More than a Home, Southlands Taking Shape as a Destination
When Christine Grange saw the job posting for Destination Manager at Southlands Tsawwassen, applying was a no brainer.
“It was literally the perfect job for me,” says the seasoned event planner. Christine got the job and is now focused on bringing activities, events and diverse programming to Southlands, year round.
“We are bringing people to this destination,” she says, noting her main efforts will go towards activating Market Square and managing the Red Barn event space.”
Southlands’ commercial offerings are already taking shape. Prado Cafe and Pedego Electric Bikes have opened, and work is now underway to build the Four Winds Restaurant and Brewery.
The centrepiece of the community and Christine’s portfolio is the Red Barn. Now refurbished and operational with a full commissary kitchen, the Barn is primed for what will certainly be a steady all-season schedule of events.
She emphasized that revenue generated through holding events at The Barn will be invested back into Market Square and the Grange Centre for Farming and Food. (The shared name of the destination manager and the centre are just a coincidence). “When the Red Barn is full and people are coming in and out as an active venue, it’s helping to improve the area.”
Christine says the early signs are promising as the phone has been blowing up from people looking to book the venue for weddings, long table dinners, and other celebrations and events — both from residents of Southlands and also from the broader Delta community.
A local quilting organization and a local group that supports mothers and caregivers in crisis have already been in touch about possible events.
Meanwhile, she is also focused on the upcoming annual Bike-In festival event set for Saturday, September 4th.
Running from 10am-2pm at Southlands Market Square, the festival is being held to mark the opening of Southlands Drive that links Southlands to downtown Tsawwassen. “We’re celebrating the road opening by inviting everyone to bike in,” Christine says, noting that the new road will actually be reserved for people on bikes and foot during the event. “People can still access the Southlands area during the festival via Boundary Bay Road.”
The public is welcome to come anytime during the event and the Saturday Farmers Market will be running as normal. There’s going to be plenty of parking.
Christine has also arranged to have food trucks attend and Four Winds will be hosting a beer garden. The family friendly event will also include activities for the kids such as face painting, a rock climbing wall, a bubble machine, bike decoration station, and live music.
The Red Barn will also be open for visitors to check out.