A cultural and culinary boon could soon be coming to Coquitlam.
On Oct. 1, council decided to issue a request for expression of interest (REI) for the food service operations out of the City Centre Aquatic Complex, Town Centre Park and Blue Mountain Park.
The vote also included looking at options around community kitchen programs at both the Pinetree Community Centre and the Centennial Pavilion.
According to Lori MacKay, the city's manager of parks, recreation and culture services, the community kitchen programs in particular could serve a broad cross-section of the community through cooking classes, cultural exchanges and other programs tied to specific culinary traditions.
"Community kitchen programs have been shown as a way to bring diverse communities together and build positive relationships, while having fun in the kitchen and learning about healthy food choices," MacKay said in a staff report.
That report notes the kitchen facilities at both the Pinetree Community Centre and Centennial Pavilion are not being utilized to their maximum capacity.
Because of that shortfall, several options are being considered: allowing home-based businesses or other health-related organizations to temporarily set up shop in those centres, specific cooking programs that are tied to certain ethnicities or other types of co-op cooking models.
Those programs could either run for free, or through some type of cost-recovery model, MacKay said.
The operating agreement for those food service areas will include clauses around hours of operation, service level standards, profit sharing models and base rent.
The agreements will be subject to five-year terms, and the REIs will be issued next year.