It was a packed house for the announcement of the renaming and reimagining of Loch Sloy Business Park and Airport in Prince Edward County.
On Friday, PEC Community Partners Inc. announced that Base31 is the new name for the old Camp Picton site. The new title came from the sites former function as No. 31 Royal Airforce Bombing and Gunnery School.
At the event, Tim Jones, CEO of Base31 and partner at PEC Community Partners Inc., announced Base31’s collaboration with 31 organizations, businesses and individuals.
Contributors include the Municipality of Prince Edward County, All Welcome Here, PEC Arts Council, History Lives Here, Dept. of Illumination, The County Foundation, Chamber of Commerce, Festival Players, Driftwood Theatre, PEC Library, Jacqui Burley and many more. .
Jones says Base31 is open to more collaboration with businesses and organizations in the community.
“Well our doors are really opening, we’re going to keep reaching out, we’re encouraging people to reach out to us, we’re looking for ideas.”
Assaf Weisz, partner at PEC Community Partners Inc., has announced plans to begin revitalizing and reinventing Base31’s current landscape architecture through a collaboration with Picton-based VTLA Studio. Work will begin over the next few weeks in the northwest corner of the 70-acre site with plans to plant over 1,000 native plants and 150 trees in the 4-acre northwest area, north of Royal Road.
Along with plans to revitalize the surrounding landscape, Base31 continues to renovate buildings. Jones says there’s still a lot of work to do with restoring the sites.
“We have over fifty buildings on the site, but just over half of them are currently in use, so we have a lot of work to do to renovate and rehabilitate some of these buildings.”
Staff continue to commission public art and line up summer programming, with the site currently having two calls for artist submissions.
Base31 is set to open to the public on July 1. To kick off the season, Base31 will hold a benefit concert for the Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na language school in Tyendinaga on July 2, 2022.
Other summer lineup highlights include the PEC Community Craft Beer Festival, We’re Funny That Way Queer Comedy Festival, and musical performances by The Walkmen, The Mercenaries, and Sarah Harmer.
PEC Community Partners Inc. is a group of community builders including Tercot Communities, DECO Communities, PEC Placemaking and Rockport Group. The Ontario-based partnership brings together expertise in mixed-use residential spaces, affordable housing and commercial spaces, adaptive reuse of heritage sites, and comprehensive community development with a particular focus on creating creative places.
The 70-acre Base31 site includes more than 50 former barracks, dining halls, hangars and administrative buildings. It is part of a property of approximately 700 acres. Today, the site is home to 75 tenants and is used for a wide range of commercial activities, including commercial and industrial operations, as well as spaces for manufacturers, artists and galleries.
Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith says maintaining the sites history along with improvements will be another reason for visitors to come to the county.
“Well, there’s all kinds of stories here with what we now know as Base31 and it’s important to maintain the heritage and the history that we have here at this former army base. With the people they have brought together, the vision of the community will come to life and the heritage will live on and this will only add to the many reasons to come to Prince Edward County.
For more details on Base31’s summer lineup and future plans, visit www.base31.ca