Since 1889, Hastings Racecourse has been a part of the Hastings-Sunrise community. With the installation of slot machines Hastings can reaffirm its commitment to the local community by implementing its Community Benefits program.
Workers at Hastings and parents in Hastings-Sunrise area now have a local, affordable child care option. To fulfill this need, Hastings Racecourse agreed to build a permanent Child Care facility in the community and subsidize 44 spaces for children of workers and residents. While this permanent facility was being designed and built, Hastings provided a temporary Child Care facility at Kiwassa Neighbourhood House since February 2008. The Childcare Facility opened in April 2011. Please contact Kiwassa Neighbourhood House for more information on the Child Care program.
To help the local community realize its desire for more green space in Hastings Park, the increased rent Hastings Racecourse pays to the City of Vancouver will be earmarked for a Hastings Park Improvement Fund. The ongoing Greening of Hastings Park will have exclusive access to the Fund, and the Racecourse’s green initiatives don’t stop there. During weekday afternoons community members and visitors to Hastings Park will be able to benefit from Access to the Infield. On non-race days patrons can enjoy afternoon picnics and walks on the lush infield grass.
The Hastings Racecourse Infield is open for public access Monday to Friday from 1:30 pm to sunset or 5:30 pm (whichever is earlier). The infield area is closed December and January of each year. It is also closed on live race days that may occur on Friday afternoons and holidays. The City of Vancouver has designated these times for your safety and the safety of the thoroughbred horses that practice here every morning.
The Hastings Racecourse Groom School is an intensive 2 week program with both hands on and theoretical training. Participants will learn how to properly care for and groom thoroughbred horses here in Vancouver. For applicants with little or no experience with horses, the program will teach the skills required for an entry level groom’s position. Priority in the two week program will be given to Hastings-Sunrise and Downtown Eastside residents.
As part of the Community Benefits, Hastings Racecourse developed a Local Hire program which has been in operation for the last two years. For every new position at the track local residents will be actively recruited to apply through the
Hastings News and ads in local newspapers and throughout the community. Applicants will be evaluated via a points system, and local residents will be awarded extra points for residing in the Hastings-Sunrise or Downtown Eastside.
Over the next 20 years Hastings Racecourse will invest $2-million into the local community through its Community Legacy Fund. In November 2007, Hastings made its first $100-thousand payment to the City of Vancouver. Every year Hastings will invest another $100,000 into the Community Legacy Fun. The City of Vancouver will manage this Fund and with community direction will use it to provide benefits to, and mitigate problems in, Hastings-Sunrise.
Hastings Racecourse has helped local community groups raise money for important causes, and will continue to do so in 2016. Through Community Days at the Track, Hastings has helped local community groups such as Kiwassa Neighbourhood House, New Stride Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, and Variety – The Children’s Charity to name just a few.
Community Days at the Track involve a community organization having exclusive use of the Racecourse’s marquee area during a race day, while Hastings offers a $1,500.00 Food and Beverage Donation for the Community Day, and a $5,000 donation. Hastings will offer eight Community Days at the Track a year, to organizations in Hastings-Sunrise and Vancouver area. Through ticket sales and Hastings’ direct donation, community groups can use a Community Day at the Track to raise upwards of $10,000.
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At Hastings Racecourse we believe we are part of the community. With the Community Benefits program we’re honouring our commitments to Hastings-Sunrise. If you have questions about our Community Benefits program please contact us here.