Formerly known as the British Columbia Arena, Auditorium and Stadium Association was formed in the spring of 1948 in order to bring people of mutual interests together to discuss similar problems and exchange ideas. Mr. V. "Ben" Williams, General Manager of the Pacific National Exhibition at that time, chaired the first meeting which attracted representation from Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna, Nanaimo and Trail.
From the nucleus of five members in 1948, the Association has grown to its present membership of over 500 Members.
In 1975, at the Annual Meeting the membership voted unanimously to change the name of the Association to the British Columbia Recreation Facilities Association to encompass all facilities related to leisure time services. Again, in 1985 at the Annual General Meeting the name was changed to the Recreation Facilities Association of British Columbia (R.F.A.B.C.) in order to become registered under the Society Act of British Columbia.
It was during the 1970-80’s that there was significant growth in the public recreation sector. The Association’s core programs were initiated during this period.
The governance structure was updated in 2004 and the purpose revised in 2008. Up until the late mid 1990’s when a part-time Executive Director was hired, the Association was administered by volunteers primarily sponsored municipal employees.
The Association emerged from a difficult period in 2008-09 when the world economic recession had significant impact on all organizations. Also experienced as a result was the decline of the availability of industry sponsored volunteers.
An office was established in 2009 in Powell River with a part-time Business Manager and a Project Coordinator based in Victoria. The programs and financial sustainability have grown since then.
A part-time Executive Director replaced the Project Coordinator position 2012 and a new strategic business plan was established.
The RFABC strives to offer the traditional services of a trade association: education certification courses, topical information exchange, and an advocacy network.
The Association has essentially two revenue streams, courses and membership. The economic engines are the arena ice/refrigeration and the swimming pool operator courses. Active membership has remained steady throughout the years at approximately 250.