Burnaby Lake Sports Field Complex was a turning point for Binnie. The project kicked off in 1997 and set us on a path to becoming specialists in the niche market of sports and recreation.
Catherine Eiswerth, Manager, Alberta Operations, Senior Associate
Scott Campbell, Senior Principal
Rob Campbell, Board Chair, President (1988–2013)
At the helm of this ambitious project was Catherine Eiswerth. Catherine joined Binnie fresh out of school, and her very first job was to perform inspection, recording trucks coming and going from site, and checking weight tickets and slips. Today, Catherine is a Senior Partner, managing Binnie’s Alberta operations. A standout chapter in her 33 years at Binnie came from an ambitious project that was the catalyst for a brand new (and arguably the most fun) business area for Binnie.
With five synthetic fields, Burnaby Lakes was the first sportsfield of its kind in North America. Binnie was the lead consultant and contributed to all phases of the initial development. Rob Campbell, a firsthand witness to Binnie’s trajectory from the early days, remembers the innovative project as a shining star in our history. “Our involvement was a major milestone. It wasn’t really our specialty. But it planted the seed and started us down the path of being one of the top artificial turf consultants in Canada.”
Though the project was a departure from our traditional engineering work, there was lots of internal support, which allowed Catherine to expand her horizons as a young leader. From the success of Burnaby Lakes, Catherine built the sports and rec division from scratch to one of the top sports facility consultancies in Canada. Today, thanks to this trust, Catherine says “we have few competitors that can compete with us on experience and service level. And it’s fun. We get out and get involved with the kids and coaches and sports groups.”
Scott Campbell, a Senior Principal at Binnie, was an engineer-in-training during the sports field project. He believes Catherine’s journey carved a path for future innovators in the company. “There’s a blueprint of past success. If someone wants to step up and take on a new area of business, that option is available. You can build a niche and create a new business area.” He adds that our strong relationships played a huge part in creating this opportunity. “It came from us having good connections with the City of Burnaby. They’ve been our client for almost 50 years.” Binnie has seen similar growth in our other service areas like traffic engineering, consulting project management, and water resources.
Binnie’s contribution to the Burnaby Lakes Sports Complex continues today, as the lead park planner and designer for the Visioning Plan. This planning exercise is a work in progress that involves a re-visioning of the sports and recreation complex, which currently includes multiple synthetic turf playfields, an indoor pool and recreation centre, an ice hockey arena, tennis centre, a rowing centre, and several other facilities.
Today, Catherine’s journey into new territory continues with her leadership of our Alberta operations. “Binnie’s expansion into Alberta means new opportunities, new people, new clients, and diversification. It’s a big shift for us to go to a different province,” Catherine explains.