Playgrounds Drive Tourism

Kids in playground - Sun Peaks Resort


LOCATION: Sun Peaks, British Columbia

PROJECT: Playground | Resort Municipality


“An inclusive playground was a much-needed amenity for both our visitors and our community. We were pleased to be able to provide funding to realize the vision and are excited to add this new amenity to our year-round product offerings.”

- Arlene Schieven, President and CEO of Tourism Sun Peaks


Known as one of British Columbia’s best ski hills, Sun Peaks can now also be known for its epic community playground and plaza—building community and attracting year-round tourism to this bustling mountain resort.


  1. Provide rich, inclusive family-focused amenities to the permanent community of Sun Peaks and attract families to the resort to support and grow the local economy year-round.
  2. Build a unique and accessible adventure playground that invites users of all ages and abilities to play.

Working with Parkworks the resort municipality was able to choose durable play products from KOMPAN, an exclusive Parkworks manufacturing partner in Western Canada. KOMPAN is known across the world for quality and innovation, as well as their leadership in sustainable playground product design.

Pulling from the adventurous landscape that surrounds the park, Sun Peaks was able to achieve their project goals by selecting dynamic play equipment from KOMPAN’s product line that provided a high level of explorative play opportunities for all types of parkgoers. From universal spinning carousels, to structures that provide traditional and sensory play opportunities for all abilities, and a dynamic climbing courses with loops, meeting points, bouncing platforms and balancing activities, and even a unique pendulum rope swing made of durable robinia wood and that invites single users or big groups to sit, lye down, or stand and swing – the large mix of dynamic, explorative, and universal play opportunities wouldn’t be possible without KOMPAN’s wide range of unique and innovative play products.

“This plaza will become an important people place in Sun Peaks where residents and tourists will gather, play and relax during visits to the village,” says Mayor Al Raine. “We already have one of the best alpine villages anywhere and this project adds a new visitor attraction at Sun Peaks.”


The Sun Peaks Resort Municipality worked with leading local landscape architect firm, van der Zalm and Associates (VDZ+A), to design the new, dynamic playground. Using the surrounding mountain landscape and the rich local indigenous heritage as inspiration, the playground features a hill within the space to create two different play elevations, and uses Robinia play equipment, a strong and durable sustainable wood, to create a natural look that complements the alpine resort. The playground uses rubber poured-in-place safety surfacing and wood chips for an accessible and safe play experience and was installed by Cedar Crest Lands.

"The layout of the playground and plaza was inspired by Secwépemc pictographs.  These pictographs can be found in the great hall of the adjacent conference centre.  In particular, the shape of the amphitheatre and stage area is a representation of the Secwépemc pictograph meaning sun rise and pit house. The playground was designed with input from the local community with 'accessibility', 'active' play and 'climbing' identified as top priorities [and] the seating around the plaza will cater to performances and support community events held at the conference centre.  A new pathway connects to the Village Stroll making this new public space a destination for residents and visitors alike."

- VDZ+A Design Team


Sun Peaks Plaza project is funded through provincial grants, organizational and private donations, and municipal funding totalling approximately $1.65 million. Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality was successful in receiving a grant from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport for $898,241 for the project. Tourism Sun Peaks (TSP) provided $350,000 for playground equipment. Donations from individuals represent $198,876 and Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) contributed $190,000 from the municipal parks reserve funds. Sun Peaks Rotary donated $10,000 and Adaptive Sports Sun Peaks also gave the project $2,000. The land for the park was donated to the Municipality by Sun Peaks Resort LLP.

“Investments in tourism infrastructure projects like Sun Peaks Plaza are good for visitors, good for communities and good for the economy,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “The tourism investments we’ve made in regions throughout the province are creating a more vibrant British Columbia for everyone and the Sun Peaks Plaza is an incredible example of how spaces like this create welcoming, accessible, and fun experiences for residents and tourists.”


  1. Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality
  2. VDZ+A Landscape Architecture and Civil Engineering
  3. Cedar Crest Lands - General Contractor

A perfect addition to the outdoor community of Sun Peaks, the Sun Peaks Plaza Playground will be an amazing place for the community and tourists to gather, connect, enjoy, and discover great family adventures for years to come.

Contact Parkworks to learn how playground and park amenities can help boost visitors and tourism.