tour community members through some of the not publicly accessible parts of the property, we knew a guided dog walk would be a perfect activity! There are SO many dogs who live in the nearby neighbourhoods and lots of pups came out with the owners for the walks.

Erin from Doggy Style Dog Walking was our fearless pack leader.  Our team were the Royal Beach ambassadors and as we walked with our pooches, we were able to point out all the potential special places that could be built one day in the development’s planned park lands. The dogs were given goodie bags that featured items from Bosley’s in Colwood and we got to take in some beautiful views! We all left tired and happy! Even our studio pups, Duck and Goose, came along for a few of the walks!

Sunset Mini Market 

One day, Royal Beach Seaside Village will be home to a beautiful Main Street featuring shops, cafes, and restaurants. However, it’s hard to imagine this when you are on the site, so, together with the developers and planning team, we found a way to show the community what having different shops down by the beach could look like – all while highlighting some vendors from Colwood, the Westshore, and beyond! And so the Sunset Market was born.

Our lead planner, Sarah Gray, really took the reigns on this project and soon we had farmers, artists, jewellery makers, florists, the Bubble Bus pouring Cultured Kombucha, and so many more talented vendors down at the beach on Monday evenings! Jill Cooper, one of our favourite wedding singer/song writers, performed throughout the markets creating the perfect setting for a sunshine filled seaside shopping trip. It was such a great way to connect the Westshore maker community with their neighbours.

Our last market of the season is coming up this Monday (September 21st 2020).

Pop-Up Paddleboarding 

The best way to cool down this summer was to get out on the water for some water sports! We arranged to bring Pacifica Paddle down to the beach and they had paddle boards and kayaks for everyone! Some people were a little shaky on the paddle boards at first but everyone got the hang of it. There were seals, sea otters, and, of course, seagulls checking out everyone on the water!

Brush Clean Up 

Royal Beach shares their property line with Colwood’s gorgeous Perimeter Park and the hope is that one day the expansive Royal Beach trail system will connect to this park. There were a lot of the shrubs and grasses here that were severely overgrown making paths inaccessible and suffocating the native plant life underneath it. We were excited to see the Greater Victoria Green team out taking the lead on this park clean-up project and Chloe, our summer practicum student, pulled brush and large blackberry bushes alongside community members. Underneath the blackberries were wild roses ready to bloom, and a trail ready to be hiked!

As summer is winding down, we can’t help but think how lucky we are that this opportunity presented itself. Not only did this project help make our summer feel a little more full but it gave us the opportunity to flex our planning and logistics muscles in a whole different way – we were market coordinators, fitness class facilitators, parking masters, dog walking guides, and brush pullers (thanks Chloe!) – to name a few!

Keep your eyes peeled for more fun in the fall at Royal Beach. You can find more details on the development on their website and be sure to check follow along on Instagram and Facebook, too!

 

Our a few of our awesome friends who hopped on board for some summer fun:

Photography by: Jesse Holland

Cinematography: Paper Heart Films

Tenting: Shady Spaces

Rentals: PDS Woodwork

Sound/AV: DL Sound

 

The Good Party X Royal Beach team:

Graphics + Signage: Kody & Sara

Social Media: Marley & Sara

Strategy + Planning: Sara & Emma

Market Coordinator: Sarah

Royal Beach Ambassadors: Casey, Chloe, Carley, Lindsay, & Ashley

 

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